The Element Series - Using the element 'earth' in design.
There are four fundamental elements - earth, air, water and fire that are necessary for the existence of all life on earth. Many ancient philosophies believe that when we bring these four elements into balance, we bring health, satisfaction and joy to our lives.
If you didn't catch our first journal entry in this series, have a look. You'll learn how the four elements benefit your well-being and how to use them to set in motion healing, balance & integration.
The next four journal entries will feature EARTH. Strengthening the EARTH element allows us to better connect to our life path and family roots, as well, grounds us - electrically reconnecting to the earth to restore your natural defences and ability to heal. Healthline, August 30, 2019
This week we'll look at how to integrate EARTH into your outdoor design so that your outdoor room and plant life live harmoniously with one another as one unit.
We will 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 Native's acting as a source for seeds. Canadian Wildlife Federation
Photo credit: Cottage and Bungalow
Outdoor rooms and landscaping - living in harmony.
A natural pool is a simple way to consistently immerse yourself right into EARTH. There are zero chemicals used in a natural pool so you can co-exist with nature's coastal elements while taking your morning swim. If you want more information about natural pools, see my journal entry "The Water Series - promote well-being by integrating water into your home".
I often see gorgeous outdoor rooms that are bare of any plants. Earth and outdoor room design can work as one. When planning together, EARTH is not an after thought with pots scattered haphazard through the room at the end of the project.
Plan to surround yourself with Mother Nature so that you can meander through your garden or sit quietly to maximize her healing benefits. Here they have plants - trees, shrubs and ground cover - layered among stone. They all work together to draw your sight through the space. \
Grass, shrubs and ground cover do a wonderful job drawing you along a path from room to room, delineating each area and making your yard easier to maintain (ground cover minimizes weeds - phew).
When creating your design for your native plants, consider how they will look from the inside of your house. Here, windows corner the outdoor space allowing for spectacular views and light. They have carefully chosen plants so that they are visible from the inside but not tall enough to block a view or incoming light.
Consider your needs in each outdoor room space. This space calls for privacy so a flowering bush gives you ample solitude from Spring to Fall, as well, something pretty to gaze at while you're showering. Credit: Greigedesign
When you're not so concerned about privacy, you can consider plants that will creep up and make you feel like your showering among nature's bounty.
Plants remain the hero when selecting shower fixtures that blend into the exterior wall. Now that's grounding.
Credit: Kristofer Johansson
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 Paper Birch is my favourite tree. It must be the white... When planning outdoor design, consider layering with different sizes, textures and shades. I always start with trees as my line of site stops at trees given their size. Then consider plants that will take your eyes on a journey rather than just straight to their destination.
Native Plant: Paper Birch
Native Plants - Grasses
Grasses are a staple with coastal outdoor design. The fringe on this grass adds a lot of texture to get a lot of attention.
Native Plant: Fringed Brome
Credit: Agrecol Native Nursery
When I think of the coast, I think of the American Beach Grass. Consider the grass colours and textures when choosing plants that will seamlessly complement your furniture and accessories. Native Plant: American Beach Grass
Important for erosion control
Native Plants - Bushes
Flowering bushes add softness and a feeling of abundance to your outdoor room.
Native Plant: Grey Dogwood
Credit: The Tree Center
The Wild Rose is a flowering bush that will add pools of colour to brighten your mood.
Native Plant: Wild Rose
Credit: Miss Chen
Native Plants - Wildflowers
Wildflowers and ground cover are a great filler to stem or hide unsightly weeds.
Native Plant: Harebell
Native Plants - Ground Cover
Native Plant: Beach Pea
Flowers pollinated by bees, moths and butterflies