Outdoor living has come a long way in recent years. It used to be that a backyard consisted of a patio or deck with a grill, and a large expanse of lawn. Today, homeowners are looking for more sophisticated retreats that marry beauty and function, preserve nature, and offer a private retreat - while meeting the needs of the whole family. Here are some popular summer trends according to landscapers near me in Enola and Harrisburg, PA, areas.
A Zen Retreat
A quiet, tranquil space where you can unplug from the world is more of a necessity than ever. A zen retreat doesn’t have to look like a Japanese garden with minimalist design - but it does have to be a space that feels comforting: a great place to relax with a book or a cool drink. A favorite spot to tuck a zen retreat into is the side yard. Most people think of side yards as a place that’s not usable for everyday living - just a space to separate them from the neighbors or as a spot for a garden shed. However, this can be a hidden gem! Just add privacy fencing; plants that you enjoy looking at (ornamental grass is particularly soothing as it moves with the breeze); comfortable seating (a lounge chair or hammock); and a water feature that will mask environmental noise. And that’s it!
As a bonus, you can create two retreats like this: one for you, and one for your teenage kids (on the other side of the house, where they can have their own special space. Later on when they move out, this space can easily be transformed again - perhaps as a hot tub area?
Eco-friendly or low-impact landscape design involves the liberal use of native plants and minimizing thirsty and chemical-intensive lawns. Local pollinator species and small wildlife will appreciate the gesture and you will be rewarded with a beautiful, low-maintenance, water-wise and hardy landscape. If you need a lawn area for kids and/or pets, you could transform a part of your front yard into a pollinator garden - a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter front yards of most suburban homes!
Low-impact design isn’t just related to your landscape: your paver patio, walkway and driveway can be transformed too, using permeable pavers. If you’ve ever seen sheets of water cascading down a driveway, you have an idea of how much rainfall and snowmelt actually ends up in the municipal storm system - or, if your driveway isn’t properly graded, in the landscape or even near your foundation. Permeable pavers allow water to seep into the ground below to prevent pooling and runoff, and allow water to re-enter the aquifer. Choose from a huge selection of concrete pavers that complement any architectural style while reducing your environmental impact. It’s a true win-win!
Updated Lighting Design
Today’s lighting design is a wonderful synergy of artistry and engineering. Fixtures are carefully chosen and strategically placed to give each zone of your landscape just the right amount of lighting. Modern landscape light fixtures are unobtrusive during the day, and create a magical ambience at night - without the harsh glare and strong shadows of yesterday’s lighting.
A Cook's Delight
No outdoor feature beats the cooking space to bring people together. If you have outgrown your grill station but don’t want the complexity, cost, or don’t have the space requirements for a full outdoor kitchen, consider adding a peninsula bar and a pizza oven to a grill station. The space becomes L-shaped for easy socializing and cooking, while giving you another way to prepare food as well as more space to work. This combination is a sure winner especially if you have kids!