Landscape Fun Fact of the Day:
Of the reasons people work with Rolling Acres, approximately 90% of them are related to creating or revising their outdoor living space. Of these clients, around 18% include a pool or spa in their design plans; 11% include an outdoor kitchen; 22% include a fire pit or fireplace; 14% include a shade structure; 23% want multiple features, and 12% want only the patio or deck space.
The idea of “Outdoor Living” is relatively new; the backyard, certainly is not. If you had the right amount of land adjoining your property in the late 1800’s you were using it for growing various vegetables, fruits and other kitchen ingredients such as lavender and thyme. You might also be using that space for raising livestock. Also, don’t forget that your outhouse would have been back there as well.
So how did we get to where we are today and where does that leave us with the current backyard space?
The modern-day backyard can be traced to the post WW2 boom. Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System of the mid 1950’s would change the landscape of the U.S. forever. A total of 47,856 miles of highway were created and nearly 60 years later, about ¼ of all vehicle miles driven in the U.S. are on these roads. Additionally, soldiers coming home from the war were given financial boosts by the government to start businesses, go to school to learn a trade or get a degree, and to buy homes in the new suburbs that were popping up. Also, advances in food preparation and storage, as well as the rising popularity of grocery stores, meant that not growing your own vegetables or caring for your own livestock was becoming more of the standard. So, what to do with all this space?
How about some leisure and relaxation in the comfort of your own home (or right outside of your own home, for our matter)?
The deck and the patio were the first to join the club. Swimming pools were soon to follow. Open brazier grills were also getting popular, but original versions would often burn the meat without cooking it, and a windy day would send ashes flying. It wasn’t until the 1960’s when the previously invented domed Weber grill switched the design to use propane instead of charcoal, that the popularity of outdoor grilling at home really took off.
So, what is the deal with Outdoor Living?
Well, the simple answer is having any or all of these features available to your use in outside spaces on your property. And in this day and age, people are doing anything and everything they could ever want with them. The aforementioned decks and patios are still the main focus as they constitute the gathering space. But, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, pools, water features, and so many other features serve as essential additions to how people use their space.
When a landscape designer can take their clients end goal, and combine it with their own visions of the flow of the individual spaces, the various materials, the landscape plantings, proper drainage, and even lighting, it’s nothing short of the most original piece of art one could ask for. And that is what we’re seeing with today’s outdoor living spaces.
In the ever-rising popularity of the outdoor living spaces, different design styles and material trends have taken a foothold. I’ll breakdown these different styles and options in the blog titled “Here, There, and Everywhere”.