With the virtues of staying home getting stressed by health professionals, your backyard is ready for a refresh. But knowing what will be most convenient now while also looking forward to next year’s needs can be complex. You want to design your backyard in a way that will help improve home value, allow your family to enjoy the space, and have custom features. What changes will give your backyard a unique look?
The entire nation used to be composed primarily of large hardwood forests, many of which have been lost to urbanization. You can do your part to add native plants back in and plant trees on your property. Not to mention the added serenity and beauty that being around trees provide. Whether you need a shade tree, or a willow, conservancy groups can help you decide what is best for your zone while also picking one that looks unique to other trees in the neighborhood. Those that change vividly in the spring or fall are especially beautiful. Avoid trees like Catalpa or Bradford Pear, which might be fast growing, but add to pollen and allergen loads in the community and might be invasive.
Fences have come a long way in the last decade. The emphasis is now on horizontal slats, with clean lines and lighting on the fence itself. There are seating options along fences which are available, and ways for your yard to be both inviting as well as private. This is especially important if you have animals (or older children) which otherwise wouldn’t be safe roaming your property. If your house colors are pretty neutral, pick an interesting color for your fence like charcoal black or slate blue.
Backyard furniture no longer are simple, functional pieces without form or comfort. Modern options are not only sturdy and functional for backyard use, whether covered or uncovered, but they offer beauty and comfort as well. They are made from fabrics that can handle the outdoors and all the weather variations that includes. Recent outdoor living companies have also developed beautiful indoor/outdoor rugs which look like they belong inside of your home, but are made to be pressure washed and left on the deck!
Landscaping is the term for all of the flora in your yard, but hardscaping refers to all of the permanent structures, usually made of concrete. Concrete is a strong material that will last for decades with little wear, and can offer you pathways, patios, fencing, and even fountains. Concrete pumpers can overcome obstacles like a fence or trees in your backyard, so it is well worth the minor hustle of laying it down. Plus, concrete can lower maintenance of a larger yard, offer pathways and other options for seating and walking upon, and generally look beautiful while saving water otherwise used for plants.
There’s no question for the reason that playsets have become more popular backyard items during pandemic times. With small children at home most days, and the addition of public spaces like parks being unsafe at times, having a playset is a great option for family playtime. With many styles available for varied ages and needs, you may find a playset space in your yard is exactly what your family is looking for to increase social and physical activity as well!
Container gardening is remarkably easy, and perfect regardless of whether you have a large outdoor patio or a small balcony. Many garden plants love to grow in containers, including tomatoes and lettuce! Herbs are perfect for containers as well. Your local gardening center can tell you what drainage each container needs for individual plants. As succulents are on trend, consider a planter of “Hens and Chicks” or other low water plants which love containers, but still look beautiful. Container gardens are especially useful if you have larger decking areas or concrete patio areas, but want to sustain the remaining ground for grass. There are some very beautiful options for perennial flowers which can be added to containers for areas around doorways, shaded areas, and other spaces also. Creative containers are in fashion! If you are using hardscaping, building in containers with good drainage can add both options in one space.
Most houses in 2021 do not, indeed, come with a Mother-in-Law suite. Enter the Granny Flat! This is a unique addition that can be useful to more than just mother-in-laws, of course. The goal is to make a small house for one or two people, as a in-law suite which is both a stand alone apartment, but also which can be used for guests or even as a hotel-style micro apartment. Those who have a college age child who needs independence but to stay close to home for a while longer will find it very useful. While modern trends have gotten better at adding additional space on properties for things like craft areas, “she sheds,” and other out-buildings, a Granny Flat needs additional electrical and plumbing options, so keep that in mind with your plans.
Composting is great for the environment and makes a magnificent science project for children as well. With little needed besides a simple location to add composting materials, and perhaps a pitchfork for turning periodically, it’s not a very fancy project, but it can have fancy results. Once the compost is ready and isn’t too “hot,” adding composting to your plants can feed those nutrients back into their roots. This makes your gardening not only more organic, but more healthy when it comes to producing blossoms and veggies, which is fancy!
Your beautiful backyard can be a great boon to the use of you, your family, and friends. As with all areas on your property, think ahead about how much space you have and what features will make the most of it. Your backyard is a chance to design yourself a custom, personalized paradise!
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