Get your home ready for spring with these outdoor living tips

With the first week of spring underway, and warmer weather (hopefully!) arriving, outdoor living is at the forefront of many homeowner’s minds.

Whether you’re wanting to start a garden or redo the back patio, Amy Strunk, a career landscape designer and owner of Amy Strunk Designs, offers some starting tips to get your space blooming.

Understand your space and plan for growth.

Trees are a common outdoor addition for many homeowners — they provide foliage all year round and offer elements such as shade and depth to a yard. Strunk warns that people often don’t account for the future growth of trees, and just how large some species can grow. For example, some maple trees can grow to over 70 feet high in just a few decades.

“Rather than having to take out a tree that’s grown too large, plant the right tree upfront and then you’re not having to remove a tree that’s taken over your space,” she said.

Know your climate.

Are you living in an urban jungle of concrete and small, shady balconies? Or a suburban oasis with acres of green grass to fill? Whatever your setting, make sure to understand the climate of your home’s surroundings.

Consider amount of sun, wind and temperature your outdoor space gets. Temperatures can change drastically from the city to just a few miles outside in the suburbs, so take this into account when choosing your plants.

“Putting the wrong plant in the wrong climate isn’t good for anyone,” Strunk says.

Do your research.

While building your own retaining wall and installing a sculptural water fountain may seem like a fun weekend activity, Strunk says think twice before taking on big projects that should be left to the professionals. 

“You should ask yourself if this is something you can actually accomplish yourself or if you should hire a specialist.”

Style your outdoor space with the same thought you put into your indoor space.

Remember that your outdoor space is an extension of your indoor living area! Strunk encourages homeowners to play with textures and colors as they would with their interior design. From fun planters to a new rug or cushions, sprucing up an outdoor space should be fun. Everyone loves a retreat — especially at home! Find an outdoor foliage style that suits your needs and maintenance level.

To learn more about Amy Strunk Designs, visit her website at