With the warm days of summer quickly approaching I’m starting to conjure up images of myself relaxing in my yard. Whether I’m entertaining friends or just hanging out with my husband and our four legged companion Sam, I’m envisioning how I want my space to look, sound, smell and feel. Our outdoor living space encompasses every one of our external senses, which is why I think it is so important to make it a place we love to be a part of. In doing that, there are some hot trends for decorating the outdoors which I plan on incorporating into my own outdoor oasis.
Trend #1: It must be low maintenance but look good. Being in the nursery business as a buyer of hard goods for 9 years now and also becoming an avid gardener myself, I love doing some work in my yard but I don’t want to be a slave to it. This means I look for outdoor products such as furniture that will wear well in our wet and sometimes harsh winter environment. I want something that is attractive and can be left out year round without the worry of having to replace it the following year. Some great examples are powder coated patio furniture like the classic French bistro sets by Fermob. Another favorite for wear and tear are the concrete benches which now come in a variety of beautiful colors, textures and styles. And let’s not forget the super sturdy yet very attractive Seaside Casual furniture that is made from recycled high-density polyethylene. All of these items can be left to the elements and still be enjoyed year after year.
Trend #2: Create a “sound” garden. Does the sound of trickling water tickle your fancy and create a sense of calmness, peace and wellbeing? What about the clatter of song birds belting out their best chorus and the mental stimulation that comes along with it. Sound can come in many modes and can be just what is needed to make your outdoor living room complete. There are some wonderful ways I like to create harmonious sound in my yard to enhance my outdoor experience. The sound of water is one of my favorites while I’m unwinding in my garden and there are a lot of options for creating it. The choices are endless whether it’s concrete, glazed or lightweight acrylic fountains. Or maybe you want a pond with a waterfall and fish. You can also create your own beautiful and unique water feature by hand- picking all the components yourself and easily putting them together. Rain chains are another fabulous audio and visual experience for those who like to sit under a covered porch in the middle of a winter or spring storm. If it’s the birds you enjoy hearing, which I do, then there are very attractive bird feeders and birdbaths to adorn your garden with. There is nothing better than hearing hummingbird’s buzzing right over your head to get to the hummingbird feeder you provided for them. Wind chimes are another option for creating beautiful rhythms while also offering visual stimulation. Gracenote Chimes and Music of the Spheres are wind chime companies that make their product right here in the USA and are tuned to actual music chords. While Woodstock Chimes also made in the USA, are known more for their aesthetically pleasing wind chimes.
Trend #3: Establish a garden with a sense of “smell”. Theirs is nothing more intoxicating than the sweet smell of fragrant flowers being carried along in the evening breeze. However, if you are left fragrantless near your patio area but you still want the aroma experience, candles are a great alternative. Garland Nursery carries my favorite candle brands; Legacy by Root and Tyler candles. Both have an array of fragrances to choose from, and Legacy by Root comes in a rainbow of colors too. Candlelight with an alluring bouquet will most definitely set the mood for a fabulous evening in the garden.
Trend #4: “Light it up”. My husband didn’t nickname me “the Moth” for nothing. This is because I feel lighting in the garden is one of the most important and I seem to be constantly gravitating towards it. For me, being able to enjoy your garden at night is one of life’s greatest delights. There are many selections of lighting to choose from and now-a-days companies have come out with environmentally and economically friendlier options. Companies like Viz Art Glass make these amazing “Chihuly looking” blown glass solar stakes that come in an assortment of bright and vibrant colors. There is also Allsop, which produces solar Japanese lanterns in all colors, shapes and patterns, as well as, cute solar table-top lanterns that can be placed anywhere or on anything and can also be hung. If that isn’t enough to get your garden sparkling with light there are also natural looking twig lights from The Light Garden that can enhance any covered patio area.
When you combine all of the above; the look, the sound, the smell, you get the “garden experience”, which is the over-all feeling it brings you. Don’t hold back, make your garden a sanctuary that you can’t wait to revisit over and over again. Remember, it’s your space and you can make it anything you want it to be. So have fun, see what’s out there, and be creative. However, if you need help making your dream garden a reality, please don’t hesitate to seek out the professionals at Garland Nursery. It’s what we love to do.