For many families, the backyard is a prime location of entertainment, and a popular venue for barbecues, summer picnics, holiday gatherings and family get togethers. The back of the home is just as important as the front, and it is important to provide the landscaping needed to make this oasis all that it can be.
Make it Personal
When it comes to creating this wonderful backyard paradise, consider your own personal taste and style, as well as how much time you have to devote to caring for the landscape. Those with little time would do well to look for plants, trees and shrubs that are hardy and well adapted to the environment in which they will be planted. Using native species of trees, bushes, shrubs and other landscape plants can greatly reduce the amount of upkeep required.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Karen Thurber suggests, "If you enjoy watching birds, consider including elements like feeders, bird baths, bird house, and fountains. A hummingbird garden can draw in the smallest birds. A few of the plants they enjoy are; Azaleas, Flowering Quince, Lantana, Beebalm, Lupin, Fuchsia, Petunia and many others, check with your local garden center for more recommendations."
Do you Want Simple or Complex?
There are of course as many ideas for backyard landscaping as there are homeowners, and it would be impossible to list them all. For some, backyard landscaping can be as simple as planting a couple of trees, or designing a colorful backyard flower bed. Others may have more elaborate plans, such as a backyard gazebo or even a hot tub or spa. These additions can do wonders to increase the enjoyment of the outdoors, and a hot tub can provide a romantic getaway for the homeowners as well.
TIP: Karen adds, "Including a small area to plant a few vegetables, or an herb garden, can be very rewarding. There is nothing like a freshly picked tomato or salad straight from your own yard. If space is limited, a few vegetables can easily be incorporated into your flower gardens or a container on the patio."
Chose Your Features
For others, the backyard landscaping should serve a specific purpose, such as providing a comfortable spot for picnics and barbecues. Incorporating a grill, picnic tables, or even a complete outdoor kitchen into the backyard is a great way to make the outside of the home as enjoyable and special as the inside. Adding a patio, or expanding an existing patio, is a great way to start building that exterior living space. A few potted plants, and perhaps a flower box or two, can complete the look and create a wonderful space for parties of all kinds.
For those backyards graced by mature trees, a hammock makes a wonderful addition to the backyard landscape. Lounging in the backyard hammock can provide the entire family with hours of recreation during the warm months, and with a wonderful getaway no matter what the season.
TIP: Karen says, "If you have children encouraging them to take part in the planning and the responsibility of maintaining the backyard will give them connection to their environment. Leaving a space for them to used their imagination can lead to hours of fun in the back yard. A fort or a place for them to build a fort, can inspire lots of creative play."
Creating this backyard oasis can be a wonderful project for the whole family, and something every member of the family can contribute to. From the smallest kids to the most senior members of the family, creating a beautiful outdoor living space is something in which everyone can get involved. From coming up with ideas to planting those colorful flowers, it is lots of fun for the entire family to get in on the act of creating a great backyard landscape.
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