Design Dilemma: Garden without the Green | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Garden without the Green

Romantic Tarrytown Terrace traditional patio

There are plenty of us who love having a garden. Especially during the lazy summer months, when we can spend long days splayed out on a hammock. But there are a few of us who, while we love our outdoor spaces, we’re not so keen on yard work. In this instance, what we’re searching for is an outdoor space with a sense of green, but without the big lawn to mow or the unwieldy plants to prune. So how can you create an easy outdoor space with a sense of green, without all the work?

1. Put down pavers that allow a bit of grass to peek through.
What we’re talking about is what you see below. The yard is essentially paved, but the bit of greenery between the cement stones allows the outdoor space to retain a lush feeling.

Desert Gold Pavers traditional exterior
The same idea is at work here:
Country Club Drive contemporary landscape
And here:
Emerson Street - Palo Alto contemporary patio

2. Build a pergola for an outdoor “living room” and frame it with plants. In the patio below, a pergola covers a patio space which is perfect for a backyard barbecue or late morning brunch. There is a sense of green thanks to plants and planters strategically placed in the space.

AMS Landscape Design Studios mediterranean patio
And same below:
Dena Brody, ASID eclectic patio
And here too:
Lorraine Vale traditional patio
3. Make a firepit the focus of your outdoor space. It will provide a nice architectural focus without you having to get your hands dirty.
Morro Bay Breezeway modern patio

Or here:

Contemporary Gallery contemporary patio
4) Create a fountain as your garden’s focal point. Water can still act as a natural element, but requires less work than a lawn might.
Kathleen Shaeffer Design mediterranean patio
Or here:
AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc. mediterranean landscape

Or here:

Private Residence II mediterranean patio
So what’s the key to creating a low-maintenance “green” space?
  • Rely on plants in planters rather than in plants in beds or a lawn. Planters provide a sense of green and of the outdoors, but are far less work and are easier to move and change around.
  • Use architectural elements as the star of the show. Instead of featuring a big lawn, use fountains, fire pits and pergolas in your garden to provide interest and a connection to nature.
  • Think of creating outdoor “rooms.” A truly inviting outdoor space feels a bit like an extension of your home. There should be a comfortable place to sit, stretch out, eat, and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Make use of pavers and stones that can allow some green to peek through the stones. Doing so will go a long way to making your patio or paved space feel connected to nature.

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