It is human nature to desire a place to retreat, somewhere we can rest, unplug, and be at peace… a place of privacy and quiet so we can refuel and collect our thoughts or even luxuriate in keeping your mind blank! As it happens the importance of relaxation in our increasingly challenging high-stress world cannot be overstated. Many illnesses in fact can be linked back to stress & if we wait for our vacations to come around we could end up too stressed out to enjoy our daily lives! This is where the importance of a multi-purpose and welcoming landscape offering areas of retreat, relaxation and congregation becomes crucial.
Most of us can’t afford the time or expense to travel and stay at a luxury hotel more often. What if we can use open spaces & create a relaxing retreat out of it? With the right kind of designs, you can even transform your backyard into a private retreat. After a long day cooped up in the busy office it can be your private haven to unwind peacefully in the fresh air!
Or maybe you can go on vacation in your own backyard by creating a complete outdoor living oasis with everything you would need for hours of outdoor activity. You can start by taking into account the needs and desires of your family to determine the right design approach for your personal retreat. If children are involved then consider their friends as well as an entertaining space for the adults. Once the scale and scope of the project are determined, let’s consider the elements that will have to be included.
Define your theme or concept, and then pick your organic and inorganic earth elements to successfully achieve your goals. Your backyard retreat need not be restricted by the style of your homes architecture or the neighborhood. If you want a tropical or Mediterranean feel in your landscape, use your ‘Earth’ element choices to achieve your goals. For example, choose plants with large, loose, colorful and informal foliage & unique paving stones to complete the style. Large pots and urns filled with exotic oversized annuals can be used throughout.
An outdoor fireplace will create a gathering location and define a significant architectural element in your retreat. Be it for the warmth on a chilly evening, a meal on the grill, or the visual attraction of flames and glowing coals, a fire is bound to enrich your space. Designs & products have vastly expanded the opportunities and characteristic of fire elements in the landscape. Creative stand alone fire pits and unique gas flame features have become the recent trends. A built in fireplace or a portable fire pit – the choices are extensive!
Water has many possibilities in design. A bubbling fountain, a naturalistic pond or a swimming pool can add to the charm of your space. If it is a stand-alone fountain you prefer there are innumerable possibilities -From old world European to modern contemporary style, they can become a sculptural accent in any open space! A naturalistic pond with waterfalls reminiscent of a country creek with fish and water plantings of all sorts is also an option to make your retreat more beautiful. As for a swimming pool, it can provide an attractive and active central water feature to build your entire backyard retreat around. Design your pool to accommodate both your practical uses and style preferences. A pool can also serve as a place for your family & friends togather.