All of us here at GMG are well-acquainted with the idea of outdoor living, which headlines our 2007 Trends Report. However, in the Texas newspaper The Star-Telegram, Neil Sperry addresses a new part of outdoor living: he suggests that homeowners create structure in their “outdoor rooms” by creating natural walls and ceilings.
The most obvious walls of an outdoor living space, says Sperry, are the fences that surround the typical American backyard. He suggests that you plant beds and vines around fences in order to “soften those walls to the eye.” We at GMG suggest also adding outdoor furniture, like the pieces you can find at Alfresco Home. Shrubs or one or two larger trees can also be placed strategically around your outdoor room to further separate spaces.
If you want to fully enclose your outdoor room, a ceiling is a necessity! You could install a patio cover as a way to add coziness, but consulting with a landscape architect first is encouraged: they are better at incorporating these faux-ceilings into the overall atmosphere of the garden. Taller trees with spreading branches also add to the feeling of shelter: for large spaces, Sperry recommends Pecans, Chinese pistachios, and oaks. For smaller gardens, he recommends Mexican plums, golden raintrees, yaupon hollies, and redbuds.
Read his article here...