Creating an Outdoor Living Space in Your Yard in Chicago, IL

Hammock relaxation swing

New landscaping trends are hitting the Chicago area, and being an urban dweller it can be difficult to create the garden of your dreams. Using your outside living space to its full capacity expands your livable space. With the weather patterns, Chicago faces throughout the year, you might want to consider patio items and plants that will withstand a bit of frost, even if it’s at the end of the growing season.

Summer is the perfect season for working on the perfect landscape for your outside area. You might only have a balcony, rooftop, or a spacious backyard for an entire family closer to the suburbs. No matter how much space you have, you can create an outdoor living space perfect for you.

Create a Nook Space

Rather than placing your chairs right in the open, try creating an intimate space. Look for an area in your garden or property that feels a bit enclosed and secluded. It might have some nice shade from a tree or have a hedge on one side. This area can become your nook space. Place a comfortable chair or two. It is your new space to retreat to when you want to relax with a book or watch the clouds go by with a cup of coffee.

Using Screens for Privacy

When your neighbor’s house is only a few feet away, it is easy to feel like you are out in the open. You can use fences, walls, or tall plants to create some privacy in your outdoor living space. Some like to plant bamboo between properties because it grows fast and the upright form doesn’t take up very much space.

Bring Back Your Childhood

As you plan your landscaping, think about your childhood. Your garden should be intimate and represent you, and bringing in aspects of your childhood connects you back to your roots. Try planting specific flowers your parents grew, or the heirloom tomato your grandmother canned. Putting one or more nostalgic plant in your garden brings back memories and creates a homey feel outside.

landscaping trends Chicago, IL

Welcome Wildlife

Another way to create an outdoor living space that feels like an extension of your home is to welcome wildlife into your space. Watching bees visit your flowers, birds eat from birdfeeders, and squirrels dance in the trees bring a sense of life to your new outdoor living area.

To work on encouraging wildlife, make sure to plant some native species that act as pollinators or provide food for the visiting birds. Some plants native to the Chicagoland area include purple coneflower, purple prairie clover, butterfly weed, and wild geranium. All these varieties are perfect for a bountiful rooftop or balcony garden.   Put a birdbath and a birdhouse. You can plant a butterfly bush, and hang a hummingbird feeder. You will enjoy sitting outside, watching the wildlife.

Try a Movable Barrier

A new landscaping trend in Chicago is to add movable barriers to your space. Tall potted plants are popular picks. Instead of planting flowers in the pots, try tall, native grasses for more privacy. These barriers also work well for renters who are unable to build a permanent barrier. Tall potted plants make an entrance to your home feel separate from the street as well.

Plant More Than Flowers

Flowers have their place in your landscape, but you want more than marigolds and petunias. Try planting native grasses, creeping flowers and bush, and other perennial plants. Perennials will continue to come back each year, which means less upkeep for you.

Try incorporating herbs throughout your landscaping as well. Rosemary is a perennial, along with mint, that can make a garden bed stylish and useful. These plants also encourage visitors to come by, like birds.

Feeling inspired to create your own backyard wonderland? Visit our Chicago lawn care page for more information! In addition to Chicago, we also provide lawn care services across the Midwest in cities including, Milwaukee, WI, Madison, WI, Indianapolis, IN, Chattanooga, TN, Memphis, TN, Detroit, MI, and Grand Rapids, MI.


Bethany Hayes