Spring Trend Report

Photobucket Spring Trend Report
Creating an outdoor living space

Spring cleaning doesn't just have to be an indoor activity. So get outside and cure your cabin fever with these six trends to spruce up your space and give you and your family an outdoor oasis.

When warm weather hits, you don't want to be cooped up in your house anymore. So we chatted with Marvin's Organic Gardens to find out six trends for creating a space where you can enjoy the great outdoors in the comfort of your own yard.


1. Make your patio out of the ordinary.


Gone are the days of run-of-the-mill concrete patios. "Your outdoor living space is an extension of your home, and that's a good way to think about it," Marvin's Organic Gardens Owner Wes Duren says. "Rather than just a concrete pad, really pull the elements from your home out into the yard, so that means colors and textures and patterns."


To bring the indoors out in your patio, Duren recommends two options: pavers and flagstone. Both options allow for a custom size that fits your space and ultimate landscape design, and unlike concrete, they provide a more permeable patio so that you don't end up with a slippery surface.


Pavers and flagstone also give you the chance to add some color and design to your investment. Pavers come in pretty much every color of the rainbow, Duren says, and the several types of flagstone you have to choose from help extend your home's interior design.


2. Create built-in seating options.


Having a custom patio means you can go beyond just the flat surfaces, and Duren recommends taking advantage of this fact by building sitting walls. Beyond creating some additional seating, these 2 to 2 1/2 feet walls add a little privacy. "Maybe you want to sun out there on your patio but you don't want your neighbors to be checking you out," Duren says, and these short privacy walls are sure to do the trick.


3. Ignite a fire.


Another way to customize your space with built-in features is through a fire pit or actual outdoor fireplace. "There's just something really magical about having that fire element in the landscape," Duren says.


A fire pit offers an affordable way to put that magic in your patio, and many of Marvin's Organic Gardens customers are using stone or pavers to create that gathering space and focal point right in their patio.


Recently more and more people have been taking it to the next level with outdoor fireplaces, which offer a couple benefits that a fire pit doesn't. "It's a much cleaner look than a fire pit, much more refined looking," Duren says.


Both fire pits and fireplaces help extend the time you have to enjoy your outdoor space. The fire provides warmth and light that gives you the chance to start heading outdoors earlier in the season and stay there till later in the year and later at night throughout it all.


4. Shade the way with an arbor.


A touch of fire isn't the only feature that gives you more time to be outside. An arbor helps provide a little shade so that you can enjoy the mid-day sun without it beating down directly on you.


  "There are dozens and dozens of different styles of arbors you can build over top of your patio, whether you build it over the entire portion or just a partial area of your patio," Duren says.


An arbor can serve as more than just a way to get some shade too. It also gives you the chance to add another element to your patio through vines. Edible vines like hearty kiwi and grape vines add some flavor to the space. For a more visual impact, blooming vines like wisteria and clematis can add a floral touch.



"If I could give you my absolute favorite vine — and nobody's growing this — it's called cross vine," Duren says. "It's a native Ohio vine with evergreen foliage and big, beautiful trumpet-shaped orange blooms that are absolutely one of the best things to attract the hummingbirds."


5. Remember the surrounding area.


Whether you build an arbor or not, it's always important to think about plants and gardens that will be a part of your outdoor space. Two of the top things to think about are bees and mulch.


"When you're selecting your flowers for the garden area, really consider what is not necessarily going to be as palatable to the bees because the last thing you want is to be putting your lawn chair on the edge of the patio and get stung," Duren says.


Another pest can be the mulch you use in the garden beds surrounding the patio. After you invest in a beautiful space, you don't want to have mulch float onto the patio to make it less than attractive. The key is to find mulch that doesn't float.


"Typically hardwood mulches are notorious for floating. Wood floats, so you may consider using another mulch variety like pine straw mulch," Duren says. Made out of pine needles, this mulch adds a little color to yourPhotobucket garden with its rich amber color, and it won't attract termites to your house like wood.


6. Add some sound through water.


To add even more to the relaxing atmosphere of your outdoor getaway, consider a water feature. From bubbling vases and boulders to trickling waterfalls, the sound of running water can help you escape.


A bubbling vase or boulder relies on an underground basin that holds 75 to 150 gallons of water. "It's very feng shui too because you're moving upward. Any water moving upward has a very positive, uplifting feel to it from a feng shui perspective," Duren says. And the upkeep for a bubbling feature is minimal. Just blow off the leaves in the fall, and you're pretty much good to go.


Another water feature option is a waterfall. Marvin's Organic Gardens offers both ponded and pond-less waterfalls. Obviously, a ponded waterfall trickles into a pond, which means you can incorporate water plants, fish, turtles and frogs into your landscape.


A pond comes with a little liability, though, especially with family or neighborhood kids around, so a pond-less feature might work better for you. "The water from the waterfall cascades down into this beautiful maybe like a river gravel that has a really attractive look," Duren says.


For more information about these and other ways to spruce up your outdoor living space, check out or head to Marvin's Organic Gardens at 2055 U.S. Route 42 South in Lebanon.




Top Photo

Photographer: Neysa Ruhl

Model: Michelle Tufano

Location: BOOST...for meeting's sake

Second, Third and Bottom Photos

Photos courtesy of Marvin's Organic Gardens



Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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