Iowa is known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse seasons, offering ample opportunities to make the most of your outdoor spaces year-round. However, many people's enjoyment of their landscapes tends to fade out into the autumn sunset as the seasons change, but this doesn't have to be the case! There are many creative ways you can utilize your outdoor spaces in every season, allowing you to experience the natural beauty of Iowa throughout the year. From spring blooms to summer barbecues, colorful autumns, and cozy winters, here's how you can make your outdoor spaces a haven for relaxation, entertainment, and natural connection all year long.
How Do I Make the Most of My Iowa Outdoor Space?
If you're looking for some great functional design ideas for your outdoor space, look no further! Here are our experts' top tips on making the most of your outdoor landscape in all four seasons:
Summer's the time to soak up as much of the sunshine and warm Iowa temperatures as possible, so make sure your outdoor spaces can comfortably accommodate all your entertainment, hobby, and relaxation needs. It's also good to have a shade source handy for those hotter days, so make sure to set up a comfortable seating area with shade umbrellas or a pergola to provide relief from the heat, complete with citronella candles or screens to ward off pesky mosquitoes. Install a grill or outdoor kitchen to enjoy alfresco dining and BBQ parties, and foster a refreshing atmosphere by incorporating potted plants, hanging flower baskets, and strategically placed shade trees.
Another great summertime tip is to incorporate water elements like a water fountain or pond into your outdoor space. These features add instant Zen to your landscape and provide the perfect hideaway to sneak a reading nook into.
As the leaves change colors and the air becomes crisp, Iowa's autumn brings a stunning natural palette to your outdoor spaces, so enhance this natural beauty by incorporating seasonal decor such as pumpkins, cornstalks, and hay bales to make your landscape extra cozy! You can also up this coziness factor even more by installing a seating area around a fire pit or easy-to-maintain outdoor fireplace to provide a warm gathering place for friends and family. If you've got a spare shed or greenhouse you're done with for the season, convert it into a hobby station for pre-holiday crafts, making Halloween decorations, or simply a place to use all of those dried flowers you collected over the summer.
Because autumn is also the harvest season, it's the perfect time to get your fall vegetables in the ground and to create a small herb garden that can be moved indoors in the colder months for a ready-made tea garden. Now is also the time to think about overwintering birds, so look for places to hang bird feeders and birdhouses in your landscape.WINTER
While Iowa winters can be cold, there are still ways to make the most of your outdoor spaces during this magical season. Outdoor heaters and fire pits will continue to provide warmth for holiday gatherings or quiet evenings under the stars! An outdoor winter space needs a few extra cozy elements, too, so add in some moisture-resistant outdoor rugs, cushions, and blankets—along with some twinkling lights, wreaths, and other seasonal decorations—to create a comfortable, whimsical atmosphere. Decorate gathering spaces further with evergreen plants and winter-resistant shrubs to maintain greenery throughout the season, and try to keep wildlife close to home by keeping bird feeders clean and stocked. If you've got the space, a hot tub or outdoor sauna provides an incredibly relaxing and invigorating experience during the colder months.
As the snow melts away after a long Iowa winter and the spring temperatures begin to rise again, it's the perfect time to rejuvenate your outdoor spaces. Start by preparing your garden beds for the plethora of colorful flowers, herbs, and vegetables you'll soon be planting, get your early-season pruning projects out of the way so you can start cleaning up your warm-season spaces, and wash out your water features for any wildlife looking for a fresh water source.
Spring is also the perfect time to design a cozy outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the gentle breeze or host outdoor gatherings with friends and family. Install hanging baskets or vertical gardens to maximize space, and take advantage of the longer days and warmer nights by installing outdoor lighting to extend your garden time well into the evening.
There's never a bad time to enjoy the outdoors, and with the right outdoor space design, you'll be able to comfortably enjoy your landscape throughout all four seasons! From gardening and barbecues to cozying up by the fire pit, there are numerous ways to make the most of your Bettendorf backyard, so step outside and let your outdoor spaces become an extension of your living space throughout the year. If you're ever in need of more ideas, inspiration, or supplies, don't forget to visit us at Wallace's Garden Center for seasonal plants, gift ideas, home decor, bird supplies, and so much more!