Gather (Responsibly) in the Great Outdoors

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Now that the sun is starting to shine a bit brighter and warmer days aren't far away, many people are getting their patios and other outdoor spaces ready for use. But before refreshing or upgrading your outdoor space, ponder what you'd like the purpose of the space to be, that way you can narrow down your choices if the idea of an outdoor overhaul seems a bit overwhelming.

If you're looking to entertain small groups outdoors, a fire pit—in-ground or raised—is an ideal way to do so safely and while winding down in the warmer evenings. Pop the cork on a bottle of your favorite local wine and offer some soft throw blankets and pillows in order to crank up the cozy. Soaking up the sights and sounds of your surroundings, whatever they may be, is a sure way to find some zen away from the daily hustle and bustle. Of course, safety first: be sure to research and adhere to local fire pit ordinances.

To top off your new outdoor oasis, get your hands dirty (or not!) with some accompanying landscaping. Not only does greenery spruce up your space aesthetically, but it also could provide some much needed shade on hotter days. If you're not sure where to start, consider consulting with local landscaping experts, such as Harder & Warner, who offer a "We Plan, You Plant" design service. Get all the joy of planting your own flora while being confident that what you're planting and where it's taking root has been meticulously considered.

To get a big bang for your buck, consider planting your own bean arch! Once it starts to grow, you'll have an impressive and decorative garden element—not to mention all the beans your heart desires. All you need is four 5-foot T-posts, cattle panels, zip ties, and obviously, your beans. As the warm weather progresses, you'll enjoy watching the vines climb up the panelling and do their thing!

If you've got your heart set on bringing the outside in, there are plenty of trendy options. Enclosed patio spaces are becoming an increasingly popular option, especially for folks who want to bask in all the natural light of the outdoors without being exposed to the elements or needing bug spray. Take things to the next level by installing some floor to ceiling sliders to really make the transition from indoor to out seamless.

To create your own personal jungle, consider stocking your surfaces with houseplants like the Ficus Altissima, snake plant, ZZ plant, heart fern or Alocasia Polly. For in-depth expert insight and a thoughtfully curated selection of lush options to choose from, visit The Plant Parlor on Wealthy.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.

This article originally appeared in the Apr/May 2021 issue of West Michigan Woman.


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