Tag : lawns
Tag : lawns
When designed thoughtfully, your lawn can function as an open-air room that works as well for lounging and entertaining as it does for play. Grassy areas are a place where kids can kick a ball around, play tag, make a fort, or do somersaults. As with a glade in a forest, a lawn also serves to bring light and air into the property. Design your lawn as a “pool of space”– a continuous surface that is framed, like a swimming pool, by a clear edge. This will turn what seemed like leftover space into a handsome focal area of your landscape.
above • When crisply defined by a path, curb, or metal edging, a panel of lawn creates a geometric open space that provides a handsome frame for the house and a place to play in the front yard.
right • Grass underfoot can serve as a verdant terrace for garden furniture and al fresco dining.
above • A grass bocce court edged in boxwood serves both as playspace and verdant corridor terminated by a handsome Chippendale bench.
This grassy oval acts as a visual relief space in the midst of abundant plantings.
A swimming pool can be designed as a handsome horizontal focal point around which the surrounding spaces are organized. Most pools are formed from concrete shells topped by stone coping that acts as a frame for the water. If the pool is painted a dark color, like gray or black, the water reflects the sky; if painted turquoise to match the sky, then the two can seem to meld together as one. Both are attractive effects. These days, pools are usually formed using a concrete Gunite® method that allows different shapes and edgings to be created. Another important development in pool design is the automatic pool cover that works on a rectangular-shaped pool to keep children safe, intruders out, and evaporation to a minimum. Shallow wading pools and swim spas bring the right amount of water into small backyards.
Because chlorine by-products have been linked to higher incidences of asthma, miscarriages, and cancer, new greener methods of disinfecting pools are also changing the way people swim. Ozonators combined with in-floor cleaners keep water clean with a minimum of chemical treatment. Saltwater pools are also popular, designed to reduce micro-organisms to a safe level. Ultraviolet disinfection systems add a layer of protection by oxidizing organic contaminants.
Swim spas are small pools built for exercising against an artificially generated current. This pool is set into a freestanding limestone wall that supports a small raised terrace area.
right • With the press of a button, an automatic pool cover glides into action tion. Not only is increased safety a big benefit,but limiting evaporation also means water is conserved. Using less energy to run the circulation system and reducing overall maintenance are also pluses.
below • This swimming pool is designed to look like a natural pond. A hillside of shrubs and trees, with abundant plantings in poolside pockets, transforms this space into a verdant oasis.
For those living in northern climates, a hot tub is one of the best ways to relax in the out-of-doors, especially in the dead of winter. Others tout the therapeutic benefits from the spray jets that can be set to massage different parts of the body. With temperatures as high as 105°F, these small pools can be built of wood with staves (like a barrel), concrete Gunite, or one-piece stainless steel or acrylic and are powered by wood, gas, or electricity.
Solar hot water systems are also possible in certain climates. Whatever style hot tub you select, make sure to locate it close to an area in your house with a bath or changing room. While some people prefer to place it under cover of a roof or pergola, others like to use it as a nighttime retreat under the stars. When easily reached, a hot tub acts as a warm and comfortable “away room,” even in the most inclement weather.
The path to a spa should be easily maintained and shoveled. Putting hooks nearby for robes or towels is a small but important detail. It’s also a wonderful viewing position to look out on the rest of your landscape, so installing night lighting can enhance your hot tub experience.
top right • This in-ground spa, complete with automatic cover, incorporates hydrojets that ease back and neck pain. This mini-pool is also the focal point of a hedged garden room.
bottom right • Portable home spas are easily available and quickly installed onsite. Measuring about 71 ⁄2 ft. square, they can be eyesores in a landscape if not thoughtfully designed. This hot tub sits adjacent to the house on a throne-like deck and terrace.
There is a freedom that comes from showering in the out-of-doors. For those lucky enough to have a pool or pond on their property or a beach nearby, it’s helpful to have access to an outdoor area to clean or towel off before setting foot inside. A simple showerhead, some paving underfoot, a way to drain the water, and a screen or fence for privacy that allows air to circulate easily are just about all you need.
right • Placing an outdoor shower right under a porch ceiling and on an exterior wall is a great way to use leftover space while ensuring privacy, whatever the time of day.
botoom right • This charming spiral shower shields the body while allowing views out. And it looks like fun.
below • Air circulation is always important to consider when installing an outdoor shower. Slats break up one’s view while allowing cooling breezes within.