Preparing An Outdoor Living Space In Winter

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Winter months can be hard on your property. This of course extends to your outdoor living space, an area of your home that you lovingly attended to when the weather outside is sunny and warm. But now that the colder weather has descended on your property, what is to be done with that patio, deck, and general outdoor living area?

If you spend a lot of time using your outdoor living space, winter is probably your least favorite time of year. The colder weather can present challenges for outside use, and keeping your plants and furniture in good condition is also a challenge. But never fear – we’re here to help you with a few suggestions.
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Heating

Heating is the most crucial element for any outdoor living space in the winter. If you don’t keep your space warm, then it’s going to be hard to spend quality time out there. Wood burning or gas fire pits always make a great hit. They can double as both a heating device and a great patio centerpiece.

For a smaller outdoor space, you may want to invest in an electric patio heater or gas heater. They put out a lot of heat without needing a lot of room. These are a few we like and are available in New Zealand.

www.mitre10.co.nz
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Plants

Plants are one of the easiest ways to add color to the outdoor  living space, but they can also be some of the most fragile items out there. Winter and its freezing temperatures make these sensitive plants susceptible to damage.

If you have plants that can be easily transplanted and have space indoors, try moving them out of the cold before you get your first freeze. Use a heavily insulated material to wrap any outdoor planters that are too big to bring inside. This will help keep their roots warm during the cooler months.
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Cover your outdoor furniture, kitchen, or water feature

All summer long you have enjoyed your outdoor living space, and you have invested time and money into a lot of the items.  The weather in winter is one of the hardest times of the year on them. The moisture and temperatures can bring a whole host of problems. Use heavy-duty vinyl covers on your fountains and grills to keep them dry and protect them from the weather.  Water-resistant covers should be used to cover your outdoor furniture. Remove any cushions and store them inside for the wet weather.
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Lighting

Lighting is essential when preparing your outdoor living space for winter. The long cold days offer the least amount of daylight of any time of the year. Hence the need for good lighting. You will enjoy the feeling of warmth and safety with some outdoor light fixtures. These are a few available locally, and some of the lighting doesn’t even need to be professionally installed.

www.bunnings.co.nz
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Garden Design and construction is our specialty, and we love the idea of entertainment areas with a fire pit and built-in seating. We enjoy working with stone to build outdoor kitchens and look forward to any ideas you may want to create. Have a browse of some of our work here.

These four tips are easy to do and will help you get through the winter with ease. Remember, if you need any help designing an outdoor space or would like some ideas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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A Landscape Gardeners Top 5 Outdoor Living Ideas

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A landscape gardeners top 5 outdoor living ideasThis might be a surprise to some, but as landscape gardeners we think about more than just the garden! We are always considering living flow, how the house and garden meet and merge, and detailed elements around how good landscaping can create an improved living area and a better home environment.

Though this is a time of year when a lot of us are snuggled up inside escaping the cold, as the days grow longer and we start to get some warmer weather it is a great time to start thinking about dinners outside with the family and outdoor entertaining. Read on below for the top 5 outdoor living ideas from your local landscape gardeners.

  • A good sized patio with inside-outside flow
    If you’re going to be enjoying outside living, you need a good-sized area to do so. While it can be easy to develop a suitable area or expand on your current patio it is essential that the living flow has been thought about. You don’t want to be carrying food and drinks half-way across the house, and you want guests who need to retire inside to be able to still feel central to the entertaining area.
  • An outdoor fireplace
    We wrote about these in another article. Outdoor fireplaces are fantastic for more than heat: you can cook on them, melt marshmallows with the children, or just enjoy the warm glow with a glass of your favourite (Hawke’s Bay) red wine. You can read more about the advantages of an outdoor fireplace here.
  • Mood lighting on the patio
    As the sun dips and it moves into evening, lights that enable a nice transition into nighttime are ideal. Rather than choose between “moodily dark” and “blindingly light”, having the option to either change lighting as the night progresses, or dim lighting and slowly increase the brightness, creates the perfect atmosphere all evening long.
  • Light up your garden
    Your garden looks amazing (if it doesn’t, you can always contact us for a free consultation). Lights placed throughout your garden make the evening special by adding color, dimension and depth. There are a rnage of options from modern solar lights through to installed electric LED lighting. We can help you decide what is best for your garden.
  • Add a unique canopy
    While the image at the top of this post is from an urban setting in Japan, we hope this photo lets you see how much a canopy can be tailored to look great and protect from the elements – sheltering from the harsh sun in Summer yet still allowing good light and an “open” feel with views of the sky.

We hope this list gets your imagination fired up and you can start brainstorming some great outdoor living ideas for your home. You can see more images and ideas here.

Need help? Want some inspiration from professional landscape gardeners? We’d love to come and see you for a free consultation. Email us through the contact form or give Charlotte a call today.
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Advantage of an Outdoor Fireplace

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Outdoor Fireplace | Landscape Design | Espaso Verde

An outdoor fireplace can make a great addition to any patio. They have many benefits that you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime.

  • They’re great when entertaining
    Whether your friends or family sit around the fireplace discussing the latest life events or you roast marshmallows in it, outdoor fireplaces add charm and comfort to your parties. Make sure you keep everyone safe by adding an outside door or free standing screen.
  • Use your patio all year long
    Your patio doesn’t have to stop being a hive of activity just because it’s getting cold. Outdoor fireplaces are an excellent source of heat and make it possible to enjoy your patio all year round.
  • Forget the BBQ 
    Use your outdoor fireplaces to roast sausages, bake potatoes, melt marshmallows or prepare s’mores. It’s a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained on a chilly winter day.
  • Get romantic
    Fireplaces can create a romantic atmosphere. So if you’re looking to spend time with your loved one, have dinner and cuddle up by the fire to watch the stars, the ambiance of an open fire is an ideal way to accomplish this warm feeling.
  • Increase your value
    An outdoor fireplace can add value to your home and increase its appeal for a potential buyer.

Outdoor fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any patio or outdoor living area, and can be gas or wood burners depending on your preference. Visit our Pinterest page for inspiration and don’t forget to call us if you’d like an outdoor fireplace in your garden.
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