Getting the Most Out of Your Backyard

Getting the Most Out of Your Backyard

The backyard is a crowning glory for many homes, but many people don't fully utilize its potential. Many times, this is only because they don't know what to do with it. Maybe yours is your version of a jungle wilderness or your own private junkyard. Perhaps all the neighborhood cats are using your backyard for a clubhouse. If you want more out of your backyard than rusty fenders and yowling tomcats, there are plenty of options to suit you and your personal lifestyle.

Many people enjoy using their backyard for barbecue parties with family or friends during the warm months. If you already have a patio or deck, you can buy a grill and set it up there. If you don't have one but the idea appeals to you, give in to your adventurous nature and consider either building a patio or deck yourself or hiring a professional to do it. Depending on the size, a good patio or deck can also be used for garden weddings, receptions and dancing. You can set up a table and chairs to enjoy the great outdoors on nice days.

Gardens are perennially popular, both the flower and the food varieties. If you're good at gardening or would like to give it a try, find a section of your backyard with good, soft soil and have at it. Try looking at picture of flower gardens for inspiration or craft your own designs. Plant your favorite fruits and vegetables to have delicious, homegrown treats that beat what's in the stores anytime. You could also landscape part of the yard with a small pond and fish or rocks. If you want to be friendly to the local bird population, perhaps a stylish birdbath on the ground or a feeder hanging in a tree would be a good choice.

If you have kids, pick a section of the backyard for a playground. Get them a swing set or buy or build them a play house. Kids have big imaginations, so even if you just have trees and bushes, they will have fun going on adventures in your backyard.

This is merely a starting point for ideas. You can find many ideas by watching home improvement shows, reading magazines or even studying neighborhood backyards. Maybe you already have ideas of your own. Make your backyard into what you want it to be and it will be uniquely you.