Let's face it. We've all been stuck inside for way too long. You've probably been looking at your backyard, and perhaps feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the projects that need to be done in order to create the outside oasis you've always dreamed of. Now more then ever, the ability to escape the confines of our make-shift home offices and distance learning hubs has become essential to our health and wellness. Here are five budget friendly ideas to help you create a beautiful backyard destination without breaking the bank.
1. Plant some flowers!!
I know what you're thinking...plants are hard to maintain, unless you have an irrigation system or hours of time to commit to watering. If you start with plants indigenous to your area, you'll have better luck with them surviving harsh seasonal conditions. In the southwest where I live, lantanas, bougainvilleas, and purple heart are a few plants that do well in the souring summer temps. The best part is they all come in multiple hues, adding pops of color and personality to your yard. No irrigation? No worries; most garden centers have low cost solutions for watering including soaker hoses and outdoor timers that can be connected directly to your hose spigot.
2. Go Vertical!
If you are sick of staring at the plain block wall or open fence separating you from your neighbors, soften the view and bring some color and texture vertically. You can use the pre-cut rolls of artificial turf, or lightweight and inexpensive bamboo fencing. Both add color and texture, as well as create a little bit of privacy in your soon to be outdoor sanctuary...no green thumb required!
3. Add Some Seating
Or re-finish the stuff you already have. Patio furniture can be very expensive, even if you purchase it off season. If purchasing new isn't an option, think about refinishing pieces you already have. All it requires is a little exterior paint and some sweat equity, and you could have an up-cycled seating area for gathering, or a quiet spot just for you.
4. Make Sure You Have it Made in the Shade
Nothing gets less use than a backyard without shade...especially in Arizona, where summer temps sour well into the triple digits. There are tons of options for creating shade depending on your budget, including pergolas, fabric shade sails, and large umbrellas. Chose the option that best fits the size of your backyard, and your handyman abilities.
5. Add Some Drama with Outdoor Lighting
Remember, you won't just be using your backyard during the day...think of cookouts, backyard camping, or enjoying a nightcap under the stars. Adding some outdoor lighting can completely transform your space into a warm and inviting destination. There are so many energy efficient options available, including solar powered lighting that charges during the day, eliminating the need for a power source.
Regardless of where you live or how much you have to spend, investing a little time and energy into making your outdoor environment more enjoyable adds square footage to your living space. Being outside is not only good for us physically, but connecting with mother nature is a huge stress reliever. Now roll up those sleeves and get to work...your future self with thank you.