Column: Luxurient low-maintenance shade and privacy


This stunning outdoor living space immediately conveys a few of the modern observations of luxury we have leveraged the last few years. Like you, we love our neighbors — but not as much as we love our privacy. And while we enjoy the sun and how it prompts a smile, having a shady escape is critical — but not as critical as having a low-maintenance living environment. 

Privacy, shade and low maintenance

Besides being an amazing place to enjoy life, a more detailed examination of the lanais helps appreciate the intense privacy created with a few basic design strategies. A confident row of heavy upright evergreen yews was planted to generate privacy from the rear. These quick growers paired well with the flowering native redbud and dogwood trees and provide an inspirational view in early spring when flowering. Columnar hornbeams layer in additional privacy while creating mid-day shady solutions.

Historic homes require historic solutions which are echoed in this shade-producing lanais. Notice the sweeping arches and detailed columns? Those architectural details were carried outdoors from this Meridian Kessler estate’s interior elements and marry the spaces together. A variety of pergolas, shade trees and unique umbrellas were carried throughout the rest of the property and add multiple shady respites and colorful drama.

Most of the plants selected are intended to be “naturalized,” like the evergreen privacy hedge, and require minimal pruning and care. We call them our “triple threat” of landscape plants — survivors, four seasons of interest and easy to maintain.

I suspect these observations resonate with your hopes for outdoor living. We love our outdoor spaces yet feel strongly about how they will perform for us. Privacy, shade and low-maintenance living are becoming strong influencers of luxury.

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