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Why Invest in your outdoor space

As Humans, we all live somewhere, this changes throughout life, Both the residence type and location, whether you live in a bungalow, flat, boat, tree, cabin, tent, van, cave or hobbit hole, the principles are the same, you have the potential to create a form of garden, that could be on a woeful window shelf, or aristocrat acre of land. A green space can represent a number of different places to different people, you may have a corridor of grass with fences either side, perhaps a balcony overlooking a concrete jungle. If your fortunate, you may have access to a woodland garden or perhaps fields of gold, no matter the size or location, so long as you have the elements, Sun, Water, soil, and Air, you can unlock the beauty and limitless potential of Life in a garden. CL have put together this BLOG to try and encourage why investing in your outdoor space can have 10-fold returns.


“There is something about nature that is innately connected to human Happiness & mental health”


CL truly believes that our greenspaces should be seriously considered as one of the most important aspects of our lifestyles, if you contemplate how the home is used, in simple terms, each room is mainly sectored for single activity use.

· Bedroom – Sleep

· Kitchen - cook

· Bathroom – wash

· Living room – Entertainment (TV)


Within reason, the above is how most average people use the rooms in their homes.

In contrast, a garden has endless uses, they are flexible and change with the seasons. What living room décor has the ability to change four times a year?

So why is an outdoor space so vitally important and special? The below list is in no way exhaustive, it is merely an insight into some aspects CL believe to be true and helpful when considering the design and build of your garden.

Below example of my own Balcony Garden, a small space at my flat, but I have tried to maximise the use of it, I am growing Blueberries, Strawberries, tomatoes and a range of flowers in pots. The space is only 8m2, And I still have room to hook a hammock and place a table with chairs.


Balcony Garden Refurbishment

Investment example



Add value

Research suggests that landscaping your outdoor space can add 15-20% value to your property, it’s common for homeowners to spend a fortune on a new kitchen or bathroom, Outdoor living is fast becoming a popular additional investment as society realise how creating bespoke garden sanctuaries can have immeasurable positive impacts on their lifestyles and more importantly the environment. This added value can be looked at in a monetary sense, in addition to improved lifestyle.

If you are looking to sell your property, a poorly maintained garden can have a huge impact on any potential buyer’s perception, the front aspect of a property can often include a green area, which could be the first impressions of a purchaser, Its amazing how much impact a clipped hedge or freshly cut grass can have. Screen the bins, prune the flowers, remove weeds, all of a sudden, a once cluttered space is looking presentable and with minimal expenditure / monetary cost.


Livestock

Chickens

If you have enough space, have you considered the benefits of keeping livestock, growing up in a small village in Sussex, England, not in a particularly huge garden, we always kept a number of livestock, chickens being the most popular for their quirky characters, and of course beautiful organic eggs. Ducks, geese, alpacas and pigs are all options and each have their own incredible opportunities. Even two Hens can produce enough eggs for a small family per week, among many other pros, they help fertilise the ground, which goes hand in hand with growing a small veg patch.


Outdoor Lifestyle


Depending on how you like to live, A garden can really be an extension of your home, it can offer a flexible space that will wrap you up in a soft blanket and comfort you with birdsong and breeze after a stressful day at the screen, it will unwind your thoughts and emotions and dilute them with peace and serenity. A playground for both children and adults, to socialise, entertain, work, learn, cook, grow, sleep, the activities are endless and truly bespoke to every user.


Produce


Cut flowers


I believe with gardening, you get out so much more than you put in, yes the initial investment of time and some money can be noticeable on the body and wallet. But the immense reward is well worth the effort. Look at how much a bouquet of flowers cost, £15-£25 at a minimum, why not try creating a bed for cut flowers, these ones will keep giving and you can experiment with differing arrangements.


Fruit & Vegetables

Raised beds are another huge asset to a garden, with the cost of living only going up, why not grow your own produce, you are saving money, reducing carbon by not traveling to the markets, lowering your plastic consumption, and best of all, consuming organic produce that is free of pesticides. Start simple and try just a strawberry or tomato bush. Its shocking how much you can produce from just one plant.

Beekeeping…without the bees pollinating, humans would not exist, plus Honey Is medicine for our immune systems, right?


Compost


A garden produces waste, but that’s the wrong word, this waste is gold, grass clippings, fallen leaves, chicken poo, twigs, carboard, leftover fruit and vegetables, to name just a few, we should all be composting and keeping this supposed waste on site, a simple collection point can be built, overtime this compost will naturally turn to feed for the garden, mixing into the soil beds, giving back again in a full cycle.


DIY


If you have some practical skills and tools at hand, then why not Express yourself and landscape your own garden, the sense of satisfaction is overwhelming when you see a sketch become reality, that’s why CL do it for a living. Start with something simple, like a raised bed, there are so many tutorials available online to learn.


Observation


They say watching birds can be healing to the soul, when was the last time you sat down and focused on nature, something we take for granted, observe a bird making its nest, an Ant working hard, watch the rain, take 5 minutes and use all of your senses, how does it sound, smell, look, feel, taste. Adding bird feeders, bee bricks, insect hotels can all help encourage nature to your garden, switch the TV for wildlife observations, even if its one night a week.


Upcycle


When landscaping your garden, you may be alarmed by how expensive the cost of labour and materials have become in recent years, a lot of this can be blamed on inflation, Brexit, the war in Russia, each having an effect on the cost of living.

It does not always have to be so costly, if you are creative and thrifty, purchasing second hand items, or even repurposing items you already own can be a great way to start your garden renovation, an example would be using a worn car tyre as a raised bed, its organic in shape and creates an instant space to grow produce. Help your community by giving time to your friends instead of money, swap a skill with your neighbours to get the job done.


Mental health


Many of us are victim to hours of screen time per day, this may be through our office jobs, social media profiles, fake news and influencers living unrealistic lifestyles, I believe our addiction to all of this drama and need for acceptance and approval is tremendously damaging to our mental health, and perhaps a driver for so many people suffering from anxiety and depression. I think this is a whole other subject that could be written about, but below are a few thoughts of mine.


“We have time to scroll for hours, staring at our screens, addicted to drama and fake highlight reels, with all our ignorance, nature tries to teach us and heal us every day, unplug from technology, and talk to the trees, After all they provide the air that we breathe”


Harness The elements


With rising energy bills, the opportunity to harness renewables can be considered as part of a landscaping project, as simple as solar panelled fairy lights or water feature.

The simple addition of rain water harvesting by the way of water butts, a wind turbine, ground source heat pumps, Solar heat gains through south facing glazing. All of these are free, and are key to our survival.


Balance


All aspects of life need balance, our diets, work, social time etc, and it’s the same with nature and technology, just like smart homes, smart gardens are also becoming popular, although CL do not favour this, every user is different, perhaps an Outdoor TV, lighting, hot tubs, and speakers would entice you to spend more time outside, there are numerous gadgets that can be designed in harmony with nature.


Hard landscaping


There are immeasurable items of hard landscaping that can be added, every garden is totally unique in its shape, size, context, and topography, unless you live on a new build development! Adding a deck or patio outside of your kitchen instantly encourages and extends your living space. A pathway guides you to a new destination, a pond invites you to observe, a firepit warms and entertains. Think about what’s important to you as a user of the space and choose how each garden addition will influence your lifestyle and increase the desirability of your unique sanctuary






Outdoor buildings


During the pandemic, people’s lives were dramatically changed and reconsidered, in some ways, for the better, we realised that office workers can do the majority of their work from home, saving hours of commuting and pollution to the environment. Again, this could be a whole blog in its self, but outdoor buildings are incredibly desirable and useable. It’s amazing what a once overgrown corner of the garden could house, a small shed, cabin, summerhouse, lady cave, sauna, treehouse, office, yoga retreat, craft den, pub, Air BnB. These spaces can be as simple or complex as you like, (planning permission rules apply) the sense of leaving the house and commuting up the garden to this studio is magical. Below is an example design & build from one of our own projects.


Crafted Landscapes Outdoor living

After

Before



Why Invest in your outdoor space In Summary








Conclusion

At the time of writing this Blog, June 2023, there is an obvious trend for outdoor living, there are issues surrounding mental health and the cost of living. As small as it may seem, investing in your green space collaboratively can make a difference to our general wellbeing, local biodiversity, our savings, and add to the natural beauty of our environment.


Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you have found it useful, and perhaps inspired you. For similar content, feel free to come and visit my website - www.craftedlandscapes.co.uk


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