How to Make Your Backyard the Perfect Place to Relax
You probably know that spending time outside is good for you. Many people aim to devote a few more minutes each week to the outdoors, but often, people fall short of this aim. In many cases, that’s because people step out onto their patio or into their garden to be bombarded with a long list of things to do. Garden care doesn’t have to be a nightmare, but when it gets out of hand, it can be overwhelming. Likewise, many people find their outdoor spaces aren’t properly set up for extended stays. The following will focus on a few solutions to these problems, emphasizing tweaks you can make to your backyard in order to turn the space into a relaxing haven you can’t help but spend time in.
Set It Up For Food
In the current era of productivity and busyness, it can be hard to take more than a few hours away from your to-do list to simply enjoy your backyard. Many families find that mealtimes are when they’re most chill. To take advantage of this, set your backyard up for eating. Have a table and enough chairs present for the whole household to enjoy a meal. Consider having cooking options outdoors, like a barbeque or fire pit. You may even want to have some edible treats growing in the space. Eating products you grew yourself always seems to make it taste better.
Add A Water Feature
Studies have been done on the impact of being near moving water, and it’s pretty profound. Moving water nearby reduces stress levels and boosts happiness; it’s possible that this is because humans have evolved to seek out water and relax once we’ve found it because we know we’re going to be hydrated (maybe that’s even why we like sparkly things like diamonds and crystals).
Water features come in all shapes and sizes. You might be looking for outdoor fountains for the home or maybe a little decorative feature to add to your pond. Whatever you decide on, know that if the water is moving and you can hear the subtle sound of it moving, the positive impact is multiplied.
While seating was mentioned above in regards to eating meals outside, you also probably want to have more comfortable seating that’s designed for lounging. Things like hammocks, big, comfy couches, or porch swings can all turn up the comfort level, allowing you to spend lazy afternoons with a good book in the backyard. It’s important that, if you’re able, you test out potential furniture before making a purchase. The type of materials used and the way a given piece supports your back can determine how much time you want to spend on a particular seat.
If children are part of your life, you might want to find fun seating for them like tire swings or regular swings. Kids love movement. Even if you might get dizzy on a swing and consider it the opposite of relaxation, many children feel differently.
Similar to the point above about water, something magical happens when humans gather around a fire. Perhaps we evolved to associate fire with warmth, cooked food, and safety in numbers. Very few things are as relaxing as watching flames dance before you. Of course, you’re going to want to be sure that you check up on the local burn regulations before you light your first fire. Some townships require a burn permit, which is often as simple to procure as calling your local fire department (not the emergency line) and paying a small fee (somewhere around ten or fifteen dollars). As well, if you live in a drought-prone or forest fire-heavy area, there might be restrictions on what times of year you can have a personal fire.
Pick Plants For Scent
While most garden plants are beautiful to look at, not all of them smell fantastic. Next time you’re in the garden center, why not pay attention to how the flowers smell? Selecting fragrant honeysuckle, for instance, can add a degree of aromatherapy to your backyard experience. Lavender is another popular plant to choose for the scent.
Don’t Forget Shade
If you have a big tree or two, this might already be taken care of. If you don’t, you might want to look into a gazebo or awning or some other source of shade, even if it’s just a parasol. At the height of summer, things can get really bright and hot. You might not be able to relax as much as you did during the springtime if you don’t have a reliable source of shade. This is also important if children or pets often play in the backyard, as they can overheat quickly.
Minimize The Work
Another major factor to consider when trying to make your backyard as relaxing as possible is the maintenance required for your choices. The more foreign plants you select, the more work it’s going to be to keep them alive. If you select local flowers, shrubs, and trees, it’s far more likely that the plants won’t need much care beyond being put into the ground; they’re used to the precipitation and sun levels in your area.
Likewise, you might want to minimize the amount of lawn space you have. Grass grows fast, and this means it needs to be cut regularly; it’s also terrible for the planet to have large swaths of grass, and this sends pollinators away (there’s nothing for them to pollinate) and it reduces the amount of carbon your yard can collect from the air and pull into the soil. Try having thicker garden beds or, better yet, natural garden beds where you let certain sections of the yard grow wild. You’ll be amazed at how many local wildflowers there are for you to enjoy.
Finally, when installing features, try to minimize the future work you’re going to have to do. Compare rigid bed lines with the more relaxed English country garden style. If you aren’t aiming for straight lines, there is way less maintenance work to deal with.
The above list should have given you several ideas for how you can am up the chill feeling in your backyard space. The goal is to create an atmosphere where you can lay back and enjoy the sight of clouds rushing overhead. Often, simpler garden and backyard structures better allow for this as there’s less work to be done.