Serving the Naperville Community
Your landscape is the outdoor expression of you and your family and it should be celebrated in its natural and augmented states. Letting the nature of your landscape flourish is important as well as making a place that’s your private oasis in the world. To both add some life and color to your landscape while making it entirely yours, there are some concepts to consider. You can brighten up your landscaping with these five landscape design ideas in Wheaton, IL.
Related: Take a Fresh Look at Your Patio Options With These 4 Landscaping Ideas in Wheaton, IL
Adding Native Shrubs and Flowers
Keeping plants alive and healthy doesn’t need to be tedious and expensive. There is a wide variety of plants native to Illinois that will bring vivacious color to your landscape along with the undeniable delights of low maintenance and minimal watering. Native plants have evolved over millennia to live perfectly in your landscape. Whether you enjoy a riot of color or a serene monochromatic planting theme, there are native plants ideally suited to the task of ensuring year-round bright colors in your landscape.
Diversified Lighting Strategies
Without proper night lighting, even the most gorgeous landscape turns to a dark and dangerous nightmare after night falls. Using one or two spot lights to illuminate your landscape won’t do the job. A mix of different strategies is the most effective. Use light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures close to the ground along walkways and patios to make sure the ground surfaces are safe. Use spotlights and moonlighting to add texture to trees and other landscape features. Use the refractory properties of water to your advantage by lighting your pool and any other water features. Add string lighting above your patio to make things feel a little bit more exciting. Soon, your landscape will have nighttime depth and will attract friends and family whenever they visit.
Xeriscape Unused Sections
Lawns are a treasured part of the American home, but they don’t need to cover every square inch of a landscape. Lawns use a considerable amount of water and unless your lawn is host to daily play by kids and the family dog, you could consider replacing some portion of your lawn with xeriscaping, which is an environmentally-friendly decision that adds multiple benefits to your landscape. Xeriscaping means using water-wise plants (not cacti!) surrounded by a bed of decorative stone (not mulch) to decrease your landscape’s water usage, help return snow and rain runoff to the soil, and create a visually stunning landscape.
Switch to Light-Colored Pavers
Using pavers on your patio, pool deck, walkways, and driveway will create a visually interesting landscape. Pavers can complement any design aesthetic, whether you prefer the clean lines and minimalist approach of modern design, or the warm tones, irregular textures and relaxed look of rustic spaces. Light-colored pavers will reflect more sunlight, making for a brighter space. This could be a good option if your landscape is heavily treed and shady.
Encourage Outdoor Living
Part of spending time outdoors in your landscape is being comfortable. A bright, cheerful space starts with a patio that comfortably houses all of the activities you want to enjoy outside. Bringing some of the trappings of modern life outside may simply be the key to helping you enjoy your landscape. Consider an outdoor kitchen to cook and enjoy delicious feasts al fresco, making great memories with family and friends.
Related: Inviting Landscape Design Elements to Add to Your Front Yard Landscaping in Hinsdale, IL
Retaining walls provide both practical and aesthetic value to a home. If your home is on a slope, you might be interested in learning about the 5 benefits of having a retaining wall near your driveway in Naperville, IL.
Related: 7 Landscape Design Ideas That Include a Retaining Wall in the Hinsdale, IL Area
1. Drainage and Erosion Control
On any sloped property, managing the flow of water and preventing the movement of water-laden soil is a top priority.
If your driveway cuts across the slope of the property, you may notice water, mud, and/or debris flowing across your driveway after a heavy rain: not only is this unattractive, but it can cause serious damage to downslope vegetation. Sliding debris can also mar the surface of a paver driveway, as dirt and rocks act like sandpaper that will damage the pavers.
One solution is to install a retaining wall on the upslope side of the driveway. The height of the wall will depend on the steepness of the slope. On a gently sloped property, the wall could be lower than three feet. The wall will need to be engineered if it exceeds three feet in height. Taller walls could also be constructed as terraced walls, which offer an opportunity for creative landscaping.
If your driveway goes directly up the slope, then retaining walls along both sides can help prevent water and debris from flowing off the landscaping into the driveway after heavy rains.
2. A Mellower Approach To the Home
Some driveways can be very steep and scary on icy, wintery days. A retaining wall can help create a mellower, easier approach to the home, and give you more space to drive and turn around. Depending on the need, there are two types of retaining wall: cut, or fill. A cut retaining wall is literally cut into the side of a slope to give you more room to drive and turn around. A fill retaining wall builds up your driveway to compensate for a slope that’s too steep or too shallow.
3. Elegance and Landscape Protection
Whether your property is sloped or pancake-flat, you could give a long, winding driveway an estate feel by adding a low wall along one side (or both sides).
Aside from the wonderful Old World aesthetics of placing a retaining wall along a driveway, there’s a practical side to it as well. A retaining wall will help protect your landscaping from errant snowplows and from deicing salts.
4. Landscape Lighting
While this isn’t the primary function of a retaining wall, a retaining wall is an opportunity to install low voltage LED landscape lighting. This is especially welcome on a long, winding driveway, giving visitors a warm welcome from the moment they enter the driveway.
5. Beautiful Plantings
Any retaining wall has the potential to become a botanic gardens-style feature. Adding plants that drape over the top softens the look of the masonry and adds wonderful color and fragrance. Plants you can drape over the retaining wall include Creeping Phlox, Clematis, Lobelia, Creeping Thyme, Virginia Creeper, Dichondria “Silver Falls,” and Golden Creeping Jenny. Climbing plants such as roses, wisteria, or ivy do the same from the ground up.
Planting a row of cypress along the wall will give your driveway the wonderful appeal of a Tuscan villa. Or, plant flowering trees such as cherry; or maples with their spectacular fall foliage for a colorful welcome every time you come home.
On a steeper slope, terraced retaining walls are an opportunity to showcase beautiful plantings while preventing erosion. You could even place statues and other ornamental features on these terraces, for dramatic effect.
Related: 4 Landscape Design Ideas for Tranquil Landscaping in Hinsdale IL
Have you been wondering how to make your outdoor living space “the” place to spend your summer - and beyond? If so, a fire pit could be the answer. Here’s why a fire pit becomes the prime destination of the backyard patio in Hinsdale, IL - and why it’s one of the best investments you can make in outdoor living.
Related: Warm Up Your Wheaton IL Brick Patio With a Traditional Fire Pit
Fire Brings Us Together
Since the dawn of mankind, we have been gathering around the fire. The warmth and safety of a fire draws us in, and we linger, enjoying the mesmerizing dance of the flames as we share stories and laughter with family and friends.
A round fire pit is more conducive to larger gatherings because everyone has equal access to the warmth of the fire. Installing a seat wall that partially encircles the fire pit will give plenty of people a chance to gather.
A square fire pit can comfortably accommodate fewer people (in larger gatherings, the people sitting at the fire pit’s corners won’t be as close to the flames).
Fire Belongs In Your Design
A fire pit is a slightly more structured take on the primal campfire: using masonry or other materials such as large metal bowls, poured concrete bowls, or other materials give you unprecedented design flexibility.
A fire pit can complement any architectural style and landscape aesthetic. You may prefer the classic round fire pit that brings back memories of fun times roasting marshmallows around a campfire. You may prefer the stark angular shape of a square fire pit that complements a linear landscape design. You may enjoy the gorgeous juxtaposition of a sleek concrete fire bowl with the textures of a gravel patio. You may wish to integrate a fire pit into the design scheme of your patio by using the same materials on all vertical elements including a fire pit, outdoor kitchen wall, and retaining wall.
Fire Offers Cooking Alternatives
Aside from your outdoor kitchen - which typically houses a grill and sometimes a wood-fired pizza oven - you can expand your cooking experience over a wood-burning fire pit. With the addition of a grate or some skewers, your fire pit can double as another grill - a bonus if you’re hosting a large party!
Be sure to use fruit wood to give your food the best taste; and avoid cooking on natural gas- or propane-fueled fire pits, because dropped food can bake onto the decorative lava rock or fire glass, and be extremely difficult to remove.
Fire Maximizes Your Use of the Space
Have you ever thought about how little an outdoor space gets used after the warm days of summer have passed? In fall and winter, we rarely venture outside to sit and enjoy the fresh air - which is a shame, since we are still paying for the space. A fire pit eliminates virtually every excuse not to go outside. Its warmth will keep the patio cozy even on the most frigid days.
The warming effect is more pronounced if you’re burning wood, but you will also be exposed to the elements since a wood-burning fire pit cannot be installed within a pergola or pavilion. However, a natural gas- or propane-fueled fire pit can safely be installed within an outdoor shelter. And with that solution, there are no excuses at all not to go outside, which means you actually get to enjoy the space you pay for year-round instead of just in the summer.
Related: Take a Fresh Look at Your Patio Options With These 4 Landscaping Ideas in Wheaton, IL