We don’t have to tell you that it’s hot outside, but we do have some cool ideas to help transform your patio and courtyard spaces into the perfect place to chill out during the summer months, with your morning coffee, hosting friends for lunch, or enjoying the latest book club pick.
If you are into theme gardens, you might want to try one of these:
English Garden – a style that began in the 1800s as a revolt against the orderliness of architectural gardens (which included perfectly manicured shrubs and trees, arranged in specific patterns and designs). English gardens call upon a more natural form, with clumps of flowers in varying heights, water features, and expanses of grass that often included paths or stepping stones.
To achieve the English garden style, plant roses, daisies, geraniums, zinnias, Agapanthus (lily of the Nile); shrubs such as azaleas, hydrangeas, or peonies; and flowering trees such as butterfly bush and crepe myrtle. Add metal benches, a “natural” fountain or two, and some sculptures scattered throughout.
Lay flagstones or pavers with turf grass or low-growing foliage in between (mondo grass, Corsican mint, blue star creeper, creeping thyme, and Irish moss are popular options).
Butterfly Garden – create a quite space for watching birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other quiet creatures, by planting butterfly bush, lantana (either the annual type, or the perennial Miss Huff variety). Include climbing varieties of roses, or vines such as Bougainvillea, trumpet vine, or coral honeysuckle, and clematis to add height and depth to your garden – as well as a place for nests.
Add a bird bath or fountain, which provides a water source for your wildlife as well as pleasant ambient sound, and finish with a butterfly house, bird feeders, and wooden or rattan benches and seating.
Heat-Tolerant Garden – for gardeners who crave beauty without the extensive maintenance, consider planting lantana, phlox, black-eyed Susan, coreopsis, verbena, and zinnia, in raised beds and containers that are large enough to allow plants to develop deep roots.
Add a hammock, or seating beneath a ceiling fan, and consider an outdoor mini-fridge to keep refreshing beverages within easy reach.
At Windsong, we are constantly amazed by the imaginations of our homeowners, who create magnificent courtyard and patio rooms. But we’re not surprised: “puttering in the garden” just happens to be among the Top 25 activities Active Adults crave when they right-size their homes!
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