Nothing beats kicking back in your yard during the first weeks of summer. The weather is temperate, the flower bed is thriving, and you can begin to harvest some of your first strawberries.
However, the majority of the year isn’t quite so pleasant. You have to contend with downpours in the spring, cold snaps in the fall, and short days in the winter.
Fortunately, you can still make the most of your outdoor space year-round with some careful planning and preparation.
Hanging out in the yard with a cool drink and barbeque is great during the summer and early fall. However, even the biggest barbeque lovers have to admit that it’s not so fun when the temperatures drop below freezing.
Get more out of your space by planning some outdoor recreation for every season. For example, if you want to go outside in the spring, consider getting into gardening. You can plant easy-to-grow superfood herbs like basil, oregano, and rosemary after the last frost of the year, and will be ready to harvest right around summer.
You can also garden during the winter months. Your vegetable patch will need mulching once you’ve harvested your crops and you can still plant some bulbs in early January for an early bloom.
If you don’t have a green thumb, consider installing a fire pit on your patio. A well-positioned fire pit will radiate a surprising amount of heat and allow you to enjoy your yard well into the winter months. This means you can enjoy recreational activities like reading, watching sports, or bird-watching year-round. You can also host friends for a party around the fire pit, sharing an outdoor aperitif together even when most people have closed their porches for the season.
As a homeowner, it’s easy to overlook your backyard in favor of interior design projects. However, once you break ground on a landscaping project, you’ll discover the joy that outdoor renovations can offer. Begin to elevate your outdoor style with a few simple changes like:
- Rain-resistant furniture;
- Add hanging plants and cover up the concrete with potted flowers;
- Install aesthetic lighting to give your outdoor space an inviting ambiance;
- Put up some fencing and plant some trees to break the wind and keep your space safe.
Before installing any new features, take stock of your current space. Assess the amount of natural light you get from the sun and note down any features that exist beyond the confines of your lot. Using borrowed landscaping is the best way to make your space seem bigger and will make it seem as though the yard is a natural part of the wider ecosystem.
When the time comes to break ground on your new project, be sure to dress appropriately for the season. You’ll catch a chill quickly in the winter if you don’t layer up with insulated garments and might end up with heatstroke if you work in the middle of the day without a wide-brimmed hat.
Nothing is stopping you from enjoying a hot drink in the winter months on your back porch. However, you’ll need to make some modifications and embrace weather-resistant design if you want to make the most of your outdoor space year-round.
If you have the budget, consider carving out an area to sit and dine with the family no matter the weather. You can craft a modern oasis out of a seating area by providing enough shelter to protect against rain and wind without shutting the elements out altogether. Just make sure heavy items like tables are either screwed into the ground or can be quickly folded up and removed if a storm hits suddenly.
As the climate warms, you may want to opt for more drought-resistant planting. Hardy plants also require less watering, meaning you won’t have to spend as much time filling cans of water to feed your flower beds. If drought-resistant plants sound appealing to you, consider starting with:
These hardy plants can give your garden structure even if more delicate flowers fail. This is key during a heatwave when most flowers will wilt and die. Pair these plants with water features to give a sense of calmness and abundance to your outdoor space.
It’s easy to get in over your head when trying to create an outdoor space that will serve you all year round. Take your time and try to avoid common missteps like:
- Planting too much at once;
- Using the wrong soil for the wrong plant;
- Planting at the wrong time of year;
- Forgetting to feed.
These missteps can turn your dream outdoor space into a nightmare. Take your time and add small features over the course of months and years, rather than planting everything in one day. This will give you a chance to see what works and build on a solid foundation.
Making the most of your outdoor space year-round can be tricky. Consider getting stuck in with the gardening if you really want to make the most of your yard. You can garden and landscape year-round but will have to make a few accommodations along the way. If you aren’t a green thumb, install a covered patio space with a fire pit instead. This will bring folks to your house on gameday and help you make use of your space all year round.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.