Style Abounds in the Outdoor Living Area

Today’s trendiest patios allow people to cook, relax and, in some cases, even watch television under the stars.

It’s not unusual to see firepits and fireplaces mixed into the arrangement, as well. They’re ideal for those nights where it’s chilly and company is staying late.

“People are also transforming their backyards with outdoor kitchen areas and barbecue areas,” says Velma Powers, a landscape designer with Foracres Landscape Group, in St. Charles.

One amenity that’s sure to make the imagination wander is a water feature. That signature sound of water trickling down a bed of rocks creates a calming and soothing atmosphere.

Putting together a luxurious outdoor living space is sort of like decorating indoors. It depends on your available space and your budget, but it also requires a careful eye for detail.

Professional landscapers can help to plan and install a new hardscape – that is, pavers, stones and other elements that comprise the outdoor living space. They also have an eye for plantings and well-placed accents like patio furniture, an outdoor rug, outdoor pillows and stylish container gardens that add both color and interest to your outdoor lounge.

Container gardens add a burst of color and a softening effect around the patio. Well-placed plantings off the patio help to further soften the scenery, and they add bright, vibrant colors.
This time of year, hyndrangea shrubs boast plenty of can’t-miss color. These big, spreading plants produce beautiful hues like baby blue, bright pink and lavender.

They’re especially loved for their oversized flowers, and they have a long bloom cycle.
Redbuds add plenty of atmosphere this time of year, but their real strength is early springtime, when their light-violet blooms stand out in the landscape.

“That’s a tree that everyone seems to notice,” Powers says. “The flowers emerge before the leaves unfurl, so all of the branches are covered with pink and purple flowers.” ❚

Foracres Landscape Group is located at 48W060 Ill. Rt. 38, in Maple Park, (630) 365-2644.