Tips for creating an outdoor oasis at home

As spring unfolds, nature beckons with fresh new life. Soon we’ll be swapping ski slopes for drier trailheads winding to glistening turquoise lakes. But, while the mountains’ calls are beguiling, we can’t always heed them. Why not make the most of the outdoors, then, right at home, too? We talked with local experts for tips on creating your own backyard paradise.

Delight in decking 

When transforming your outdoors, a nice place to start is actually indoors, examining how you will enter the space, says Vernetta Angelo, Marketing Director for Budget Home Supply. Doors offering a large opening can provide an ideal indoor/outdoor feel that serves to enhance the overall sense of entrance into someplace special. From there, Angelo says, it’s imperative to figure out how your space will be configured before picking out any products. 

If you’re building a deck from scratch, there are numerous options to consider. “Composite decking offers the look of wood without the maintenance,” says Angelo. “Plus, you’ve got so many colors to choose from, from warmer tones to coastal white. Deck railings are available in a range of styles, too. You can go with warm and traditional or sleek and modern. Or, consider floating decks without railing!”

Whether you’re working with a clean slate or an existing deck, there are abundant options to elevate your space, Angelo says. Adding a cover or pergola allowing some sunlight to flow in creates an inviting feel while providing cooler temperatures to enjoy throughout the day. And when the sun goes down for the night, varied lighting choices illuminate and captivate. “One of the latest trends we’re seeing is exterior chandeliers,” Angelo says. “These are a stunning, beautiful way to create an indoor/outdoor feel.” Smart lighting systems are popular, too, Angelo notes, offering convenience and customizability, such as lights automatically turning on at dusk and pre-programmed colors. 

Flourish with Foliage

Let’s be real: the real reason for creating a beautiful outdoor space is the actual outdoors. So, surround yourself with greenery. An abundant variety of healthy plants, both in the ground and containers, will create gorgeous lushness, says Kim Jackson, Annuals Greenhouse Manager at The Flower Bin Garden Center. “They should be a good mix of annuals, perennials, and yes, houseplants and topicals, with both flowering and non-flowering plants. Include different heights, textures and colors,” Jackson says, adding to be mindful of sunlight needs for placement. Houseplants, for instance, generally need to be in shade. 

For specific recommendations, local garden centers are excellent resources, with expert staff ready to offer suggestions. A few of Jackson’s personal favorites include: Elephant ears, Banana, Hibiscus and Citrus for large, dramatic, tropical flair; medium-sized Salvia Black and Blue and Roman Red, Agapa thus, Coleus, Snapdragons, and Dahlia; and smaller Petunias, Verbena, and Geraniums for bright bursts of color. Finally, Jackson suggests tall potted plants around seating areas for added privacy. No matter the size and shape of your space, living décor well suited to our Colorado climate will surely lend stunning, welcoming flourish to your own backyard escape.

Accent with Landscaping and Hardscapes

Indoor-outdoor living is designed to merge the comfort of your home with the beauty of nature, creating a tranquil, personal retreat.

“I’m a big fan of outdoor living spaces,” says Ruben Ojeda, the owner of Turf Masters Lawn & Landscape in Berthoud. “Thoughtfully incorporating plants, flowers, walkways, outdoor lighting, and all kinds of small touches goes a long way to creating beautiful ambience and space everyone can enjoy.”

Turf Masters offers comprehensive services for both new and existing landscape projects of any size. They take a personal and deliberate approach to their work. “Typically I’ll start by meeting clients myself, getting a full understanding of vision, budget and space,” Ojeda explains. “I work with a lot of professional designers who help align ideas with the space itself. At the forefront, we keep in mind functionality for the whole family, blended with beauty.”

Depending on your preferences and the size of your yard, you might want to explore options like hardscapes, including boulders, retaining walls and pavers, suggests Ojeda. Additionally, water features such as fountains, waterfalls and various types of ponds can be
exceptionally soothing.

“Water features are beautiful, and they create beautiful, soothing sounds, too,” Ojeda notes. “They’re just relaxing. They add to the
landscape, and you can add extra fun to them, such as with koi fish. They attract wildlife, too.”

However, Ojeda points out that water features require significant upkeep. Prospective owners should consider the maintenance demands, such as monitoring pH levels and preparing for winter. If maintaining a water feature seems daunting, there are plenty of other ways to transform your backyard into an enchanting and peaceful oasis.  

By wendy McMillan, Longmont Magazine