Spring into Outdoor Living!

Gathering around the fire with friends during those long winter nights was fun. But a new season is upon us, now is the time to start planning your spring outdoor living experience!

The worst of the cold is mercifully, for the most part, behind us. Spring is such a vibrant time of the year, so allow nature to lead the way when you plan your space! Create an outdoor sitting area adjacent to your plant and flower beds where you can capture the sun.

My spring outdoor living spot is just that. It’s quite simple, actually: A small decorative table with a couple of weather-proof chairs placed on eight 18” square paving stones. Facing our garden, we are perfectly positioned to capture the warmth of and beauty of the western sun. By far, our favorite place to unwind after a long day at the office before dinner. What better place to spend happy hour?

You could add a small trickling fountain to add ambiance and mask any nearby road noise, just ensure you have power available. We once had a cute lion head fountain on our back porch but when it stopped working, we placed it in the garden and planted pansies in it. This creates a nice anchor for the space to give it a theme of its own.

Complete the sensory experience with fragrant flowers. In the south, that could be a trellis of jasmine or wisteria. Further north, strategically planted lilac bushes. Make sure you choose spring bloomers. As the intoxicating smell of jasmine fades, my gardenias start to bloom. Be sure to include flowers that attract your favorite flying friends. Consult with your local florist for options. It amazes me the variety of birds and butterflies that suddenly appear after planting the right kind of flowers for your region.

Life isn’t all roses and daisies in the spring, however. Pollen is downright relentless for a few weeks in the south. Everything outside, from our homes and cars to our outdoor furniture develops a yellow tint throughout the day. That’s just how it goes! We often have to hose the chairs down – though this can leave them too wet to sit in. I keep a tub of disinfecting wipes nearby for quick cleanup. Keep up with the pollen as best you can and get back to enjoying your outdoor oasis!

Expand your thinking beyond the shadow of your home and get out into the yard to smell the flowers! Be strategic with the location so you get both the beauty of the garden and the warmth of the sun – before the days turn too hot! And most of all – enjoy spring! It only comes around once a year…