A backyard is a magical extension of your home. It’s a place to gather, relax, and make memories. It’s your own patch of land that the rest of the world can’t touch. American minister Russell Conwell claims, “You can journey to the end of the earth in search of success, but if you’re lucky, you will discover happiness in your backyard.” Pulling weeds and cleaning up is one thing, but bringing life and wonder to it takes serious time and thought. It’s hard work to beautify a backyard, but it is definitely worth it.
I love the idea of turning the yard into Narnia as much as the next person, but before completely transforming the whole thing, let’s start small. Start with purchasing a hose holder to use when you have no need to water anything. It’s an overlooked idea, but instantly makes the yard look cleaner and more presentable.
Next, dig through furniture you aren’t currently using and put it outside. Maybe put a worn bench next to your flower bed or set up an outdoor dining area. This will make it easier to entertain guests and provide a variety of seating. Another inexpensive option, one that will up the appeal factor, is to put up string lights. Simple strings of lights can be found everywhere from Target to Home Depot and occasionally at your local supermarket. They will be a festive addition for celebrating the everyday.
Now that we have looked at some simple and inexpensive ideas, let’s talk about the garden. Not everyone has one, but for those who do or want to plant one, these tips are for you. From flower beds to corn mazes, from traditional to cottage, gardens bring so much color, life, and character to a yard and in many cases, something delicious to eat.
Keeping that in mind, it’s important to know how to groom your plant friends to compliment the rest of the yard. To keep your plants from spilling over into another area, or to create visual definition, incorporate garden borders. Not only will this protect your garden, but it will clean up the overall look of the backyard.
Considering a more formal look throughout your garden, consider buying or building an arch. It will add structure to your garden, and may very well serve as a support for creeping vines and flowers. If you want to add something that will encourage visitors of the feathered variety, try installing a bird bath or feeder. I’m sure the local jays and hummingbirds will love you for it.
But Wait, There’s More!
Maybe you’re ready for a drastic change to your backyard but don’t know what direction to go. If you’re hoping to incorporate something big and exciting, consider getting a pond. It’s the perfect cherry on top of an already beautiful place. Not to mention it will add so much life to your backyard (pun totally intended). There are a variety of do-it-yourself options at the local hardware stores, from tiny puddle-sized to full-sized koi ponds. With the addition of water friendly plants, some moody uplighting and a perfectly placed thinking-bench, you’ll create your own little oasis.
If you want to create a place for hosting friends and family in your backyard, a place where people feel welcome to sit back and stay a while, I recommend installing a fire pit. Fire pits are simple but very warm and inviting, perfect for celebrating and gathering with your friends and family. Above ground traditional shaped gas-fire pits, firepits inside of water features, simple in-ground wood burning rings, or even an outdoor clay Chimineas invite guests to sit and stay awhile. Creating an inviting environment includes adding some comfortable seating, perhaps with a small table or two, somewhere to put those after dinner drinks.
For a more relaxed, elegant setting, try a small gazebo or pergola. Gazebos range from full construction projects, to simple assembly, and their range in style is even greater. Consider including your string of lights to give the whole area a soft, romantic effect. With the addition of some lounging charis, maybe even a swing or two, this is a recipe for the perfect relaxing afternoons.
Remember to have fun! A backyard has no set rules, only room for creative expression. It’s a significant part of your home, be sure to take care of it.
Written by Brianna Shoemaker
Header Photo by James Frid from Pexels.