4 Ways To Find The Joy In Outdoor Spaces


Spring is here and it’s time to start working in your yard, your garden, your outdoor spaces. Outdoor spaces are an important part of simple living. Whether you live in an apartment in the city, or in a pristine forest, you can make your outdoor spaces work for you.

Small Home, Big Deck?

I’m all in favor of downsizing into smaller homes. My goal is to retire into a 400-700 square-foot home or condominium. I’m also in favor of small yards. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I want less outdoor spaces to live in. Outdoor spaces might be the most important part of simple living. Peace and healing are found in the outdoors. 

I don’t know about you, but mowing the yard is not my favorite thing to do. Lawns are not natural. Grass takes more water than most other plants. You always have to fight the weeds using harmful chemicals. Lawns are bad for the declining bee population.

The Case Against Lawns: They Waste Water And Are Bad For Bees

I can think of many better ways to enjoy my weekends than mowing my lawn. 

Try These 4 Outdoor Spaces

  1. Gardens: I’ve been taking out a little bit of my lawn each year and adding more garden space. There are a variety of gardens you could use to replace lawn. I have a flower garden in the front yard and a vegetable garden in back yard. I’ve also created a small zen garden in a spot where water would leak into my root cellar. Gardening is a peaceful and rewarding activity. See my post: 5 Reasons To Plant A Garden At Home.   
  2. Patios: You could also replace your lawn with patio space. Patios can be made of concrete, tile, or natural stonework. You can include some simple outdoor furnishings for an inviting outdoor space. Check out some of these beautiful patio ideas: Small Patio Design @ Pinterest.   
  3. Decks: I love wood. In the right climate, wooden decks can add character to any yard. Remember the Karate Kid movie? Remember the beautiful wooden walkways that Daniel had to sand as part of his training? Whether you build walkways or decks, whether you use wood or an alternative material, you can create a beautiful atmosphere with decks. Check out some these beautiful decks: Pictures Of Decks @ Pinterest.    
  4. Nature: I have friends who live in the woods. They don’t have a yard. They just walk right out their doors and into nature. Accessibility to nature is also something to consider if you’re going to live in an apartment or a condo. My perfect retirement home might just be a condo on the Olympic Peninsula near the water. Having access to nature is high on my list whenever I’m considering a move. See my post: 5 Reasons To Get Off Your Butt And Get Into Nature

Find Your Joy

Outdoor spaces are perfect places to relax, to exercise, or to entertain. A 400-square foot house with a 600-square-foot patio or deck might just be the perfect home for many of us. Consider your outdoor spaces this year. Rip out a little bit of lawn and plant more garden. Build a small deck. Make a zen garden. Make your outdoor spaces into living places.

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James Ewen
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