If you're looking for a way to make your yard shine, there may be an easier solution than you'd expect. While most people focus on greenery in the landscape, adding a different--more unexpected--natural element can spice things up faster than any plant.
What types of “unexpected natural elements,” you may ask? Fire and water.
Why add fire or water to your yard? And how can you do so?
Why Decorate With Fire or Water
Both water and fire in a landscape offer different moods for the people enjoying the yard and for the yard's style. Humans often find that water is soothing and relaxing..both visually and to the ears. Fire, on the other hand, is primal and exciting. It invites people to gather around and spend time huddled together day or night.
In addition to their impact on the mood, both elements can have practical effects on your use of the yard. Depending on how you use these elements, they can help provide new places to play, outdoor entertainment options, and cooking spaces. These new-found features can help you spend more time enjoying your yard and add to the useful square footage of the home.
How to Use Fire
So, if you want to use fire in your yard, how can you go about it? There is a myriad of ways.
One of the easiest is to add a fire pit or some other fiery feature to your entertainment space. If you have a small patio or deck, you could opt for a simple round, gas-fed bowl. Have more space? How about a dramatic fire table to eat around? Looking for a great new backdrop for your outdoor entertaining? Add a large and dramatic fireplace.
Beyond the immediate outdoor entertainment venue, you can decorate with fire by using it as lighting along walkways in the form of torches or hanging lanterns on shepherds' hooks. Even simple candles add a romantic flair to your hardscape. Just be sure to keep it safe around organic or flammable landscaping.
How to Use Water
Water has long been used as a landscape feature, so you have many options. Outdoor fountains come in a variety of styles, from classical Roman to modern geometric designs. Want something a little larger or more relaxing? Install a pond with charming koi fish or work with your landscape specialist to design a small faux creek that runs through your yard.
A swimming pool is always a great way to add water to your backyard, and it can give the space the ultimate makeover. Pools don't have to overpower your yard, as they can be sized as small as a large water feature..but with much more versatility. Add waterfalls or a rain wall to your pool to create a stunning nighttime art display.
Of course, no single water or fire feature can outdo a combination feature. Melding these two polar opposite natural elements gives the best of both worlds and will look great any time of the day or night.
Adding that pool to the yard? Light it up with a series of above-ground fire bowls along the edge. Want a dramatic backdrop for your outdoor dining area? Install a wide, horizontal fire pit or table, then add a cascading water wall behind it. Or, you could custom-design a fire pit that sits atop a lower pool of water for a great focal point.
No matter how you choose to use your fiery and watery elements in the landscape design, the result will surely be stunning. It could reinvigorate the entire yard, drawing you and your guests outside once again.