Extending Your Living Space

Extending Your Living Space
Your yard can become an extension of your living space. When thinking about enhancing your view, first think what the boundaries are and do you like them? Boundaries are intricately linked to views. Look out each window and consider what meets the eye. Does it do justice to your interior and your sense of aesthetic value? If it is a solid but ugly boundary such as a wall or a sturdy fence then it can be altered, using some imagination, into something more inspiring.

I spend much of the warm months in Kelowna working in my yard and enjoying all the views and privacy that my landscape provides me. Recently I had a few large trees pruned in my yard, branches cut away from roof etc. nothing major. Much to my surprise I came home and found that a mistake had been made and a major part of my tree was removed altering my landscape and privacy significantly. My first thought was to build a taller fence but as the winter months have progressed I find myself ready for the challenge of creating a new landscape plan that will once again provide me aesthetically enhanced views.

Whether you’re facing a big challenge of redesigning landscape or simply making a few changes below are some important factors to consider.

Traditional Landscape by San Francisco Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Sally Stoik Landscape Architect
1. Know your yard

How much sun or shade does it receive? What type of soil do you have?

2. Think about Themes

When deciding on a theme for your yard, a good place to start is looking at the architecture of your home. Try to compliment the lines and style of your home; after all, your yard is an extension of your home. Themes can also help you in plant selection and hardscape. Do you want a landscape to include only specific colors? Questions like these will help you choose a unified theme for your garden.

3. Make your plants work for you

Correctly placed plants can alter views, temperature and sun exposure. Views change as the viewer walks through the space. Decide where the view you wish to enhance will be seen from. Will it be seen from a single position or change as the viewer moves throughout the landscape? And position outdoor furniture to take advantage of a view.

Traditional Landscape by Portland Landscape Contractors Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
4. Structure your plantings

Consider the various visual levels and spatial characteristics of plants. This includes size, height and form. For instance, ground level plants have different characteristics than tall trees. Ground to knee level plants can restrict movement through the landscape while permitting views into the landscape or beyond. Any plant higher than six feet restricts views at eye level while taller plants can partially or completely obstruct views. Repeating similar patterns in your garden to give you a unified look. 

5. Think about the Future

Take into account how time will affect your landscape plants. Make sure you provide your plants with enough room to reach their mature size. By using contrasting shapes, textures, sizes and colors you will enhance your outdoor living space.

Happy Gardening!

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest for other help tips and hints.


Guest post by Jodi - Bylands Account Representative


Outside of work I spend time with my family, playing golf in the beautiful Okanagan, practicing yoga and of course gardening.  I like to plant annual and perennial containers. The 2012 growing season was my first year with a vegetable garden.  I am really looking forward to 2014!


Photo Credit: Houzz