There are four fundamental elements - earth, air, water and fire that are necessary for the existence of all life on earth. Ancient philosophies believe that when we bring these four elements into balance, we bring health, satisfaction and joy to our lives.
In this entry, we look at EARTH. EARTH allows us to better connect to our life path and family roots, as well, it grounds us - electrically reconnecting to the earth to restore your natural defences and ability to heal. Healthline, August 30, 2019. If you need to better ground yourself or just want to get inspired by outdoor life, we'll take a look at how to surround yourself with nature while delineating and defining your space.
On the right, the seating area is framed with layers of palm trees and grasses setting the stage for time with friends, a good book or an evening surrounded by earth staring into vast expanse of the ocean. Anyway you look at it, it makes my breath steady and relax.
We'll also look at Native Plants to the Simcoe region that will contribute to LIVING COASTAL and, most importantly, are ecologically friendly.
Native Plants are always the better choice for your garden - they support the needs of local wildlife (some species are completely dependent on native plants to survive), they require less care as they are indigenous to the area and are accustomed to the environment and it keeps local areas populated with Natives, acting as a source for seeds. Canadian Wildlife Federation
And if you didn't catch our earlier journal entry in this series, have a look. You'll learn how all of the four elements benefit your well-being and how to use them in design to set in motion healing, balance & integration.
Photo credit: Home-Style
Outdoor rooms and landscaping - living in harmony.
The space is immersed with all four elements - fire, air, water and earth, but earth - trees, rocks and grasses - frame this area.
The four elements take centre stage. They have chosen neutral chairs and fire pit to allow the focus to remain on one thing - nature. Having one focus allows the mind to calm, and the focus being on nature, promotes balance.
On the right, the owners were consistent with their plant use throughout the backyard. The plants take on a similar flow as the stairs being situated on multiple levels drawing you to the fire pit area.
Credit: Complete Home
Trees and ferns frame this area. They provide privacy for the shower area space (making it seem like its a separate room) and they provide a connection to the earth while being surrounded by water.
Framing the entire area with green allows for the backyard to feel like an open space and it provides a full line of sight or view to nature from the entire backyard. Credit: Homes to Love, Australia
Adding tropical plants around water, like the backyard in the photo, allows that space to feel like it in the middle of a natural setting - the tropics. Every decision you make, from nature to lighting to furniture contributes the the peaceful setting that you are trying to create.
Credit: Kristofer Johansson
Use devices, like retaining walls, to layer plants and their height adding interest to the area as well as privacy.
Credit: James Ross Landscape Australia
A plant wall transforms an ugly fence or cement wall into something beautiful, peaceful and alive.
Credit: House Beautiful
I believe that if we treat the environment well, the environment will treat us well. Since planting Native has proven to be beneficial for the environment and its inhabitants, all of the plants shown below are native to the Simcoe region in Ontario, Canada - where I live. Google to see what's Native to your area.
Native Plants -Trees
The Tamarack is so unique. It looks like an Evergreen with its needles showing a wonderful forest green in the summer and turning to a fluorescent yellow-orange in the fall. It is a hardy tree, tolerating variable soils and ranges of rainfall. A gift from the universe, truly spectacular.
Native Plant: Tamarack
Credit: West Wind Hardwood
Grasses are a staple to create a outdoor space that mimics the coast. It can be used in a number of ways, including: a filler, adding layers of height, or framing areas of interest.
Native Plant: American Beach Grass
Important for erosion control
Native Flowering plants
Flowering plants add softness and a feeling of abundance to your outdoor room.
Native Plant: Grey Dogwood
Credit: The Tree Center
False Solomon Seal is a fabulous native alternative to a hydragea - it grows to a similar height and adds a neutral white colour to your landscaping.
Native Plant: False Solomon's Seal
Credit: Cross Conservation
Native Ground Cover
Beach Pea adds colourful filler and ground colour to your garden.
Native Plant: Beach Pea
Flowers pollinated by bees, moths and butterflies