In a climate with so many extremes of temperature and weather, it makes sense to have several different areas throughout a property that take advantage of the best the day or evening has to offer.
At our house, we have individual patios or porches on three sides of the house. These provide varying spots to catch the sunrise or the sunset, a place to take advantage of the warming sun, or a place to get out of it and hide in the cool shade. While one is large enough for twelve or more to dine, another one is just large enough for two chairs. Each garden has a patio space adjacent to it where we can enjoy the color and fragrance of the flowers when they are at their best. I can sit and look down the driveway if I am awaiting company, or hide around the corner so no one can see me if I need some ‘alone time’.
Each sitting area has some type of site furnishings (and I have to say none of them match, but that’s okay as well!); seating and a side table to hold a cup of coffee and the newspaper or my current book. Proximity to the barbeque is also important; as I like to watch Adam as he cooks a gourmet dinner! If you have a pond, pool or spa, it’s very important to have a nearby seating area so you are comfortable as you put in the many hours spent supervising the kids around the water.
Versatility…that’s what we want to have in each individual landscape. It has to accommodate every occasion, every group of visitors and as many types of weather as possible. Especially at the fringes of our too short outdoor season; when every glimpse of the sun is worthy of celebration. Here’s hoping we get some sunshine soon!