gazebo with string lights in a yard

8 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Yard

No matter its size, your yard should be a source of enjoyment and refuge. It should be a place where you can escape when you want to have some fun, relax, and unwind.

If your yard is the opposite of that, a place you want to get away from due to all the clutter and chaos, you should do something about it. Here are a few ways you can make the most out of your yard and turn it into an enticing getaway.

Clear the Clutter

Start by pruning fig trees and overgrown hedges and clearing out the clutter. If your kids are too old for swings and slides, you can also relocate or donate old play equipment. Recycle or get rid of broken accessories, furniture, or items that don’t seem to belong in your backyard.

Ideally, you want to start over with as bare or clean a slate as possible. To turn your yard into a perfect getaway, assess it for the elements it needs.

Do you want to turn it into an area for enjoying the things you love, like eating with friends and family, working out, or swimming? Or perhaps you just want to turn it into a refuge for kicking back and relaxing?

Comfortable Seating

lounge chairs by poolChaise lounges, lounge chairs, and a deep seating set really allow you to stretch out—whether it’s on a deck, by a swimming pool, under an umbrella, or even on the balcony of a high-rise building.

You are more likely to kick back and spend more time outside if the seating in your yard is comfortable. For some serious relaxation, you can even add a hammock.

The Right Landscaping

If you want to make the most of your yard, not just any landscaping will do. To set a mood or theme in your yard, you need to carefully plan landscaping and select plans that look natural in their new setting.

If you choose the right plants, your yard could look like your favorite vacation spot. Who wouldn’t want to have a backyard that reminds them of that trip to Sedona, Tahiti, or Maui?

The key is to select plants that adapt well to the local climate and environment. If you live in a desert locale, for instance, the dying tropicals in your backyard won’t really remind you of Aruba.

Mix perennials, vines, shrubs, and trees that are adapted to the climate (you should be able to find them in a local botanical garden shop or nursery) with natives for your region. You can always ask for suggestions from a garden store employee or even hire a landscape designer.

If your yard is mostly cement, consider going for easy houseplants you can take outside, patio plants, or tall container plants.

Add a Garden Room

garden roomIf you really want to get the most from your yard, adding a garden room is one of the best things you can do.

If you live in the UK, Ireland, Canada, or the Northern United States, your yard may be a freezing no-go zone from late fall to early spring. By building a room in your yard, you will be able to enjoy your outdoor living space all year round.

You can use a garden room however you please, as a playroom for the kids, a lounge, a dining room, or even a home office.

An outdoor room can noticeably increase the value of your property.

Add Fire

A fireplace, chiminea, or fire pit will add warmth to your yard. There’s nothing more relaxing than cuddling with your partner as you stare at the flames or talking with family and friends next to a fire.

It is easy to create a sitting area around a fire, thanks to the many portable fire pit models available on the market. Just make sure that the fire pit is not on top of a wooden deck, under a roof, or near a building.

Create a Focal Point

bird houseBy creating a strong focal point with a sculpture, fountain, bird feeder, or birdbath, you can make a statement in a small yard. Such a piece will give the eye a place to gravitate to and anchor your design. Without a focal point, your yard could easily feel cluttered.

A fountain or a birdbath is a much more affordable water feature than a private swimming pool, and it could even be more calming. The sound of birds splashing in a birdbath or the sound of trickling water is a great addition to any yard.

Lushly planted borders, an L-shaped bench, and large cor-ten planters can also offer multiple attractive areas for the eye to rest. The bench and the pots will visually anchor the area and provide a focal point even when the plants die down in winter.

Use Natural Elements for Privacy

Privacy is key to creating a relaxing outdoor area. You don’t want to hem in your yard with privacy fencing, especially if it is small.

Instead, use your property lines to plant a living fence of trees and hedges, and as an opportunity to grow more plants. Even using bamboo is a great option.

This strategy will give you something lush to look at while you relax and allow your backyard to merge visually with your neighbor’s.

Use your vertical space to its best advantage. You can build a planting column as well as hang planters on walls or fences.

Create Shade

gazebo surrounded by greeneryAn arbor, gazebo, or pergola can help define an area of your yard for a specific use, such as enjoying a morning cup of coffee or relaxing in the shade.

If all of these options are over your budget, don’t worry. Even adding something as simple as an umbrella will create a different environment and prevent your yard from feeling monotonous.

There is something about the round shape of the umbrella, projected over backyard furniture, that looks inviting and fun. An umbrella in your backyard will conjure up images of a vacation at a beach resort as well as provide much-needed shade.

Planting fast-growing trees for shade is also an option. Almost everything depreciates the moment you install it. There are only a few things that appreciate over time, and they include trees.

When planting trees, younger is usually better. But if you want to get the full effect sooner, you’ll need some size. So, it may be best to buy an 8-foot tall tree, 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

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