Your best vacation may be a “staycation” in your own backyard. As the days grow longer, it’s only natural that you will want to spend time outside. Enjoying nature has an element of relaxation and peacefulness to it. Before you can enjoy the beauty of your backyard you may need to do a little improvement to the space. Turn your backyard into a garden paradise for the entire family in several easy steps.
Create a Family Plan. The first important step is to create a family plan. The design for your backyard should be personal and unique to the personality of your family. This is to be your private escape place. Be sure to include every member of the family in your plan even your furry members. Children can learn from working together with their parents to create a place for family fun and relaxation. Even young small children can help with teaching moments from Mom and Dad.
Next define the space. It may be too much to improve the entire backyard this summer but outline the design to avoid reworking the same area next year. Fences or hedges can define boundaries and create order in the yard. If children need a play area be sure to define the “children’s space.” Get their input about how large it should be and what they want to do in their area.
Organize the area with paths. How to get from one area to another is easy with a garden path. The path selection material available is varied; select the material that matches your garden design; brick, gravel, mulch or simply a dirt path. You may not want to complete all paths this year but again your plan should include future additions.
Analyze the soil. Nothing can spoil your garden faster and discourage the family than dead grass and dead plants. Take the time to review the products that improve the soil at your local garden center. This can save time and money and avoid disappointed gardeners.
Choose your plants wisely. Have a planting scheme that includes trees, scrubs and flowers. Determine how much time you want to devote to the maintenance of the plants when selecting annuals or perennials. It is also important to carefully read the plant labels for sun and water requirements. Your watering system may be simply holding a garden hose spraying at the end of the day or an automated installed drip irrigation system. If watering requires your attention, allow time for recommended watering or use the set-it and forget-it irrigation system. Review the label features on the plants for attracting birds and butterflies.
Consider a water feature. Enjoy the peaceful sounds of bubbling water. A simple urn fountain or an elegant stone fountain adds beauty and a peace that only the sounds of water can bring. The soothing sound of water cascading not only attracts birds to your backyard but calms the soul after a busy day. A pond may be too much work in the first year plan but a fountain is an easy addition. Solar-powered fountains are available without the hassle of extension cords or installing new electrical wiring. Fountain designs are available classic and traditional to whimsical in a wide range of prices. The wonder that a water feature brings to the garden is well worth the cost. There is little maintenance to keep the fountain feature a beautiful addition to the garden.
Invite feathered friends. The addition of a birdhouse or birdfeeder will encourage birds to visit your yard. There are many different birdhouses, some designed for specific types of birds. Your library has books that identify local birds and the type of nesting they prefer. A birdhouse is not only an attractive addition but an educational one as well.
Visit the Library. Now with the backyard turned into a garden paradise it is time to grab a couple local bird books at the library and help the children to identify feathered visitors to their yard. A great time to enjoy the beauty of nature, and tell the children about catching fireflies when you were their age and maybe catching a few fireflies with them.
Invite some friends over to enjoy your outdoor paradise and have a great summer.
Carol Tindall is the owner of Garden Pottery and Fountains and a lover of beautiful gardens.
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