It is no secret that the summer season in Canada is fleeting and Canadians are desperate to make the most of their time in the sun. After spending months battling with Jack Frost, warmer temperatures are always greeted with open arms and bright smiles.
For many, the warmer seasons are spent up North, sitting lakeside at a beloved family cottage. But with a great cottage comes a great commute. The highways are becoming more and more congested causing increased driving times to escape to cottage country. More often than not, residents will spend most of their Friday night bumper-to-bumper trying to liberate themselves from the hustle and bustle of the city. They may enjoy their Saturday by the water, taking in the peace and quiet, but before they know it, they’re back on the road trying to beat the Sunday traffic home. There simply must be a better way to make the most of our Canadian summer.
Rather than joining the other road warriors in the bumper car ring, many Canadians have decided to create their getaway space at home. Through expert landscaping and construction, the need to drive hours up North to enjoy the season slowly disappears. It only takes a few key items to turn your Canadian backyard into a summer oasis that you’ll never feel the need to escape from.
Landscaping your perfect backyard space is a process. There are many steps involved and often unpredictable delays pop up throughout the duration of the project. From design to construction to maintenance, some projects can take months to complete. The best thing homeowners can do is plan ahead and start early. One thing Canadians will always want to avoid is constructing during the summer, as that would defeat the purpose of creating your backyard oasis.
The experts at Urban Image Landscaping in St. Catharines, ON., suggest starting the design process in the early spring, as early as March, in fact. The construction should begin early autumn sometimes continuing into the winter months if weather permits. This should ensure (granted there are no unforeseen complications) that the project be completed in time for the following summer.
Compliment Your Indoor Space
You want to avoid severe division between what is outside and what is inside your home. Incorporate the look, aesthetic and design you have crafted indoors into your outdoor living area. The goal is to have the two spaces compliment each other rather than compete with one another. Colours, patterns and fabrics that fall into the same family as your indoor pallets are a simple and effective way to achieve this.
When working with a professional landscape designer for your outdoor space, it is important that this individual understands your tastes and style. Many designers will request homeowners give them a tour of the inside of their homes and let them understand their likes and dislikes, taking a great deal of time getting to know their clients on a personal level before beginning any sort of project to ensure their wants and needs are covered.
Create Living Spaces
Your indoor living space has a living room, a dining room and a kitchen, so why should your outdoor living space not have the same? Imagine your backyard as the main floor of your home, simply without the walls. By creating designated living areas within your backyard, you give yourself everything you need to avoid constant trips back inside the house. Create a living room, which should include patio furniture that is comfortable and invites family and friends to lounge and relax for extended periods of time. The showroom at Lechuza in Mississauga, ON, is full of comfortable and functional furniture that will compliment and complete your space. Also, be sure to have a designated dining area. This should have a nice large table and many chairs if you have a passion for entertaining friends and family. Creating an area that allows you to eat your meals outdoors just extends the time you spend enjoying the weather while it lasts.
At the end of the day, functionality of a space will always outweigh the aesthetic design. Keep very small details in mind when making decisions about the overall layout of your backyard; things such as the amount of room surrounding a BBQ and ensuring enough space around the dining table to serve and maneuver. Often, small details such as this go unaccounted for and can severely affect the convenience and functionality of a space.
Cook in the Great Outdoors
Well, perhaps “great” was a strong word, but creating an outdoor kitchen will enhance your outdoor living space ten fold. Gone are the days of leaving the party to check on the sizzling food in the kitchen. When your kitchen is a part of your outdoor entertaining space, you don’t miss any of the fun. A barbeque is an obvious addition, but going even further and adding an outdoor fridge and sink can make your hosting duties much more convenient.
One occurrence that is unavoidable even in the summer is precipitation. Rain is not something that Canadians can get away from even when they go up north. Make the most of a rain-filled day by investing in a covering of some sort for your outdoor space. Landscaping design experts would suggest having this cover your main living areas to ensure they are still usable during a rainfall. If you’re only interested in covering one area, or perhaps you are restricted by size and/or greenery in the space, covering the kitchen is recommended as the first priority. By ensuring your cooking area is covered you can still make use of your BBQ despite weather conditions.
Depending on the size of your outdoor space, a water feature is a luxury that elevates the relaxation appeal of your backyard. If you’re working with a smaller space, a pond with a waterfall is an excellent option. The sound of the water bubbling over the edge of the waterfall is both soothing and helps create a similar effect to the sound of a lake up North. Fountains are another classic water feature that never seem to go out of style. Fountains allow the flexibility of being both elegant and playful. If space permits, a pool is an excellent addition to your outdoor oasis. Especially if you’re a family with children, this is an ideal way to keep the kids entertained, active and away from their iPads throughout the summer.
Work With Your Backyard
Sustainability and energy efficiency are two things to always be conscious of when creating a new outdoor space to enjoy. Working with low-maintenance plant life, drought-tolerant plants and less grass have become industry standards within the landscaping community. Try to do some research on the natural eco-systems that already exist in your backyard so as not to harm or destroy them by introducing new species. Keeping these things in mind will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but will be much more cost efficient to the homeowner long-term.
Spending your precious summer days wedged between other vehicles on the highway trying to escape from the city is not a vacation at all. Wandering just a few steps outside your door and entering a space that has been customized, designed and created to fulfill your wants and needs sounds like a much better way to spend your days. Creating your own backyard oasis is the only way to make the most of a Canadian Summer.
The choice you make in fabrics for an outdoor space is extremely influential on the success of your outdoor space. You want to choose something that is specifically treated to survive the outdoor elements—wind, water, sun and insects.
To create some division between the designated spaces outdoors, Urban Image Landscaping suggests adding different levels in elevation. This helps distinguish and separate each area of the outdoor space.
The inviting warmth of a campfire doesn’t have be exclusive to a cottage setting, and there is nothing more dynamic for an outdoor space than pairing a water feature alongside a fire feature. Since the dawn of time, fires have drawn people together and acted as a gathering place.
Modern Vs. Rustic
Your style can go one of two ways: modern or rustic. Keep this defined and do not blend the two. A modern design will have sharper angles and be much more minimalistic while a rustic design will be much more natural and softer.
Homeowners are moving away from the softer, smoother kidney-shaped designs for pools and towards geometric shapes with harsher edges and cleaner designs. These help create a more modern contemporary feel to your outdoor space.
For added convenience and aesthetics, Lechuza offers homeowners self-watering planters. These products use an innovative sub-irrigation system that keeps plants fresh for up to 12 weeks. The system ensures that each plant receives the right amount of water and nutrients required for optimal growth.