Embrace the warm temperatures and carefree days of summer by lounging with your loved ones in a charmed backyard. The following eight landscaping design tips will not only help create a captivating space for a summertime soiree, but make the earth happy, as well:
Lights & Lanterns
Mood greatly affects an alfresco dreamscape. Once the sun sets, illuminuate your backyard with hanging lanterns from a tree canopy or string lights draped along the patio. Multicolored solar Hummingbird LED lights by Target can turn an ordinary outdoor environment into a magical entertainment space. Bambeco also offers Solar Tea Lanterns, Soji Solar Lanterns and Jetson Solar String Lights that are sustainable and stylish.
Complement your eco-friendly landscape with sustainable outdoor furniture where your guests can lounge and relax. Crate and Barrel’s eco-friendly outdoor living collections are crafted with environmentally conscious materials. The Regatta teak collection meets the requirements of TFT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to responsible forest management, and the Arbor collection has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. For a bit of picnic flair, adorn a wooden patio table with a recycled soup can caddy. Tie and knot jute around the soup cans and fill them with napkins, cutlery and barbecue condiments.
Along with colorful flower beds and a brick hardscape, a repurposed ladder can embellish your backyard as charming vintage decor. Use eco-friendly panel material for shelving, and paint the ladder an earthy hue. Kirei specializes in sustainable wood substitutes, including renewable wheatboard and bamboo. Benjamin Moore offers Green Promise® Paints with low or no VOCs. For foliage, twist vine throughout the ladder and accent the ladder with potted native plants. Native plants are easy to maintain, more durable and can fight off pests and diseases.
Design your alfresco retreat for friends and family with a stunning poolscape. A pool may be a refreshing escape or just a water feature accessorizing the backyard patio. Whether your guests take a dip in your pool to cool off or admire it as aquatic decor, green your pool with a variable speed pool pump. A variable speed pump can provide up to 80 percent energy savings, compared to single-speed pumps, according to In The Swim.
A fire pit creates a cozy outdoor ambience and serves as the centerpiece of your backyard. It’s where you and your guests gather to make s’mores and sip on Moscow Mules. Create a rustic campfire with a natural gas or clean-burning bioethanol fire pit. Log alternatives made from renewable resources, such as non-petroleum natural wax and recycled sawdust, can also green your landscape.
Xeriscaping focuses on water-conservation techniques and creative landscaping for less frequent and more efficient watering. A xeriscape sustains the heart of your landscape — its plants, gardens, shrubs, and trees — using minimal maintenance and no fertilizers or pesticides. With compost mulch and soil, native plants and a drip-irrigation system, you can achieve a stylish xeriscape and water-efficient environment.
Organic Mulch & Soil
As an influential part of xeriscaping, organic mulch conserves soil moisture and temperature. It also prevents erosion and weeds from growing. Adding compost or organic materials to soil also provides nutrients and improves the quality of your lawn. “Healthy soil nurtures healthy plants,” assets Better Homes and Gardens.
Rain Barrel System
Save water by watering your lawn and plants with recycled rainwater collected from your roof. You can collect 300 gallons of water for every half inch of rain that falls on a 1,000 square foot roof, according to Gardeners.com. Harvested rainwater is also naturally soft and chlorine-free. Estimate how much rainwater you can collect in a rain barrel using the calculator on Gardeners.com and also learn how to build your own rain-harvesting system.