Mar 18, 2014

If you’re like most Oklahomans, you’re ready for warm spring temperatures so you can get outside and dig in the dirt. But before you buy the same predictable pallet of periwinkles to plant in their usual garden place, stretch your imagination and try something different this year. At the OKC Home + Outdoor Living Show March 21-23, you’ll find new and exciting ideas that can help you elevate your outdoor living spaces from ho hum to Oh Wow!

Sustainable Trends, Surprising Beauty

For Daniel Meunier, owner of Laurel Leaf Landscape in Edmond, creating surprising landscapes is one of his passions. His sustainable landscapes – designed with unique varieties salvia, sedums, lantana, euonymus and other colorful plants – prove that native and drought-tolerant gardens can include more than prairie grass and wildflowers as well as provide four-season interest.

“You can leave for vacation and not fear that you’ll come home to a burial ground of foliage,” Daniel said.

Daniel also stays on top of landscaping trends by creating his own hypertufa pots as well as framed, hanging planters called living walls, similar to ones featured on Pinterest and in gardening magazines.

“These pieces are living, changing art,” Daniel said. “They transform a plain outdoor space into a garden art gallery.”

Expect the Unexpected

At 9Design in Edmond, Jodie Russell and his team also look out for new landscaping styles. From major outdoor features like unusually shaped pools, show-stopping cabanas and full-scale outdoor kitchens, 9Design takes landscaping to the next level.

“I try to push my clients toward the unexpected,” Jodie said. “Pool maintenance may seem too overwhelming for some clients, so a splash pad could be a better option. Plus it’s a fun element that not everybody has in their backyard.”

9Design also helps clients with simple, low-cost tricks to keep their gardens interesting.  “Mix in evergreen plants for a surprisingly pretty garden in the winter. Even though plants like nandinas seem simple, their changing color and lush foliage keep the garden looking attractive all year.”

Take a Vacation – at Home!

Sometimes a change in landscape can alter your whole lifestyle. Bill Herron, owner of Pergola Supreme, consistently hears from clients who have added a pergola, gazebo or pavilion and are surprised by the additional advantages of their new outdoor space.

“Adding a pergola invites you to get outside and enjoy what you have right there at home, while adding value to our home at the same time,” Bill said. “I joke with my clients that they can save money by staying home and enjoying their new backyard retreat rather than taking expensive vacations to beat the Oklahoma heat!”

Pergola Supreme even builds custom furniture to help clients expand their lives to the outdoors.

“We really try to create another living room outside,” Bill said. “We want enrich our clients’ living experience without asking them to invest in a lengthy and costly home renovation.”

As spring starts to transform the landscape, think about how you can change your outdoor spaces. Maybe you’re interested in saving time and money with drought-tolerant plants. Mix up the garden and plant something unexpected. Or tackle that big project you've been thinking about for years. Whatever your ambitions, visit this year’s OKC Home + Outdoor LivingShow for some surprising inspiration.

MARCH 21-23, 2014