Monday, June 18, 2007

Get back inside

In Landscape Management, we’ve written a lot about the trend of outdoor rooms being a huge component of landscape design/build. But according to this article from the Providence (RI) Journal, some people are finding the extra work associated with the outdoor areas not worth the effort.

“The backyard misery has been a boon for exterminators and repair shops. Fire ants nest in speakers and televisions. (They’re attracted to the hum and vibration.) Squirrels chew on the arms of teak furniture and on speaker wires. When expensive electronics come into contact with water, dust, pollen and heat, burnouts and other problems can occur.”

Worse yet, even after spending in the six digits to create an outdoor paradise, some of the areas are going unused.

“A study published in the March edition of the Journal of Family and Economic Issues suggests it isn’t uncommon for families to abandon their decked-out yards. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles tracked the activities of 24 middle-class L.A. households. They found that though the backyards were equipped with pools, patios, grills and, in one case, a skateboard ramp, children spent little time playing in them and adults rarely used them.” 

So are outdoor rooms dying. Hardly. But this article maybe makes me feel a little better about the fact that I couldn’t afford to even clean one of these outdoor areas, let alone build one.

— Mike Seuffert

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