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If you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, then make the most of it, especially now that the cooler weather is finally here. An outdoor space can be more than just a plot of grass.
Sprucing up a garden or yard does not always need a huge budget and a natural talent for landscaping to transform it into a relaxing and peaceful refuge. One thing it will require, however, is careful planning. Having a clear idea of what you want from your outdoor space as well as what you will be using it for (daytime barbecues or evening parties) will help you plan your designs better.
Keeping in mind the needs of children, animals or those with restricted movements, such as elderly parents or family members with disabilities, should be the first concern you address when making plans.
Once you have decided on how you would like to design your outdoor space, put your ideas to paper, take some measurements and sketch your ideas down. Having to fit your plans onto paper may make you rethink some of them more practically.
Other important factors to consider are the sun and wind patterns of your outdoor space and their impact on how you use the space. You may want to put an outdoor dining area where you can watch the sunset; however, depending on the wind patterns and the position of the sun, you may find that direct sunlight makes a dining area too hot and uncomfortable.
The sun patterns will also influence the type of plants you include in your landscaping. Many plants that are not indigenous to the Middle East will not grow well in direct sunlight or extreme heat.
If you want to include a central feature in your gardening and landscaping design, for example, a water feature like a fountain or pond, or a structure such as a pergola or deck, then establish that feature first and work smaller, less focal features afterwards. Rather than starting with smaller, more manageable projects, it is a good idea to start with the largest, most significant feature so that you can adjust the rest to fit around it should they require any changes or modifications.
• Landscaping an outdoor space requires careful and meticulous planning
• Consider the needs of children, elderly and pets when plotting out the design
• Take the sun/wind patterns into account before adding structures and plants
Find out how to spruce up your garden for the upcoming winter
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer