This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
This walled garden in Wales is a perfect example of a microclimate.

A grape covered arbour creates a tranquil path. Here are the essential elements to

building a living space that transports us into the stress-saving world of the great outdoors.

1. Hardscaping. You need a patio or deck and you need pathways to take you from one place to another in the garden. Think outside the box:


patio, or even the deck, does not need to be attached to the house or the back door. It can be somewhere else in the garden where is gets the morning sun and the evening shade. The products for building such a haven are endlessly interesting: wood, stone, cement, pre- formed bricks, even recycled rubber are all on the market today. A bonus is that hardscaping adds to the aesthet- ic quality of the garden, setting off plants and making them more impor- tant to the eye.

2. Think about microclimates. In Europe you often find south-facing, enclosed areas that act as sun catchers where the temperature will be several degrees higher

than the surround-

ing atmosphere. These areas may be sunken or walled or just shielded by high density plantations of shrubs and evergreens. We should take much more advantage of this in a cold

28 • Spring 2015

The ultimate outdoor room equipped with a fire- place, soft furniture and a roof.

climate such as ours. Not only can you extend the outdoor living season, you can grow a lot of tender plants, including marginal trees and shrubs.

3. The ultra-microclimate. Wheth- er sunken or walled, your courtyard garden can be made even cozier with the addition of a system to warm the floor. It doesn’t have to break the bank for electrical costs, either. Thermal and solar energy can power your little paradise. Think about it – no snow to shovel and with the addition of a fireplace or a patio heater, you could use the space for several more weeks at either end of the season.

4. True outdoor living. Nearly every- one with a back yard has a patio set of table and chairs along with a barbeque these days. But your dining area could be so much more. What about coun- ter and cupboard space with a sink and at the very least, a cold-water tap, although it doesn’t take that much more to have hot water added. What about a small fridge to keep the drinks in? Outdoor kitchens are very popular especially if you have a young family or like to entertain. Of course, you need the patio or deck infrastructure to accommodate your kitchen.

An outdoor kitchen brings cooking outside.

5. Beautiful furniture. If you haven’t been shopping for patio furniture for a while, take another look. There are some totally dreamy pieces on sale at local garden centres and even box stores. Cushions are weather-proof, too, so soft seating is now practical.

6. Creative lighting. New tech- nologies in lighting have taken night gardens to another level. Lighting is a lot less expensive to run now as all fixtures have to be LED, but there are some spectacularly creative light- ing systems available. An inexpensive new product from BlissLights features laser and holographic technology and projects a firefly effect of thousands of pinpoint lights on your house, tree and yard. Just plug them in. A word of caution here – these lights work best when it gets truly dark outside.

7. Gazebos, pergolas and grill- houses. Who doesn’t want a gazebo in the garden so you can enjoy staying outdoors for dinner, even if it rains (not to mention getting away from mosquitoes at dusk)? The latest rage on the market is the garden grill- house, an enclosed structure with a barbecue in the centre that can get you out there even when the snow is

Photo courtesy of Paradise Restored Landscaping.

Photo courtesy of Paradise Restored Landscaping.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40