With a slight break in the streak of hot, humid weather we’ve had this summer, I’m finding myself spending more time outdoors, especially in the evenings when the sun crosses over the house and onto the street side. The last few nights I have found myself playing the “What if….” game. What if I added night lighting to my landscape?
In 1937, after witnessing the havoc and economic desperation that the Dust Bowl had wreaked on our nation, Franklin D Roosevelt sent a letter to all of the governors of the United States, asking them to oversee the adoption of legislation that would create soil conservation districts. In his letter, Roosevelt wrote, “The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” His words, so appropriate to the time, still hold truth for us today. Because of our incomplete understanding of soil biology combined with incorrect and overuse of chemicals, we have put our soil and water at risk. If we continue to destroy our environment, then we will eventually destroy ourselves.
Three years ago we struggled with this question: Dog or Yard? Dog won; we rescued an 8 year old Cairn Terrier mix who has become my constant, and beloved, companion -- and who immediately began to destroy my yard. Since a decimated yard wasn't an option for me, I decided to follow my own advice -- and I can vouch for the fact that it worked! We have both yard AND dog, and we love both. If you missed it the first time, here is a reprint of that 2019 article. I hope it helps keep you and your dog happy!
So you’ve been considering adding a water feature to your backyard, but haven’t quite decided if it’s the right decision for you. Having enjoyed ponds and streams, waterfalls and fountains in my yards for decades, I can give you lots of reasons why adding water to the landscape is a great idea.
There’s a trend happening around our neighborhood that I am absolutely thrilled about. More and more people here are seeing their front yards as space to be used and enjoyed instead of maintaining it as the traditional green front yard carpet. I’m not sure if the change is a response to the past pandemic years, or if pinterest has exploded with ideas, but whatever the motivation has been, it has brought new life and vitality to an often underused and under appreciated space.
Until recently, residential landscape lighting was primarily held to various shades of white light. Colorful outdoor lights showed up during the Christmas season and then disappeared until the next year. With the introduction of colored LED and halogen lights, as well as a variety of easily used colored lens covers, white lights are no longer the only option for homeowners.
As summer ends and fall approaches, many people wistfully retreat indoors convinced that opportunities for gathering together and enjoying the outdoors are over until next year.
The truth is just because the days are getting shorter and the temperatures colder, sharing times together in the outdoors doesn’t need to end. Professional landscaping can create a space that provides the perfect gathering spot for this special time of year.
When I originally wrote this article, being confined to my home for months on end would have seemed like the plot line of one of the dystopian young adult novels I used to teach. Little did I dream that over 18 months of staying home 24/7 would become a reality. Had it not been for my glorious outdoor living space, I probably would have suffered from some serious bouts of cabin fever.
Although things are loosening now and the outside world is once again becoming accessible, my outside living space is still my go-to place for rest, relaxation and renewal. It's my peaceful spot for alone time and my cheerful spot for gathering with family and friends. It helps make my house a home. After what we've all been through the past few years, perhaps it's time that you pamper yourself and add your own perfect patio.