Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Winter Landscaping Ideas

Winter generally signifies snow and barren landscapes, where trees have lost their leaves and there are often no greens and blooms in the area. While this might sound boring and pretty drab, it is possible to change the tides and make your outdoors really beautiful and picturesque, even in winters. However, in order to achieve true beauty during these frosty months, it is important to plan and plant ahead. Here are some simple ideas, which when implemented with proper planning, will ensure that your outdoors is beautiful throughout the winter:
·         Evergreen trees: One of the most prominent and perfect ways to ensure a better and more beautiful outdoors during winter is through the presence of evergreen trees. These trees actually withstand the onslaught of the frosty months and provide the most important green color that looks extremely beautiful against the white backdrop of snow. In addition to providing beauty, these trees, when planted properly, can even block the winter winds, thus ensuring that you save on your heating bills.
·         Colorful berries, flowers and conifers: Another important ingredient of any winter landscaping is the colorful berry shrubs and conifers that you can plant. These will provide the necessary bright colors, including those like red and gold, which will enhance the beauty of the pristine environment. Additionally, when planting conifers, you can mix different shapes of cones, which will again add to the beauty of your outdoors. There are several kinds of floral bushes that thrive in the winter months, including those like poinsettias, Iceland poppies etc, from which you can take your pick to add color and vibrancy to the entire outdoor landscape. In addition, there are several others, which grow all year round, such as azaleas, proteas, acacias and camellias. Planning your winter garden well in advance by incorporating these in your regular landscaping will ensure that your garden is in full bloom when the frosty months come calling upon you.
·         Using snow to your advantage: If you live in a place where there is lots of snow, you can definitely use it to your advantage. While the ubiquitous snowman is definitely a possibility, you can actually add a touch of elegance and structure to make it a wonderful centerpiece of your outdoors. Creating snow sculptures of different types and shapes will definitely add to the beauty. Placing them at strategic points will also add to their allure. However, before indulging in these, it is important to plan your landscape and create shapes or structures accordingly that will suit your overall setting. Similarly, you can use ice to build ice castles or even ice globes that will help enhance the beauty of your outdoors. Adding color to the ice while the structure is being formed is yet another idea that can add a touch of color and brightness to your outdoors.
·         Lighting: The winter months are known for the beautiful Christmas lighting that most people use to decorate their homes as well as outdoors. Lights can be used to highlight a beautiful shrub or even a barren bark tree, making the outdoors sparkle and shine. The kind of lighting you use and the way in which you place it will depend on the kind of look you are seeking.

Landscaping ideas for winters are aplenty and all it needs is some ingenuity, creativity and planning and voila! You will have a beautiful garden that reflects your personality in its true sense. Therefore, use these tips as mentioned above to add some color and zing to your winter landscape irrespective of whether it’s bone-freezing cold or just a little chilly.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Garden Fireplace Design Ideas

Fireplaces are extremely beautiful settings, adding both value as well as a touch of elegance to your surroundings. While most people believe that fireplaces are meant for indoors, either in the living room or bed room; designers today are increasingly creating fireplaces that are for outdoors. Just imagine your backyard porch complete with a fireplace coupled with a barbecue or pizza oven and fire pit. Wouldn’t that make the place a completely relaxing getaway? You bet it will. If you are looking for ways to both enhance the beauty and add a touch of elegance to your outdoors, this is definitely the best way. However, despite its obvious value addition, not many are ready to invest in fireplace design ideas, largely due to their lack of awareness regarding what it entails as well as their apprehension with regard to actually constructing such a structure. Here are some simple yet beautiful design ideas, which you can easily create in your backyard:
·         Stone masonry is most common when it comes to creating outdoor fireplaces. The beauty of outdoor fireplaces is that you can actually create it somewhere in your garden or even on the patio. Stone masonry can impart a timeless, beautiful and elegant appeal to the fireplace. One such simple design is creating a stone fireplace in the middle of your garden, where the stones are not merely restricted to the fireplace but continue to pave the flooring, giving it a rustic and traditional feel.
·         Another very interesting design is that of a two way fireplace, somewhere on the south wall of your home, where you have one indoors as well as another outdoors. Being an extension of your home, this structure looks really beautiful, while adding elegance to the setting as well, thanks to the stone exterior. However, if you are someone who does not like exposed brick or stone on the outside, you could always have it painted in the same color as your external walls. Adding some wicker furniture or any other garden furniture will take your entire outdoor look to the next level.
·         Building your fireplace, especially the one outdoors, in a pergola is another way to enhance the beauty of the entire setting. There is no better way to keep the romance in your life flowing than by relaxing in a structure that not only boasts of beauty but will also keep you warm in the fall and winter.
·         Different styles of fireplaces can be adopted depending on the style you want to create in your outdoors. Mediterranean style of fireplaces, fireplaces in white stone, fireplaces near your pool area or even some with water works flowing near it are all designs that are beautiful and can be easily built. Before finalizing a fireplace design, what’s most important is to determine the kind of look you want for your outdoors and the location where you want your fireplace to be. Once these are decided, it is easy to take your pick from several designs and styles that you can find.

The kind of fireplace you want to use for your outdoors is another important decision to be made. This could include good old traditional stone fireplaces or even the more modern and contemporary ones. The decision should solely be based on the kind of exteriors you have and the setting you want to create. It is important to note that fireplaces for outdoors can be built in both small areas as well as larger ones, and irrespective of what your choice is, they can still create a relaxing getaway where you can wash away your blues or host a party.