Jul 15, 2016

How to create a country haven in urban Portland!


While city life is great, sometimes you may just want a little country in your life. We have created a list of ways to bring the country to you. Creating a place of calmness while utilizing your landscape to the full, will melt away the concrete jungle. You may be asking yourself what is a country haven and will this work for most small backyards seen in NE Portland, SE Portland, SW Portland and NW Portland? Below we have creative suggestions on how to create a country haven in urban Portland.

1. When in doubt plant it out

Lots of plants will create the backdrop for your country haven. Cities tend to lack plant life, so packing in the plants will infuse your landscape with country-living.

2.Plant edibles

Nothing says country like loading your wicker basket with freshly cut kale for dinner or mint for your water. Landscapes can be strategically planted in order to maximize your growing space. Imagine planting beds filled with Northwest natives! We love planting edible landscapes!

EXPERT TIP: Columnar apple trees are a wonderful way to have an orchid in the city. They grow narrow and produce large, sweet apples. Grape vines also are great for creating a mini-vineyard in the city. Also, consider raised planter beds as they are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional for growing edibles in smaller backyards.

3. Have farm animals

Farm fresh eggs are usually only available in the country. However, you can have farm fresh eggs from your own city back yard. The city of Portland allows 3 chickens per home (more need a permit). You can also have goats, rabbits and pygmy pigs!

4. Privacy fencing or hedge

Hiding the view of your neighbor’s house is a key factor in creating a country haven. Spending an entire weekend outside without seeing a soul enhances feelings of solitude and peaceful tranquility sought after in the country.

5. Water feature

The soft sound of trickling or bubbling water often conjures images of stream, creeks or lakes. Natural looking water features are a wonderful addition to any backyard. Space saving water features do not offer the country look but are worth considering if your backyard is a tight space.

6. Honey Bees

Mason jars on your kitchen counter filled with raw honey from your own yard, hollers country. Honey bees are allowed in Portland, just follow the city guidelines.

7. Fire pit

Long summer nights or crisp fall evenings will heighten the feeling of your personal country haven. The light snapping and crackling of a golden blaze will transfix you, creating an inner peace, reseting you for the week.

8. Meandering gravel paths

Having a natural material, such as gravel gives an organic, natural feel to your landscape. A meandering gravel path wandering through your landscape to a variety of interests (your fire pit, water feature, edibles, etc.) will undoubtedly seal the deal on creating your country haven.

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Erica Mooney
Email Erica Mooney

Erica is an avid lover of the outdoors, and transformed that love into a partnership running Valley West with Ryan 2012.

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