Owning a backyard is a luxury not many people can afford. It is understandable why an apartment wouldn’t feature a backyard but there are houses today that are constructed with a miniature backyard. Even if your backyard is spacious enough to allow some exterior designing, it should be envisioned as a space suited for every member of the family.
Children that have just learned how to walk should feel just as comfortable in the backyard as a 90-year-old senior. Creating a family-friendly backyard is not easy; properly maintaining it is even harder. Therefore, the following X tips are aimed at transforming your backyard into a desirable place for the whole family!
A Well-Connected Space
Just as a solid road network is essential for a country’s economy, so is the network of pathways essential for the prosperity of the backyard. Unless you connect every corner of the yard with the patio or the deck, you risk leaving disused areas for a long time.
Whether you are reviving old paths or creating new walkways, choosing the right surface is of the essence. Concrete pavers are the most fused solution but gravel is a lot cheaper and it’s fairly easy to maintain (a new sack to replenish the pathways every half a year).
Before you are ready to start digging in pathways, you need to create a schematic and determine the precise location of the paths. Afterward, you should decorate the edges of the pavement using yellow bricks or by planting flowers to create floral avenues across the yard. You can add a literal twist to the pathway idea by making the paths wind across the yard for an improved aesthetical impression.
Sprucing Up the Edges of Your Property
Now that your backyard is crisscrossed with a network of pathways, it’s time to turn your attention to a seldom-used section of your property. The area next to the fence and the edge of your property are areas you need to decide early on how to utilize properly.
If you have a low fence, then keep in mind that any shrubs planted next to the fence provide a hiding place for burglars. In order to keep the family safe, you should small but along colorful flowers along the edge of your property. Not only will these flowers look and smell nice but they will improve safety.
Water Features for the Entire Family
If you think that an elderly person and a child could never possibly agree on a single water feature for the yard, you are plain wrong. A swimming pool is something every member of the family will enjoy. Now, although seniors often have mobility issues, swimming comes with numerous health benefits for them. And we needn’t waste words on how much kids love to jump in the pool, do we?
However, the average price of an Olympic-sized pool made from concrete is around 50,000 dollars, which can hardly be labeled as affordable for the average Australian family. Luckily, there are other water features that are significantly cheaper.
As far as kids as concerned, they would be more than happy to have a splash pad instead of a swimming pool. Splash pads are easy to install, as all you need is a water source outside. However, they promise hours of fun in summer, as your kids get the rep in the neighborhood as the coolest guys and gals on the block.
Adults will usually tend to enjoy much more of a tranquil water feature such as a water fountain. And they are available ready-made at garden centers, so you needn’t waste time constructing a fountain. Having said that, if you have a large yard, we recommend turning the drain into a rivulet to enjoy the calming sound of running water as you doze off in the hammock on a Sunday afternoon.
A Backyard to Arouse All Your Senses
Sensory gardens aren’t there solely for children and people with disabilities. Every person can benefit when each of his/her 5 senses is aroused. Flowers like marigolds and sunflowers are there to please the eye while rattling seeds and rustling grasses are there to enjoy the sound they make.
Fragrant smells can be produced by the curry plant and various herbs, such as mint and chives to stimulate taste buds. Finally, downy leaves of sage should be planted for their texture, arousing the sense of touch.
Taking Cover From the Elements
In summer, people go looking for shade when it becomes unbearably hot outside. The same goes for thunderstorms, so you really need to create some shade apart from the patio. Trees are one option but you cannot plant a tree near a house because its branches can damage the roof of the house during a violent storm.
Erecting a canopy, a pergola, or a modified umbrella are all viable forms of protection from the elements. Instead of banning children to go outside during the hottest days of summer, you can create shade for them where they sit and play with their toys.
In fact, you can help the kids erect a wigwam of their own to protect them against the elements. This would be a real adventure for them and a chance to bond with the adults in the family. As far as home ownership is concerned, ask yourself what’s the point of sprucing up your exterior living spaces if you’re not going to use it whenever possible?
Use the Right Tools for Maintenance
Like we have stated earlier, it is easier to create the perfect backyard than to maintain it for longer than one season. When it comes to maintenance, it is essential you get the right tools for the job. For example, if you own a large law, don’t use short hoses, as an 82ft garden hose will get the job done faster.
Likewise, don’t eliminate weeds using your bare hands, as you’ll soon grow tired of the practice and give up completely. Get a weeder tool to effortlessly remove weeds after you have treaded them with chemicals first.
A Green Wall for Everyone to Enjoy In
Another garden feature everyone will enjoy is a green wall. You can use a section of the fence as a canvas to adorn it with climbers and vines. When watered regularly and with enough sunlight reaching these plants, they will flourish quickly, creating a verdant wall in your backyard within a single season.
If your kids start terrorizing the green wall, then you can hit them with a wall of their own a climbing wall. There are hundreds of ready-made climbing walls to choose from but be careful not to buy a wall that is too tall for your kids.
Laying Turf Is Never a Bad Thing
A typical backyard should have at least one large surface you can use to play throw and catch or some other sport with a ball. The best surface for sports is grass. It is soft and it is natural; what better motif to lay turf in your backyard. The children can run barefoot all day across the lawn and even if they fall down, they are less likely to get injured if they fell on concrete.
A Treehouse for Children and Adults Alike
There is hardly a structure more reminiscent of your careless childhood days than a treehouse. These are parents’ favorite because they are easy to build, they are fairly safe, and you can see the children from inside the house, so they can stay up in the treehouse all day long in summer.
Kids can clamber up a ladder or you can construct a proper lift to take them up to the treehouse. Of course, don’t build the treehouse too high up for safety and accessibility reasons. Finally, when the kids are away, you can take two sleeping sacks and spend a romantic evening with your spouse inside the treehouse.
A Fire Pit for Chilly Nights
It would be a shame to spruce up the backyard and then use it only for a couple of months every year. From March to June and from September to November are the periods when it’s comfortable outside during the day but as soon as the night sets, the air temperature drops dramatically.
For nights like this, you should use more than blankets to stay warm, so building a fire pit is a great investment. A fire pit is 100% a DIY project since all you need are stones to encircle the hearth. Once the fire pit is safety-tested, all you need are marshmallows and good horror stories to tell during the chilly spring nights.
A Small Vegetable Garden
A vegetable garden is an integral part of every backyard. However, you should make the garden family-friendly by making it smaller in size but more accessible so everyone can work it. We recommend creating flowerbeds that will provide you with a controlled environment for cultivating herbs and vegetables. As stated earlier, if you wish to take up gardening, you need to equip yourself with the right tools, such as a rake, a bucket, a pair of latex gloves, a watering hose, etc.
Obstacle Course for the Kids
Common sense tells us that the backyard should be as clear as possible. On the other side, a flat area is boring for children who need a challenge. Apart from a sensory backyard and a climbing wall, they should have other obstacles to clamber upon. Things like slides, large boulders, and heavy logs should find their way inside the garden to create a mini obstacle course for the youngest members of the family.
A Built-In Barbeque
During the summer months, the kitchen (or at least some of its elements) finds its way outside. BBQ parties are an essential part of a family and social life when the weather is fine outside. The best solution for grilling barbecue in the summer is a built-in BBQ in the kitchen. The fixture is useful in winter as well, as it can serve as a provisional fireplace for the dining room.
A backyard should be enjoyed by all members of the family. The features listed above, from winding pathways to a fancy barbecue are universal in character and moreover, family-friendly. This means that toddlers and seniors can benefit from them the same.