As the weather warms I begin to focus more of my attention on life outdoors.  I want to be in the garden, working or playing, and I look forward to meals on the patio.

This lovely outdoor seating space is Cote de Texas

Image via Country Living

Villa Saladino in Santa Barbara has a lovely outdoor seating area.

Image by Simon Upton ~ Jill Brinson Home

Our patio~teak, gray with age

Image via Velvet & Linen

As I’ve mentioned before, we have lived in our house since 1982.  Each room, inside and out, has been renovated at least once, sometimes more.  Our back yard is in need of new sod right now and a decision must be made about the 2 gigantic ficus benjamina trees growing there.   Roots of these trees threaten to take over the world (beginning with our back yard).  The trees do provide a canopy of shade that rivals an outdoor air conditioner on the hottest days.

I visualize this…

Image via French Kissed

I would love to create a gravel or decomposed granite pad where we could place some furniture, maybe dining furniture under the umbrella of the trees and living room furniture on the patio.  Pictures like this (above) are my inspiration (Thank you Jermaine).

Image via 5th & State

When we replace our sod (which is now a combination of assorted green weeds and grass—fortunately when its mowed most people don’t realize it isn’t 100% Marathon sod.

Villa Saladino—nice vista, but the grass is lovely, so green.

I think there is something very soothing about green, whether it be grass or plant, it cools me down in the summer months and cheers me up on a gray day.

Image via House Beautiful (Edmund Barr photo)

Image via 5th & State

Vines are another benefit to a yard with cinder block fencing or overly plain wood-fencing.  They can soften the space and add interest.  Our back fence is cinder block and it’s completely covered in vines so its very soothing and makes a lovely backdrop for the other shrubs and flowers.

Oh wait, how did this get in?  Well, you have to admit, Mr. Darcy walking in your yard would be exciting!

Have you started any landscape improvements this year?