The warm weather, especially in Wisconsin, is so short lived. It is important to not miss a second of it. This means that having a comfortable and relaxing outdoor space is vital to taking full potential of summer. Think about if you could enjoy sitting outside as much as sitting on your couch, how much more time you would spend gazing at the stars, sitting next to a fire, or listening the the birds chirp. We are going to give you some tips to created an awesome space outdoors.
1. Ask Yourself the Big Picture Questions
- Is this space for your kids, or adults only?
- This summer, are you going to entertain large groups of people? or create a more intimate setting?
- Do you want the outdoor space to be a part of your landscaping/backyard, or separated?
Once you define the space, the sooner you can come up with a plan. The space needs to fit you and your friends and family. If it does not work for its intended use, it is less likely to be used.
2. Realize the Difference Between a Deck and a Patio
A deck is very different from a patio because they accomplish different goals. A deck is going to feel more separated from the yard, which will create more of an official living space. Even though it is more separated, you are going to get a better view of the yard because of the elevation. If you have some spectacular landscaping, a deck is going to be the way to appreciate it from above.
A patio can a part of your garden and act as an extension of your green space. Because it is at ground level, you can surround the patio by shrubs, trees, and flowers.
3. Add a Pergola
Pergolas are great because they help define the space just as walls in your home define the different living areas. They also allow space to hang plants, grow any climbing plants or add lights to the area.
4. Why Add Mulch?
Mulch is important to add to your gardens because it makes the plants pop. This visual attraction occurs because of the contrast the mulch creates. Mulch, however, can also be expensive, smelly, and time consuming to spread throughout all of your beds. There is an additional benefit besides just making your yard look pretty. The mulch actually helps the plant by guarding it from weeds. This means that if you bare the initial cost, you will spend less time later on picking weeds every week of summer.
5. Trim your Trees the Right Way This Summer
If you have an overgrown tree in your yard, you know it. The tree will be in the way of walkways, windows, and other plants. Homeowners are quick to severely prune the tree by removing a lot of the foliage to dramatically reduce their size. This process is called “topping” and is actually the very wrong thing to do. It will make the tree grow faster and more difficult to control in the future. While you shouldn’t be regularly weeding your yard (due to laying down mulch), you should be regularly trimming your big trees. If done selectively, you should be able to get rid of the problem limbs while promoting new growth at a manageable pace. Trim the outer growth while leaving the main branches.
6. Now You are Ready for the Design!
This really depends on your personal style and how you are going to use the outdoor space. Make it comfortable for your needs and you will surely be out there every chance you get. Whether you need a cozy space to curl up and read a book, or a place to have your friends and family over, there is a design out there for you!