Create an Outdoor Office

An outdoor office are easy to add to your living space.  In this time of working from home and meeting online it makes great sense too.

The Basics of an Outdoor Office

Outdoor office work spaces don’t need to be elaborate. All you need is a wireless signal, a flat surface for your laptop and beverages, and some shade so you can easily view your screen.


My home is blessed with a porch on the north side that the sun never shines into.  There is a roof overhead for shade and comfortable chairs to sit on. The little garden table is enough to hold the computer and coffee (hot or iced, depending on season) and I’m using the Wi-Fi signal from the house. All that is lacking is a ceiling fan for those warmer days. Or there is the west patio. Good until about 2 pm when the sun starts shining in. The problem with the north patio is that it is a tad chilly in winter.


Other Structures

But if you are not blessed with a porch to shade your screen, what can you do?

Time for a ramada of some sort! Ramada is the Southwest term for a shade structure, commonly called a pergola or gazebo in other parts of the world. Arbors are also an option.

C.L. Fornari, n a recent article in The Garden Center Magazine shares this, “There are a number of “readi-build” structures that are easy to purchase and put up. Normally I would suggest hiring a crew to build one for you (shop local after all) but the crews are backed up busy with all the home improvements everyone is doing right now. It might be easier to buy one of these and assemble it yourself. It needn’t be elaborate.”


Mind you, this outdoor office can, and should, double as an outdoor living area. (This is one way to sell a spouse on the idea.) My spouse is dreaming of an outdoor BBQ area with a seating area for when friends visit. If the seating area is shady – then I would have a work space for when my north patio is too cool – like all winter in the Southwest!


An arbor is sort of like a ramada, but it is open to the sky and provides a trellis for vines to grow up and over. The vines provide the shade.  Shady arbors are so lovely for meals or cocktails after office hours.


If your arbor is next to the home, consider a deciduous vine so the leaves come off in winter, allowing the winter sun to shine in and help warm your home.


This is the fun part! You will need to add plants to your outdoor office.

It is so wonderful to be toiling away on the keyboard and have a hummingbird visit the pot of flowers on the porch next to the computer. Mind you – if your porch is open to the wildlife world make sure your containers can withstand the hooves of hungry javelina.

Ramada covered with a witer deciduous vine.

Good to know that many fragrant herbs (lavender, rosemary, oregano) are wildlife resistant – and can provide a little aromatherapy when your Zoom meeting goes on for a just bit too long.

It is wonderful to add outdoor living spaces to your yard. It is like adding a whole extra room to your home!

For more ideas on plants to add to your space, I invite you to come on over to my Gardening With Soule Membership site. 

Thanks for Reading!


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