As I meet with potential Pattie Group customers throughout Northeast Ohio, one thing is clear, for too long we have overlooked the critical importance and positive impact outdoor spaces have on our families, our health, and our well being.

Today our world is dominated by technology.  Our work day has become 24 hours, social media is replacing face-to-face interaction, and our devices which are supposed to make life easier and less stressful, aren’t. Our children are following in our footsteps too.  Statistics show that they are spending more time in front of video games and television than ever before, and far less time on outside activity and play. When is the last time you worried about grass stained knees on your child’s clothing, or had to stop your car as a ball rolled into the street? 

At a recent industry conference our team attended, one speaker asked the question, “is indoor entertainment replacing outdoor activity”?  That is a scary question to ponder. The speaker also pointed out that “most children today can identify over one thousand corporate logos, and only ten plant and animal species native to their area”. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article that stated “for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents”.  As we have become less active and spend more time indoors, obesity, diabetes and allergies have soared. 

For years the landscape industry has trumpeted the message that a great landscape can improve home and property value by 15% - 25%.  That is true.  But that is not the greatest value in creating outdoor spaces. The true value lies in the opportunities for outdoor activity and play, family bonding, fellowship with friends, environmental improvement and the impact all of it has on our health & well being.

When our team at The Pattie Group creates your outdoor space, we want to know who will use it, how it will be used, and help you identify, exploit and maximize to true value of what might be one of the most important investments you will ever make.

A proper design and installation is more than just a few plants and a slab of concrete. It’s a composition of elements that exercise all the senses, reduce stress and create opportunity for family interaction and strengthening.  Perhaps it is a patio space ripe for dinner together, a board game, or where you’ll watch your children roast their first s’mores.  Perhaps it’s a pond to fish in or open lawn space conducive for playing catch, learning to ride a bike, or building a fort.  Maybe it’s a place to learn a few plants together, watch the birds feed at the Serviceberry tree or butterflies flutter about the Coneflowers.  Maybe even get dirty planting and tending a garden together.

Think back to your greatest childhood memories.  Did they happen inside playing video games and watching television,…..or did they happen outside?