Humans crave contact with other humans- it’s build into our DNA. This pandemic has created a special need in the landscape marketplace as more homeowners have realized how underutilized their outdoor spaces truly are, and many are stuck on ways to make improvements.

Here are some landscape design tips on ways to connect with others while improving your yard.

  • It’s all about the Hardscape. Creating areas that are safe and large enough for your family, Covid pods, and friends has never been more important. Throw in distance learning or homeschooling and you’ve just got more reasons to be outside. Tip: think about the furniture you’ll need for the space and work backwards. If you need a dining table for 6-8 people, make sure there is not only room for the table but at least 48-60” of circulation space around the table for ease to pull out chairs and be seated. Click here for my easy furniture sizing cheat sheet. While this pandemic wont last forever, the choices you make for hardscape will last for decades. Don’t be afraid to make the hardscape a bit larger than your first instinct might tell you. The larger the hardscape, the less maintenance you’ll need to dedicate to plants and other more care intensive items. Here’s where working with a designer can be helpful as a reality check for both Covid and post-Covid times.

See how these folks made an impromptu distance learning center for their children and their pod collective.(Photo Credits: Mission Montessori)

  • Create a Courtyard. Front yards are the most often forgotten about space on the property. So many clients have the space to create sitting areas in their front gardens but may hesitate due to privacy. Regardless if you are the type that likes to engage with people passing by or if you prefer some solitude, a courtyard seating area can be a great place to talk with others or just sit down with a morning coffee. Tips: for privacy consider low branching trees like Lagerstroemia ‘Acoma’ (deciduous Crape Myrtle) or Eriobotrya deflexa (evergreen Bronze Loquat) that will stay lower to the ground without growing too tall. These types of trees will still provide some coverage to you while sitting in your front patio.
Newly Planted in the summer of 2020, these clients like to see and talk to their neighbors while hanging on on their new deck. Designed by Julie Orr

Miss your Neighbors? Get creative! With the ultimate custom style fence or see-through “bubbles” you can find ways to enjoy a socially distanced adult beverage or to say hi to the neighbors pooch.