Planning a garden and outdoor living space can be really exciting and rewarding, especially when you consider these ‘Must Have’ items recommended by Janet Ennamorato of Creative Garden Designs.

outdoor living space

Photo Source: Deck Reno Checklist


Patios are essential for dining, lounging and entertaining. Don’t forget to consider shade. This may include pergolas, pavilions or beautiful, large umbrellas. Of course, gorgeous planters are also a welcome addition for providing colorful accents with annuals and perennials.

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is becoming a backyard essential like never before, transforming a garden into a true outdoor extension of your living space. The outdoor kitchen often becomes the center of activity with a built in BBQ, bar fridge, side burner, pizza oven, smoker and so much more!

Garden Furniture

Of course, a patio and outdoor kitchen are a waste if you don’t include beautiful and comfortable garden furniture. When planning a landscaping project, make sure to set aside some budget for good quality pieces so you’ll have a comfortable place to sit, relax and enjoy the finished project with friends and family!

Water Features

The soothing sound of water is a great way to enhance your outdoor living space experience.  Adding a water feature can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. This could be anything from a bubbling rock or small water fountain to a full scale pool with a sheer descent water fall!

Fire Features

A fire feature is a must have for your outdoor living space, especially if you enjoy late summer evening entertaining! As the evening approaches, everyone is drawn to the fire feature, whether it be gas or wood. A fire feature allows you, and your guests, to enjoy later evenings and to enjoy the outdoors later into the fall as well.

Thoughtful Lighting

Landscape lighting performs two essential functions. It can be used to create a welcoming ambiance and highlight design features but it is also a must for providing safety and security for the gardens as well as for the home itself.

In-ground Sprinkler System

I always recommend that clients consider an in-ground sprinkler system. A custom system designed specifically to the needs of your garden can eliminate a lot of maintenance and also protect plants from damage caused by over or under watering. Once installed, you won’t want a garden without it ever again!


Pollinator friendly plants are a great idea for everyone; these can be selected to blend in beautifully with the whole garden while providing habitat and food for birds, bees, & butterflies. Pollinators offer a number of benefits to the environment as well as to your own garden and the health of your plants. Consider mixing a few of these beautiful plants into your garden!

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