The Backyard That Keeps On Giving
Do you think of your backyard as an extension of your home, or is it just that piece of land behind your house that you occasionally step outside into begrudgingly? Do you have elaborate dreams of turning the dry grass and overgrown shrubbery into a beautiful garden, filled with luscious greenery, areas for the kids to play safely, and a peaceful veranda for yoga practice? With a little bit of love, a backyard can be an outside room, with all manner of amazing possibilities. From entertainment and relaxation, to exercise and healthy vegetable gardens, the backyard should be the gift that keeps on giving.
Picture the scene: it’s 6.30am in the middle of summer, the sun is rising, but it isn’t too hot yet, the family are still in bed, and the birds are chirping to each other. You get out of bed, stroll outside, and sit nursing your morning cup of coffee on the decking, looking over the flowers as the open up to welcome the first sunlight of the day. Doesn’t that sound like absolute bliss?
A garden should be the epitome of peace and tranquility when you need it to be. The vibrancy and vitality of the plants, bugs, and birds allow you to draw energy from them as you sit there, relaxing in the air as it starts to slowly warm. Why not bring out your yoga mat, and ground yourself to the earth while the breeze softly washes over you?
The perfect relaxing garden doesn’t need to be primped and preened to within an inch of its life. It needs to be loved and landscaped, but natural. Choose easily maintained meadow flowers to line the perimeter of the wall and lawn. Fill patio pots with herbs to bring rich, sumptuous scents to the entire garden. Comfortable seating is an absolute must. A swinging seat, hanging from a large tree. A pretty deck chair, or super modern modular outdoor sofa. Choose furniture which suits you, suits your garden, but which is beautiful, durable, and most importantly, divinely comfortable.
If you’re the sociable sort, garden parties are the future. Chilling out, grilling meat, sipping cocktails - it sounds like perfection, right? Even a teeny, tiny backyard can be turned into the ultimate entertaining space. All it takes is enough seating to ensure everyone is comfortable, tables for drinks, and some sort of entertainment. A hot tub is awesome but expensive. A great alternative is a fire pit. Imagine sitting around with your nearest and dearest, toasting marshmallows, and staying warm as the heat of the day leaves you behind.
The garden needs to be zoned in order to allow for the intimacy required for entertaining. You could do this yourself, but hiring an experienced landscaper who can properly assess the land will heed better results. Check out http://unique-landscapes.com/landscape-projects.htm to see what could be done for your garden to meet your needs. Creating zones makes it easy to move between areas of the garden, but it also allows you to treat your backyard as an extension of your home, with a seating area, a swimming zone, and even a play area for the kids.
You also have to make sure you have some cute outdoor lighting for creating the perfect atmosphere for entertaining. While bright security lights are perfect for keeping your home safe, if you can turn them off when you have guests it’s going to be so much easier to get the lighting right. Choose fairy lights and festoon lighting for really cute and subtle light, and use candles for intimacy (and to deter mosquitoes as a bonus).
We all keep promising ourselves that we will work out more, but it can be tricky to get to the gym regularly, and many people find going for a jog in a public place to be embarrassing. Creating a garden which is perfect for working out can really spur you on. A swimming pool is the obvious addition, and can be used by the whole family for entertaining, exercise, and fun. But they’re not cheap, and it’s good to have other options. The lawn is perfect for yoga and pilates, especially as it gives a softer surface to lie on. All you need is a laptop to follow along with a fitness instructor’s videos, such as Yoga with Adriene https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene. Otherwise, jumping rope on the patio is a perfect high-intensity workout, and you only need to do it for a few minutes a day to see results.
A yard doesn’t have to be well-kept and highly preened to be perfect for working out, but the more you fill it with things you love, the more likely you are to want to spend time out there.
We all want our children to get out of the house as much as possible. Fresh air, exercise, and adventure are crucial for their development. When they can do this in the safety of their own backyard, it can really help to put our minds at ease. A climbing frame, swing set, and a few little nooks and crannies for hide and seek is perfect. Children make their own games; they just need a safe environment in which to do it. If you do have any water features, be sure to cover them or put a safety barrier around them, accidents do happen but they’re easily avoided.
If you really want your garden to give back, a vegetable plot is perfect. Kids love planting the seeds, transferring the seedlings, and finally harvesting them at the end. All it requires from you is some careful monitoring to check for bugs and diseases, and a bit of water throughout summer. It’s an amazing way to teach your kids about plant science, but also great for encouraging them to enjoy some more healthy foods - which kid isn’t going to want to eat the literal fruits of their labor?
None of these things have to be exclusive. A garden should be a place that kids can play, mom can do yoga, and the vegetable garden can bloom. In fact, when it’s a space which can achieve all of these things, it really is the gift that keeps on giving.