Creating an Outdoor Oasis
Whether it’s relaxing on the deck, dining al fresco on the patio or getting your hands dirty in the garden, summer is a time for enjoying your personal outdoor spaces. West County Gardens has been helping locals do just that for 40 years.
John Trovillion founded the locally owned and operated company in 1980. The inspiration to create a residential landscaping maintenance and construction company came from personal experience. “I’ve always worked in landscaping, even in junior and senior high,” he notes. “I’ve always enjoyed that every time I go to a house, I leave it better than when I came.” He also is motivated by the lasting impact of West County Gardens’ projects, noting that some wall and paver construction can last 50 or even 100 years.
West County Gardens handles a variety of projects. “Our team is multifaceted, so we handle each aspect of a project in house,” Trovillion explains. “We’re able to build a patio, install the lighting, put up a pergola and do all of the planting ourselves.” Its list of services include building retaining and seating walls; constructing patios, walks and drives; and installing elements like fences, pergolas and decks. The company also helps people solve problems like grade changes and drainage control. “Water is always a major concern, whether it’s too much or not enough,” Trovillion notes, adding that homeowners are placing bigger emphasis on their yards now. “People are becoming more appreciative of their homes, and I think outdoor living spaces play a huge role in our daily lives. Expanding the inside outside gives you a lot more functional areas.”
With four decades of experience, West County Gardens has developed a strong relationship with the St. Louis community. “Some of our clients have been with us since the beginning,” Trovillion notes. “We get to know them and they get to know us, both as individuals and as a business. Our employees look forward to seeing our customers and vice versa. We really love building a family relationship.”
upgrade your outdoor spaces
- Light It Up
Trovillion says more focus is being placed on lighting to ensure that areas are user friendly and functional at night. “We’re seeing a big expansion of outdoor lighting options,” he notes. “Hanging bistro-style lights is especially hot right now.”
- Go Native
Make responsible choices when choosing what to plant. Native plants and trees attract urban wildlife like birds and are important for pollinators. On the other hand, exotic plants may escape cultivation and be invasive. Missouri plants that work well in residential gardens include aromatic aster, blue wild indigo, wild hydrangea, American beautyberry, copper iris and orange coneflower.
- Food for Thought
During the pandemic, many people began gardening; don’t let that new hobby fall to the wayside. Growing fruits and vegetables is a great way to add vibrancy to your outdoor spaces while also giving your diet a healthful boost. Consider starting an international herb patch for some global inspiration.
- Bigger is Better
After lockdown caused homeowners to focus on improving their homes inside and out, Trovillion says he saw a rise in people looking to expand existing outdoor areas. “They want larger patio areas to accommodate features like fire pits and outdoor kitchens,” he explains. “With projects like that, we also usually add a pergola to provide shade.”
- Up Front
We often think of the front yard as being all about curb appeal, but you can utilize it for outdoor living as well. Last year, we saw the rise of the driveway party, and you can continue to use the front of your home for socialization. Add a bistro table and chairs, tree swing or bench to create a welcoming space for neighbors and friends.
- For All Seasons
Consider adding items that will allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces longer. Misting systems and ensure you can handle summer heat, and heaters and fire pits can help you tackle the cooler months.
Featured photo courtesy of West County Gardens