Backyard living

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By Vikki Moran

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 and has established itself as the leading gardening charity, with the aim of inspiring passion and excellence in the science, art, and practice of horticulture. The world-famous RHS Lindley Library holds unique collections of early printed books on gardening, botanical art, and photographs. We at Capital Region Living Magazine cannot think of a better source for your gardening needs. Home gardening is never as mundane as bedding plants, hanging lovely baskets from the porch or even tomatoes waiting to ripen on the vine; but rather a passion for many. It is a chance to enjoy nature in the great Northeast where warmer months are precious to us not unlike those where the Royal Horticultural Society hails from in the U.K.­ It is pride in accomplishments, it is seeing seed to produce or flower, and certainly, it is a brightening of the world!

Royal Horticultural Society: A Nation in Bloom With the use of evocative archive images and contemporary photos by award-winning Jason Ingram, A Nation in Bloom explores the past, present, and future of this most influential organization by listening to the voices of those working today. The Royal Horticultural Society is the best in gardening, and this book presents the best of the RHS. Behind the scenes, access all areas, A Nation in Bloom will give lasting pleasure to anyone who enjoys their garden.

Royal Horticultural Society 2020 Desk Diary The RHS Diary 2020 brings together a beautiful collection of botanical illustrations from the album ‘Plantae Icones Japonicae,’ part of the collection held at the Lindley Library. This week-to-view diary is illustrated in color throughout and has a ribbon marker and storage pocket.


Trend watch 2019

outdoor living and design trends for every homeowner

Outdoor living continues to grow in 2019 as homeowners dream of adding spaces that provide tranquility, connection and touches of nature. More than just a home enhancement, these spaces are meant to inspire people to set digital devices aside and find moments of calm while making memories with friends and family. Now is the perfect time to plan updates to outdoor living areas so as the seasons turn, you’re ready to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest. Joe Raboine, director of residential hardscapes at Belgard, offers his expert insight into top outdoor design trends of the year that you should consider for your home.

Blurring of indoor and outdoor areas
Beyond windows and patio doors, home designs are truly blending indoor and outdoor areas thanks to features like folding walls and collapsible screens. For example, imagine a family room that opens up completely to an outdoor patio for easy entertaining, made possible by retractable walls plus smart lighting and strategic heating and cooling sources for seasonal comfort. These types of integrated spaces make the backyard a one-of-a-kind extension of the home.

Clean lines and contemporary style
Modern lines are a top interior design trend and it is expanding into outdoor living spaces, offering a seamless visual transition. Contemporary style with clean lines, textures and shapes have taken over more traditional styles, particularly among younger homeowners. Modular, large-format pavers embrace this trend and are expected to continue to increase in popularity, with smoother textures gaining traction.

Monochromatic and “greige” tones
The contemporary trend also leans toward monochromatic color schemes. Gray continues to be popular, with the growing trend of “greige” – blends of gray and beige tones – poised to take off in 2019. These muted hues blend seamlessly with the landscape, plus they allow homeowners to use strategic pops of color with furniture and flowers to create customized spaces that reflect their personalities perfectly.

Outdoor kitchens and fire features
In an effort to make outdoor spaces an authentic extension of the home, livability is a priority. That means outdoor kitchens and fire features continue to be a top trend. Kitchen additions like pizza ovens are reflective of the foodie movement, while fire features using gas fuel rather than wood are reflective of the desire for convenience, plus they are a good fit for many municipal regulations.

Sustainability is king
As more homeowners are prioritizing green living, outdoor designs that become a part of the local ecosystem are in high demand. This could include planting to support pollinators and integrating edible landscape into the design. Water features are growing in popularity, used to add a tranquil element to outdoor spaces while masking unwanted sounds, such as traffic or other noise pollution.

Visualization of designs
Partnering with the right designer is key to achieving the outdoor space of your dreams. More homeowners are asking for 3D designs in order to properly conceptualize a space before it is brought to life through construction. Belgard Design Studio can take a simple sketch with dimensions and a few photos and turn it into a 3D rendering or virtual reality experience so homeowners can see the true potential of their outdoor space.

Small footprint designs
Outdoor living isn’t just for homeowners with large properties. Houses with small footprints are adding impressive outdoor spaces in surprising places. This could be maximizing alleyway access, adding a courtyard to a small backyard, or shifting the focus by utilizing the front yard to create a patio and fireplace area. If you long for an outdoor living space, don’t let space constraints limit your dreams. These 2019 outdoor living trends, in effect, will prove to create a year full of innovative outdoor projects that fit the needs of every homeowner.

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