If there’s one thing that we love about living in the Pacific Northwest — okay, there are a lot of things! — is that there is so much opportunity to turn your yard and landscape ideas into a reality. 

If you’re a homeowner who lives in the Southwest Washington and Portland area — which is where we at Greenhaven work, live and play —  then you already know that are lucky to live in a  temperate and largely mild Pacific Northwest climate. 

For people who are visiting Western Washington for the first time, particularly in the Spring and Summer seasons, they will often express amazement by the vast array of gorgeous blooms, rich vegetation, and unusual plant life that blooms in our landscapes.

With so much that the Pacific Northwest has to offer why wouldn’t you want to take this opportunity to transform your yard into a unique statement that reflects your personality and lifestyle?

At Greenhaven Landscapes, that’s precisely what we do for each and every one of our clients — turn your landscape dream into a reality! 

As you begin the process of visualizing what you’d love your yard to ultimately become, we encourage you to consider the below ideas so that you have a clearer idea of what you want — and don’t want — your space to be. 

Want an innovative outdoor space? Plan, plan, plan — for your space and style!

Okay, so this one might seem obvious, but unless you really take the time to think carefully and critically about your landscape project, then you’re sure to run into roadblocks — the kind that turns what should be an exciting and fulfilling task into a series of headaches.

How much space are you working with? How do you want to use it? Will it be for entertaining family and friends? Gardening? A place for exercise, meditation or solitude? Some combination of the above? Just about everything is possible if you’re working with a landscape design team that can show you how they’ve achieved great results for other clients. No dream is too big or too small!

Embrace the Washington weather — all year round.

As previously mentioned, Washington state has some of the most wonderful weather for cultivating an abundance of gorgeous plant life, so of course, that means that we experience a great deal of rain (though, despite our reputation, we don’t get as many inches per year as cities like Miami and New York do!) But what we mean here by “plan for the weather” is think about how you can use this space all year long. Are there opportunities to create an outdoor patio environment? Add tiered planter boxes, and cooking and dining areas.

You could even create a pavilion, living room-style patio as the centerpiece of your yard. Add stand-up or hanging heaters or even a fireplace for those days that you need to combat the cold! There’s just nothing like bringing the indoors outdoors for a truly spectacular landscape environment.

Plants can make the space, but be realistic about how much time you can devote to them!

Plants and flowers are so much more than your yard’s window dressing. They have the power to make or break the beauty of your yard, and it can all hinge on how much time and energy you have to devote to them. First, how do you want to display your plants? Do you want a more traditional feel, like raised garden beds? Or something new and unique like vertical garden planters? How about tiered planter boxes lining the perimeter of your patio or yard to outline your space while creating dimension, texture, and color?

Would an irrigation system save you time and energy while helping you cultivate the flowers and plants of your dreams? Some homeowners in Washington state are even taking cues from residents of more arid climates by embracing a technique called “xeriscaping” or “low-water landscaping” where the grass is largely replaced by decorative gravel and stones and heartier plants and flowers that require less water are planted in place of more traditional selections. This is a beautiful option that still requires maintenance but uses fewer resources to maintain its beauty. Look into your HOA guidelines before investing in this technique. Some require a certain amount of your yard to be “lawn.”

Make it bird AND bee-friendly!

All hail the pollinators! There’s a wide variety of annuals and perennials you can’t plant in your yard to attract bumblebees, hummingbirds, and other creatures who are part of the backbone of our ecosystem. Just imagine a landscape cascading with lilac, lavender, aster, lupine, elderberry, azaleas, and more! With so many native options to choose from, you can create a yard in tribute to the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty while contributing to its further pollination.

Of course, we do encourage you to consider that some, not all pollinators are stinging insects, so if you’re concerned about the potential allergic reactions for loved ones or guests, be especially mindful of how you would incorporate this style into your yard.

Create an atmosphere.

Why does a yard have to be a “yard?” Not all landscape designs are about plant life. We don’t all want to spend our time mowing, trimming, and edging, nor do we want to spend our time in a space you’d describe as being “conventional.”

Making clever use of lighting, outdoor art like stone statues, large, decorative rocks, and dramatic water features can create a space that feels less like a yard and more like an experience.

Our team loves these sorts of challenges because it gives us a chance to flex our creative muscles to produce something that’s entirely unique, and that will no doubt leave any visitors to your home absolutely awestruck by your creativity.

Let it go wild! A controlled wild, that is.

That’s right. We’re suggesting you give your yard back to nature. But we have a few caveats. You see, it’s especially common in the United States to have lawns that are meticulously controlled, despite the yard’s natural tendency to behave and grow in an entirely different manner than what homeowners often want. And it’s a constant uphill battle for all involved. But not with this technique.

Letting your landscape “go wild” is much less about no longer mowing and just letting the weeds grow at their own will. It’s entirely about intimately understanding our climate, the specific type of soil your yard possesses and knowing which plants are best suited for Washington state’s unique environment.

Over time, this will create a landscape that will need seasonal maintenance vs. weekly maintenance and will likely require less watering as it’s been designed specifically for its environment. The experts at Greenhaven Landscapes can help you understand everything you need to know about your environment for the best results!

Washington residents: Isn’t it time you had the lawn you love?
Call Greenhaven Landscapes today to finally realize the landscape of your dreams!