It’s been a long day. You’ve spent the last eight hours in a cramped and stuffy office, straining under fluorescent lights and breaking your back on a rickety old office chair.
You want nothing more than to get out into the fresh air. To feel the sunlight on your face. The wind playing in your hair.
You can’t wait to get home to your backyard. Your refuge from the stresses of a hard day.But what if your backyard isn’t the paradise you deserve?
Here are the top 8 tips for turning a backyard purgatory into a backyard paradise!
1. Getting Started Without Breaking the Bank
The first step in creating the backyard of your dreams is to make a plan and a budget. After all, having the perfect backyard oasis isn’t going to mean much if you’re too far in hock to actually enjoy it.
The bad news is that backyard landscaping can get obscenely expensive if you’re not careful. However, the good news is that backyard landscaping can increase your home’s value by an average of 15%!
The key is to have a strategy before you begin. Think about how you want your backyard oasis to function. How do you want to feel and what do you want to do when you are in it?
Also consider your priorities. What is worth spending a little extra coin on and where are you willing to compromise?
2. Think About Return on Investment
According to current estimates, the average American moves 11 times over the course of their lives. That means no matter how much you may love your house, odds are someday you’re going to want to sell it.
So as you plan your backyard paradise, think about the potential return on investment, both in regard to time and money. Do a little research to see which features add the most value to your home.
For example, homeowners who install an outdoor fire pit can expect an estimated 67% return on their investment when it comes time to sell the house.
Thinking not only about what you and your family like but also what future buyers may want can help you decide where to splurge and where to cut corners.
3. Find Your Theme
Your backyard space isn’t going to be the relaxing oasis you’re dreaming of if it’s just some confusing jumble of themes, influences, and purposes. Instead, try to select the style that suits your vision for your outdoor paradise.
Are you dreaming of an English garden? Do you yearn for the vineyards of Tuscany? Do Victorian vistas make your heart race? Or do you long for the sea breezes of Cape Cod?
Rather than filling your backyard space with everything, maybe even including the kitchen sink, figure out what you want your single, unifying theme to be and eliminate anything that doesn’t make that cut.
This way, your backyard is sure to be a cohesive and restful place, one filled only with things you and your family love.
4. Define the Space
No matter whether you want to use your outdoor paradise for relaxing, for playing with the kids, for entertaining friends, or for all of the above, you’ll need to define your space.
Use fences, lattices, stone, brick–whatever material you find most appealing–to create a border for your backyard space. This will not only protect you and yours from neighbors’ prying eyes, but it will also truly make your space feel like a retreat and a refuge, closing you off from the troubles of the world.
Best of all, if you want your backyard paradise to serve multiple functions, you can use these materials to set up different activity zones for your space.
Section off a space for entertaining with a decorative border of river rock. Include seating and an outdoor kitchens for the ultimate party space.
Create a secluded nook for relaxing by adding lattice or a low hedgerow. Add a hammock or lounger for naps under the stars.
Use masonry or fencing to cordon off a field for games or sports. Install a swingset or soccer net for hours of fun with the kids.
5. Let There Be Life!
It may seem obvious, but the importance of adding flowers, trees, and plants really deserves special attention. There’s perhaps no better or more economical way to bring your backyard to life, literally.
Trees, shrubs, and flowering plants can be a feast for the senses, infusing your backyard with color, texture, and fragrance. Lavender, geraniums, mint, and basil, for example, release a glorious aroma when the wind stirs their leaves or visitors brush by them.
And let’s not forget the sweet little visitors these delights attract, from beautiful butterflies and busy bumblebees to hungry hummingbirds. With a few well-selected plants, your backyard paradise will truly overflow with life and loveliness.
6. Just Add Water
There are few things more relaxing than the sound of a babbling brook or a rippling waterfall. That’s why adding a water feature can be the perfect way to take your backyard oasis to the next level.
Free-standing fountains are available in an array of styles and at all price points. Best of all, you can usually install these fountains on your own, often in just a few hours.
And if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, you can always build your own custom water feature. With just a liner and some stone or river rock, you can create your own colorful koi pond or a meandering stream with its own cascading waterfalls.
The only real limit here is your imagination!
7. Light It Up
No doubt about it: the key to creating the perfect ambiance is the right lighting. After all, you’re investing a lot of time and perhaps a good deal of money in creating your backyard retreat. You don’t want to be confined to enjoying it only in daylight hours.
The right lighting will allow you to enjoy the peace and serenity of your backyard paradise all night long. And when it comes to backyard lighting, your options are virtually limitless.
For a touch of grandeur, consider carriage lamps. For a bit of magic and whimsy, opt for string lights. If you have a taste for the exotic, try torchieres or Japanese lanterns.
8. Partner Up to Build Your Backyard Paradise
Creating the perfect outdoor oasis isn’t an easy job. What looks at first like an easy weekend project can quickly spiral into an overwhelming, paralyzing mess.
If that happens, don’t be afraid to call in the experts.
Landscaping professionals are available in every neighborhood and they know precisely how to build your outdoor paradise to your specifications and budget.
Make sure to do your homework before settling on a landscaper, however. Check references and credentials and shop around.
Get estimates from a number of businesses before you sign a contract and don’t be afraid to do a little negotiating. After all, it’s your home and it’s your money.
Life is stressful. Between work and finances, kids and elder care, life’s worries build up and weigh us down.
But a peaceful backyard paradise can be the perfect antidote for life’s cares. With just a little planning and some effort, you can transform your outdoor space into a soothing oasis that you and your family will enjoy for years to come!
So whether you are looking to tell ghost stories around the fire pit, to grow award-winning roses in your English garden, or host a Fourth of July cookout to end all cookouts, we can help you turn your backyard dreams into a reality.
Check our website often for more landscaping ideas and to learn more about finding the landscaper who is right for you!