Did You Have a COVID Garden? What to Do Next

Did You Have a COVID Garden?

One of the results of the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was the rise of home and backyard gardens. Most often supplemental gardens (those used not as sole sources of food, but as supplemental supplies) and often container based rather than in-ground, these COVID gardens gave people something productive to do.

But, as COVID fatigue set in—and as temperatures plummeted during winter—the shine that these gardens once had might be a bit scuffed. If you built a garden last year and want to change things up a bit for the upcoming season, here are a few ideas to make the most of your space.

New Year, New Gardens

If you planted a garden last year by purchasing or building container gardens, you likely remember how those crops fared. Did your tomatoes grow tall and leggy but produce few fruits? Did your watermelons fizzle? Make notes about each crop you planted.  Pay attention to placement in your garden, your watering habits, and the results.

Chances are, you can rotate your crops this year to better leverage your space. If your containers are portable, consider place where you’ll get optimal sunlight; if you cannot move your containers, take some time to determine where sunlight falls in your space and for how long, then follow the guidelines set out for each crop. For example, tomatoes have different sunlight needs than green beans.

Consider Adding New Elements

If you know what you’re planting, whether that’s vegetables or flowers or a combination of both, and you have the space, you can consider adding other elements to your garden. Some communities reimburse homeowners for environmentally friendly garden elements, like rain barrels or butterfly gardens. You could also add a hardscape, like a patio, or a water or fire element.

Combine Garden and Outdoor Living Concepts

One outdoor trend, according to Veranda, is the return of the cutting garden. Another is a more seamless integration of outdoor and indoor spaces. You can breathe new life into your outdoor space by considering these trends. For instance, use a currently barren corner to plant zinnias or sunflowers—and then use those cuttings to decorate both your patio tables and in your indoor bouquets.

Another option is to expand your garden and add seating elements. This can be as easy as adding a bench so you can sit and enjoy the fruits of your labor, or by building an umbrellaed dining area complete with countertops and an outdoor oven.

Do you have big plans for your outdoor space? We’d love to hear about them. Share on our Facebook or shoot us an email.

 

2021 Outdoor Living Trends

The new year is traditionally a time to take stock of what we value most in life. For some, that means making resolutions to be healthier or to spend more time with family. For others, it means setting financial or professional goals.

This year, as we move from the unique year that was 2020 and into 2021, we have a chance to reflect on having spent more time at home and with family. And as the seasons turn from winter snow to spring sun, we can plan for the improvements we might make to our homes and outdoor living spaces to better accommodate our current reality of staying close to home.

To that end, let’s take a look at what design and industry experts are naming top outdoor living space trends for 2021.

Year-Round Outdoor Living Spaces

Like some of Kansas City’s most popular outdoor dining spots, our own outdoor spaces can go from summer-only to (almost) year-round with the addition of elements that help temper the elements. Think heating elements to warm up on cold or cooler nights, like portable heaters or built-in fireplaces, as well as additional areas of shade to make being out in the sun less harsh. Retractable shades and umbrellas are perfect options, especially when paired with fans to help circulate the air.

Lighting Makes a Difference

Because so many people are entertaining more in their outdoor spaces, the lighting in those spaces has become more important than ever. Whether your space needs to illuminate a border or path (or driveway) or you want to spotlight your favorite trees or foliage, a custom plan to place just the right lighting in just the right spots can turn your outdoor living space from ho-hum to brilliant.

Extending Your Living Space

You’re likely familiar with the idea of extending your living space by making your outdoor space look and feel more like the rooms inside your home. But because we’ve been spending so much more time inside, people are thinking more about making the outside not only more livable, but more beautiful. Think about it—our gardens, front lawns, and back yards have been our view for the past year and will likely continue to be this year. Why not make it a view you love?

Maximizing your view can be as simple as rethinking your gardens; but it can also be an elaborate project, like adding a water element or finally building that retaining wall. Regardless of how simple or how involved your project might be, we’d be honored to help you make your outdoor living space the perfect space for you. Visit us on Facebook or reach out to learn more.

 

Extend the Seasonal Use of Your Outdoor Living Space by Adding an Outdoor Fireplace

outdoor fireplace olathe

Extend the Seasonal Use of Your Outdoor Living Space by Adding an Outdoor Fireplace

It’s happening: the mornings are a bit cooler. Evenings, too. As our Olathe temperatures drop below the sweltering point of high summer, it becomes easier to think about the seasons to come.

But those seasons also bring colder temperatures, which means less time spent outdoors. Sure, autumn can be cozy during the day; but when night falls and the sun is no longer warming our outdoor spaces, even fall nights can be uncomfortably chilly.

One way to keep using your outdoor space, even when colder temperatures set in, is by adding an outdoor fireplace.

Types of Outdoor Fireplaces

To say that outdoor fireplaces come in different shapes and sizes is to say that Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a simple coffee drink. There is no “typical” outdoor fireplace. An outdoor fireplace can be a simple fire pit or fire bowl; a fire table or fire column; a chiminea or a pizza oven. It could also be a simple patio heater or an elaborate fire and water feature.

The point is this: no matter your budget, your design aesthetic, or how often you might use an outdoor fireplace, there is one that fits your needs.

What to Consider When Deciding on an Outdoor Fireplace

Like other landscape decisions, installing an outdoor fireplace requires thought and planning. How often you’ll use it is a good place to start. Also consider what you’ll use it for: do you simply want a spot to gather with friends and family? If so, a fire pit that can be used whenever the temperature warrants might be the perfect choice. You can even toast a marshmallow or two or make s’mores over the flame of a fire bowl.

But if you want to cook outdoors, you’ll need something better suited to that purpose. Or, if you want a show-stopping, breathtaking, architectural attraction as part of your landscape design, you’ll need more than a simple fire pit.

Of course, the more elaborate the fireplace, the more you’ll need to budget. And remember to think of the space you have available, too; some spaces will only accommodate a small fireplace while others can handle something larger.

The Advantages of Outdoor Fireplaces

It’s easy to see how cozy an outdoor fireplace can make your space. By adding a fire element to your outdoor landscape, you can extend the length of time you’re happy while outdoors. Because you can add warmth to a colder evening, you might venture outside more often in the cooler autumn and even winter months.

Other advantages might not be so immediately apparent, but they’re nonetheless important. You’ll not only be creating an ambiance that makes entertaining more fun, but you can also increase the value of your home.

Regardless of which outdoor fireplace is best for you, we’re adept at helping homeowners create outdoor spaces they enjoy year-round. Give us a call and let us show you how beautiful your outdoor space can be.

The Difference Between Stamped Concrete and Stained Concrete

stamped concrete olathe

Have you ever taken a good look at the foundation of your outdoor living space? The ground under your feet on your patio or deck isn’t just your lawn—it’s a foundation built of material like wood, stone, or concrete.

Concrete foundations offer particular advantages. They can last longer than wood and they withstand weather well. And, because concrete is poured, it can be designed in a way that enhances the overall aesthetic of your space.

But concrete isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision. It can be colored (stained) or stamped to create a look you love. Keep reading to learn a few of the differences between stained and stamped concrete.

What Is Stamped Concrete?

Stamped concrete is concrete that is poured and patterned to create an entirely different look. Stamping concrete allows you to emulate the look of brick, stone, slate, tile—and countless other options. It’s common to stamp concrete for patios, decks, sidewalks, and driveways.

The process of stamping concrete is akin to using a cookie cutter to make shaped cookies in that the concrete is stamped in a way that markings are left in/on the concrete so that as it dries, the markings and indentations become permanent. This is how a landscaping company can turn a smooth slab of concrete into a surface that looks like brick, for example; rather than creating the surface brick by brick, one pour is stamped to look like brick.

What Is Stained Concrete?

Stained concrete is concrete that has been tinted to another color. Think of it as wood stain but for concrete—it can be opaque or translucent, shiny or matte, monotone or ombre. Staining concrete can turn a space from industrial-looking to sleek or homey, depending on the colors and finishes selected.

The Advantages of Stamped Concrete

Adding stamped concrete to your outdoor space increases your design options. No longer are you limited to a plain foundation slab; now you can build something that looks like natural stone but has the durability of concrete.

One advantage of opting for stamped concrete is budget. Because stamped concrete can last longer and is easier to maintain than natural elements, it requires less money as it ages. And, unlike wood, it doesn’t need to be replaced as often. Another advantage is maintenance. Stamped concrete can require less upkeep than stone or other natural elements.

The Advantages of Stained Concrete

More and more people are opting for stained concrete because it can combine the best of both worlds: economical durability and creative license. The colors concrete can be stained are limitless, which means design options are plentiful. And, depending on how much work and detail you want your space to have, a stained concrete foundation can be a work of art in and of itself.

No matter which option you find most interesting, it’s always a good idea to discuss your plans, budget, and timeline with an experienced landscaper. We’re here and eager to help when you’re ready.

5 Olathe Landscaping Trends to Pay Attention to in 2017

Winter is here, but it’s about to be long gone. We may have a few more snows here and there, but the frost will be an afterthought in a month or two. Soon the sun will shine down, and spring will be here. I don’t know about you, but that excites me. When spring has sprung, it’s time for landscaping fun.

Now, you already know your landscaping and gardening efforts should have been taken care of before you the first frost hit in the winter. Preparation is essential, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Nope! It’s time to talk about some Olathe landscaping trends in 2017.

Olathe Landscaping Trends to Pay Attention to in 2017

It’s time to talk about what all the “cool” gardeners are going to be doing this year. It’s time to talk about what will be in your garden in 2017. Here are five landscaping trends to pay attention to:

  • Your Home is Your Garden

Times have changed. Back in the day, only old cooks used to keep a ton of plants in their house. Indoor gardens just weren’t that cool. Nowadays, it’s completely different. Many of the popular landscaping mechanisms call for your outdoor garden to seamlessly flow into the inside of your home. Having a lot of plants inside your home is definitely popular in 2017.

  • Edible Landscapes

One trend for the coming year is incorporating edible trees and plants into your whole landscape – not just in the garden. These blended views not only look great, but they taste awesome, too. Try adding a few fruit trees throughout your landscape to start.

  • Quality is Key

While price is always important, Olathe landscaping is like a lot of things: you get what you pay for. Using higher quality stones, mulches, and materials will always pay off down the road. You don’t want to undertake a massive landscaping project with low-quality materials that break down after five years. That’s just a waste of time and money.

  • Water Features

While water features have never gone out of style, there seems to be a spike in their popularity these days. Water features are being added to Olathe landscaping more than ever, but nowadays these features are becoming a focal point of the lawn – not an add-on. Fountains, streams, waterfalls, fish ponds, and more are all exceptionally popular, especially as spring rolls in.

  • Outdoor Living Spaces

This one shouldn’t surprise anyone. We’ve been talking about the popularity of outdoor kitchens for awhile now. Outdoor living is excellent, and each year, more families are coming around to the idea of incorporating living areas into their Olathe landscaping. We’ve yet to meet a family that didn’t love spending time in their new outside space once completed!