There is nothing quite like being able to step outside your backdoor and pick fresh tomatoes off the vine or cut fresh basil for a salad. The scent of fresh basil is still one of the most naturally beautiful scents to awaken my senses after a long cold winter. Or better yet, have the ability to hang your laundry on line to absorb the scent of the sun.
While most of us aren’t able to create the outdoor space as the one shown here in House Beautiful, it is still possible to spruce up or create a miniature version of our own where we can dig in the dirt for some free therapy on the weekend or gather friends and family around a table and enjoy a BBQ on a cool spring/summer evening, or even more rewarding, establish a nook in the lawn or on the porch that allows us to sit, relax and watch the sun set after a long, busy, yet fruitful day.
Here are a few ideas to try that will brighten up your outdoor spaces:
*Less is more (lawn furniture that is). Place two andirondack chairs side by side on the best spot of the lawn and lounge there in the afternoon with a good book and crisp Chardonnay – or maybe take a nap.
*Create a small garden. Think as big as a small guest bathroom (5x7 or 5x12 – you get the idea), and only plant those vegetables that can, for the most part, take care of themselves as long as water is at the ready regularly. The key is to enhance the soil (natural fertilizer is best). Then place your plants in the soil after the last freeze. This year, I’ve decided on tomatoes, my perennial rhubarb and (fingers crossed) a Cinderella pumpkin.
*Build an herb garden and keep it close to the kitchen. Whether you choose to plant them in the garden, give them their own separate bed, put them in a large pot all together or on a window sill in your home, this is a wonderful way to bring the flavor of the garden into your everyday meals.
*Hang a clothes line. Not only will you be saving on energy, but your sheets and clothes will smell like summer as you drift off to sleep or step out the door.
*Find an outdoor table at a local yard sale that can stand the weather and fits in with the outdoor style you are trying to create.
*Purchase hanging baskets from a nursery all ready pre-made. By bring the height of the flowers up, a balance is struck and the eye is drawn upward making it feel as though Mother Nature’s beauty truly is every where you look when you step outside your home.
*Plant an annual flower that simply makes you smile upon seeing it. Sunflowers, pansies, begonias or something that strikes your fancy at the nursery (just make sure you are able to place it where it will it will survive).
*Add a few perennials to your yard every year and before you know it, you will have created a spring and summer menagerie of beauty.
*Now enjoy it. Turn the television off in the evenings and step outside, sit in your chair and just soak in the quiet beauty that you have had the opportunity to create.