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October 27, 2017 3:55 pm

Enjoying the Outdoors

Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 6:45 AM

A Prince George summer season tends to be a short season and so we want the get the most out of it by spending most of our time outdoors.

This is why it is important to make sure the yard and garden become part of our outdoor living space. An under-used yard means that you are losing out on the opportunity for more living space. Many landscapes are becoming outdoor living spaces and are an extension of the indoors. You can create different areas or rooms for different uses, and also create the illusion of a larger landscape.

Spaces can be tied together with a garden path that winds through the different areas. Paths can be as informal mulch or decorative stone, or as formal as paving stones, depending on the style you are trying to create. Rooms can be created by structures such as screens, trellis, picket fence, etc, or by a hedge of plants, such as cedars, grasses, shrubs or a combination of plants. The idea is to stop the eye from seeing into the next space. Each space can be centred on a different theme or colour, so as you turn the corner, you are seeing something new.

When creating an outdoor living space, think about seating. Whether this means a well placed bench, a tucked away bistro set, or a full set of good quality patio furniture, seating welcomes you and invites to you to stay.

Benches are an easy way to add seating to the yard. They come in a variety of material, and can also add to the look of your garden with colour or other design features, and are small enough to easily fit into smaller spaces.

A small bistro set is a great addition to the garden. These sets often come with two chairs and a small table. They are a great place to sit and enjoy a morning cup of coffee as you read the paper, or just to sit and enjoy the garden. Bistro sets come in a wide array of colours and many come with colourful printed cushions adding to the landscape and are small enough for those small areas.

If you really want to be able to sit and enjoy your garden, invest in a good quality patio set that can be enjoyed for years to come. Whether it is a table and chair set, or a cushioned sofa and chair seating arrangement, comfortable seating says ‘come in, sit back and stay awhile’. It is a great way to entertain friends or just to enjoy a relaxing afternoon outdoors!

Wherever your main seating area is, make sure you like the view. If you have neighbours close by, you don’t want to be staring directly into their yard. Also pay attention to what areas of the yard receive sun and when: in the heat of the afternoon you will appreciate your seating in a bit of shade. Also try to place water features or garden decor in areas where it will easily be seen and enjoyed from the seating area.

Adding a water feature to an outdoor space adds another new level to the garden. Whether it is a large fountain, small pond, bird bath, or tabletop fountain, the soft soothing sounds of water add to the overall feel and look of the garden. A water feature can be as simple or complex as you would like, and can easily fit into any size of garden.

There is a number of different ways that we can make the outdoors a great space to spend time, so make the most of your yard by creating a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor living space and enjoy your summer!


Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George:

  • Highway 16 West at  Kimball Road
  • Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road


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