7 Ways To Landscape Your Outdoor Entertaining Area For Summer
If you think “Australian Summer” or “Australian Way of Life”, some things that might come to mind include summer barbecues, backyard parties, dips in the pool and all other forms of outdoor entertaining.
It’s no surprise either, especially since we have the perfect recipe of warm weather, a love of food and drinking, and a relaxed laissez faire social approach to life.
All that is required to complete the picture is the perfectly landscaped outdoor entertaining area.
So if your alfresco area needs a little something to jazz it up, our article outlines seven ways you can landscape your outdoor entertaining area for summer.
Maintaining the lawn
Aside from the aesthetic benefits of a well-maintained lawn, a good quality lawn also reduces the local ambient temperature of your backyard, keeping you cooler during the hot summer months and providing everyone (including kids) a chilled place to play. There are a few simple steps you can take to promote the growth in your lawn and keep it looking healthy. These include:
- Aerating your lawn: Regularly use an aerator machine and push the spikes into your lawn every 30 centimetres to create crevices in the soil for water and nutrients to enter the roots of the lawn quickly and more effectively.
- Add fertiliser: Nourish your lawn with quality fertiliser to keep it looking lush and green. Simply attach some organic fertiliser to your hose and spray evenly across your lawn.
- Apply a lawn builder and wetting agent: Along with maintaining an already established lawn, adding a lawn builder helps to promote new growth. Spread the mix evenly into the soil and if your soil seems to be repelling water, add a wetting agent too.
- Water your lawn: Watering your lawn correctly in the summer months is an absolute prerequisite in maintaining its health and lusciousness. We recommend watering your lawn first thing in the morning and giving it a deep watering to allow the roots of the grass to set deeper. This will protect your lawn from the scorching Australian summer heat. If you want to learn more on how to protect your garden through the summer, check out this blog.
Sowing low-maintenance, attractive plants
Now that your lawn is luscious and green, the next order of business is choosing and planting a selection of flora that will beautify your yard. We recommend sowing attractive plants that are low-maintenance so that you can enjoy your outdoor entertaining area instead of spending all your hours of the day maintaining it. Here are a few simple (and beautiful) plants you can consider planting:
- Aloe Vera: The aloe plant boasts vibrant green leaves and is best known for its medicinal properties. Being part of the succulent family it requires very little water and lots of sunlight: an ideal combination for hot Australian summers. It’s also handy to have in your garden to treat sunburn.
- Snake Plant: With long, deep green leaves and yellow stripes throughout, the Snake Plant is the perfect plant for the forgetful because even through weeks of neglect, it continues to grow and keep its lusciousness.
- Bromeliad: One of the most resilient plants on the market, bromeliads are adaptable to different climates and add an instant tropical feel to your outdoor space. With thick, light green leaves, bromeliad’s have a beautiful bright flower in the centre, instantly transforming the space with colour and vibrancy.
- Bird of Paradise: Much like barbecues and backyard parties are synonymous to Australian culture, birds of paradise plants are synonymous to an Australian garden. Blooming all year round, their unusual bright orange and blue bird-like flower makes a statement addition to any Aussie backyard.
Installing the right pavers
Installing the right pavers can literally transform your outdoor entertaining area. Whether you want to get creative with multiple colours and textures, or you want to keep it simple and elegant, the right paving can bring the entire area together. Whether you lay the paving in a basket weave, running bond or herringbone pattern: the options are truly limitless! Here are a few ideas you might want to consider:
- Flagstone and pebbles: Do you like the look of big pavers? You can install large granite pavers throughout your backyard and fill the gaps with garden pebbles to create a natural, laid-back ambience.
- Bluestone: If you want your paving to compliment the aesthetic of your modern home, bluestone pavers – with their sleek and strong appeal – are an ideal solution.
- Charcoal hues: Grampian limestone pavers make a timeless pavement to any alfresco area. With beautiful, and unique, veining throughout, they blend smoothly with the natural surrounds of your home and garden. Whether you choose one colour palette, or to mix a few of them in your paving, Oyster limestone pavers will stand the test of time with both strength and style.
- Stone and grass: Create separate areas between the different sections of the backyard with Melba Limestone stepping stones. Their olive grey colouring blends easily with all landscaping and looks especially good paired with bright green artificial turf planted between the steps.
- Marble: If you’re a fan of a slight-sparkle underfoot, look no further than marble pavers. Known for their beauty, sophistication and tremendous durability, marble’s interlocking mosaic of minute crystals adds an unmistakable luxury to any space.
Adding a water feature
Adding a water feature is one of the easiest ways to boost your outdoor space with tranquility, interest and ambience. This focal point additionally has a cooling effect for everyone who gets to enjoy it: from kids, adults and even local birds, insects and animals. Some ideas for water features include:
- Water wall: Stainless steel water walls are best suited to modern spaces, creating a moving surface and cooling element. As there is little water involved, they are easy to maintain.
- Raised pond: A raised pond with a spilling urn is a classic way to add a focal point to your outdoor space. Add ambiance by creating a living ecosystem by adding fish and aquatic plants to your pond. This helps keep the water fresh and reduce the infestation of mosquito larvae.
- Articulture feature: Installing a modern sculpture that is also a water feature can become the talking point at your next backyard barbecue. From intimate tabletop fountains to larger scale pieces, use these to draw the viewer into quiet contemplation and relaxation.
- Bronze: Complete your garden landscape by adding a simple bronze fountain of the god – Pan. Combined with a dramatic pear tree and a well maintained lawn, your garden landscape will become the perfect place for guests and family to enjoy.
Installing the right lighting
Lighting can make or break your outdoor space, so it pays to plan it out with care and detail. When done right, lighting enhances and extends the usability of your space while simultaneously setting an appropriate mood and ambience. Some ideas for lighting your backyard include:
- Spike lights: Much like spotlights, spike lights are best used for illuminating trees, statues and garden features. For optimum results, angle the light in such a way that it reflects into the foliage.
- Bollard lights: These small, bronze, machined fittings can be blended amongst plants and used to light the way along pathways.
- Hanging lights: Much like Christmas lights, these string of lights add an element of magic to your backyard. Whether you hang them on the pergola, trees, or along a wall, your backyard will instantly transform into a wonderful wonderland.
- Wall lights: Installing overhead lighting directly above a dining table can be create a harsh effect. Instead, use wall lights to add ambiance to your backyard dining table from the outside in.
Creating an outdoor kitchen
The one thing that is more satisfying than eating outdoors is preparing your food outdoors too. Use these outdoor kitchen ideas to create the ideal cooking space in your backyard or construct an outdoor kitchen from one of these ideas below:
- Rustic outdoor kitchen: Perfect for a property with a more traditional aesthetic, building a shabby-chic kitchen using whitewashed wall cladding is an ideal pairing for natural stone floors.
- Minimalist smoker: If you have a small space to work with, installing a minimalist outdoor kitchen means less fuss from a maintenance perspective and top-notch style, from an aesthetics perspective. Spice things up by adding a ceramic smoker and replacing your sink and tap with a water dispenser.
- Clay pizza oven: Pizza is – more often than not – a people’s favourite choice of food. So why not give yourself (and everyone you entertain) something worth talking about by installing a clay pizza oven. Additionally, a pizza oven gives warmth during the cooler summer nights and creates a beautiful golden glow too for your garden.
- Prep station with pergola: Installing an open pergola over your kitchen area, not only adds a touch of luxury to it but is also a good way to really complete the area. Add some ambiance with a few lanterns off the side and voila – your outdoor kitchen is good to go!
If you want more ideas for an outdoor kitchen, read our complete outdoor kitchen guide to learn everything you need to know about designing and landscaping the ideal backyard space for you.
Adding the best furniture
Bring your outdoor space together by investing in quality outdoor furniture. Here we suggest considering how often you’ll be using your outdoor space and the type of entertaining you will be doing. Suitable options to consider include:
- Modular sofa: If you are consistently switching between inviting guests and hanging out as a family, a modular sofa – coupled with a few side tables – is an ideal item to transition between the two.
- Extension dining table: If your outdoor dining space is limited, an extension table is the best solution because it keeps the space compact and practical. Alternatively, you could invest in two smaller tables and push them together when necessary.
- Cafe table: Create a “breakfast patio” feel by adding some French-style cafe chairs and a stone table.
- Patio fire bowl: Turn up the heat on a cool summer night with a relaxed seating area around a stone fire bowl.
There you have it: 7 summer landscaping tips to bring your outdoor area to life!
In case you have any questions or need some help with choosing the best pavers for your landscaping, reach out to our natural stone experts online, call us at 1300 560 560 or visit our Sydney showroom in Glebe.
We have helped thousands of home owners bring their backyard to life for an Australian summer and we would love to help you too!