Spring has arrived, summer is on the horizon, and the family is impatient to get outside to enjoy the brilliant weather. What better place to spend quality time with family and friends than your own backyard. Here are the 10 tips for making the transition out of doors.
1. Picture Your Outdoor Yard Start by noting the permanent features in your yard. You may already have a porch, patio or deck, which is a good beginning. Take note of the location of large trees and shrubs, and be aware of areas sun and shade. Then, come up with ways to build on what is already there. A simple coat of paint might make your porch/patio look brand new. The harsh lines of a chain-link fence might be turned into a thing of beauty by the addition of some ivy or morning glory. Even overgrown shrubs and trees can be trimmed into ripe finery. For privacy, a fast-growing, closely planted hedge will screen you from view and at the same time absorb unwanted noise. Using evergreens will give you that privacy year- round.
2. Less Work - More Fun To avoid constant pruning, select shrubs that will grow to the height you want. Settle on plants that are compatible with the amount of sunlight they will naturally acquire - make mother nature your ally rather than your enemy. Do yourself a favor by keeping yard work to a minimum. Use mulch to control weeds or consider spreading wood chips. Position weed blocker prior to laying paving stones. Prior planning will reduce chores and give you more time to enjoy your retreat.
3. Everyone Is Special It is essential to cater to everyone’s tastes so that each family member can enjoy their own space, and know they are an important part of the family. With that in mind, craft an appealing nook where one can savor morning coffee while reading the newspaper. Make a space to play board games by putting in a small table with chairs. Create an inviting alcove for those who love to read. And, remember, kids love hideaways - a strong tree would be the perfect place for a tree house. If there’s sufficient space, a miniature garden train will add an extra entertaining feature to the backyard. Garden trains and tracks are weatherproof and can survive the elements. All the family can take pleasure in being imaginative during landscaping the layout of the track.
4. Cozy Conversation Communication is key to keeping the family happy. Make sure you plan a spot which fosters family bonding. The cooking area with a cast iron glider bench large enough to seat several people, some matching chairs, and a portable fire pit quickly becomes a chat room for the whole family to interrelate.
5. Flowers vs. Food Why not make your garden both functional and visual? A basic vegetable garden will supply valuable nutrition and a cutting garden full of vibrant flowers will please the eyes. Some easy to grow bloomers are cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias. Children, on the other hand, prefer plants that grow quickly - pumpkins, squash, and cherry tomatoes.
6. Beat The Heat Put the heat of the kitchen behind you and prepare family meals on an outdoor grill. An outdoor fireplace immediately becomes a focal point and extends your haven’s functional time. A portable fire pit gives you flexibility of setting and it’s a superb place to cook hot dogs or roast marshmallows.
7. Decor With Furniture Quality furniture will pay a dividend of many years of pleasure. A well placed bench changes an empty part of the yard into a place of quiet reflection. A hammock can be strung between shady trees, or affixed to a stand for napping on a lazy afternoon. A quality swing with a colored porch furniture cushion becomes a perfect spot for taking a break from your chores. So let your artistic instinct run free with paint colors, wood finishes, and cushion hues and patterns. There is enough license to turn your retreat into an imaginative masterpiece.
8. Water Is Life Do not forget an outdoor water feature such as a birdbath, fountain or reflection pool. This can be used as a focal point and will provide the sounds which soothe the soul. If the budget permits, a hot tub is a heavenly place to relax after a hard day.
9. Fun And Games Leave some space for family games. Badminton requires only a small clear area and a strip of sand would make a fine location for a game of horseshoes.
10. Sound Advice Soft or loud, the mood of gatherings with family or friends can be enhanced by music. Speakers, fabricated to resemble rocks can be located alongside pathways. Regular outdoor speakers can be placed discreetly in trees to preserve the natural effect and add to the ambience.
With the implementation of several of the suggestions we have offered, your backyard can be turned into a space where everyone will find their favorite sanctuary - a true haven.
Author Bio Jay Chua is the Publisher of PorchSwingSets.com. He is a nature aficionado and garden guru. When he is not gardening, designing backyard sanctuaries or traveling, he relishes peaceful times spent with his wife Deisy on a wooden patio swing at their home in Vancouver, Canada. To make your very own carefree memories, try a hammock with stand and visit PorchSwingSets.com to explore a range of patio swings made with your garden family haven in mind.