Whether you own your home or rent it, your back yard is probably one of your favourite parts of the house. It’s a space for the kids and pets to play – if you have any. You can use the yard for yoga, exercise, barbequing, gardening … your options are endless. Here are a few suggestions you can consider when it comes to maximising your yard.
Install a pool
If you’re a home-owner and your space is big enough, then a pool is a good option. It forms a centre for family bonding, offers good exercise, and increases the value of your property. However, even if you’re a renter with less space, you can install a smaller above-ground pool. They don’t require excavation and can be easily moved or dismantled when you move house, so as long as your landlord and local council allows it, go ahead. It only takes a day.
Put up a playset
Depending on the age (and number) of your children, an outdoor playground module is another good option. It could be a small Billy Cart Rocker. This single-child unit needs less than 10m2 of yard space (3m x 3.3m) and is made of Australian timber that is rot-proof and termite-proof. If you have more space (and more children), you could for a larger playset that accommodates the varied interests and ages of your children. You could even buy an inclusive play module like the Town Layout, which has regular game spaces as well as specialised spots for differently-abled kids, all in the same playset.
Do some landscaping
You don’t need green thumbs to have a beautiful yard. Lots of landscaping services are available, and they can work within your budget. They also offer maintenance services, so they can come by once a month or so to keep everything green and gorgeous. You probably just need to water your yard, and they can set up an automated sprinkler system to handle that for you. Work with your landscaper to find out what works best for your yard. It could be as basic as healthy, quick-growing turf, or as complex as topiary and flowering plants.
Put in the right fence
Yes, your fence makes a difference to your back yard. If it’s unkempt and full of gaps, unwanted pests can sneak in, soiling your yard, spreading diseases, or potentially harming your kids. The wrong kind of fence can encourage burglars and make your yard look ugly. There are lots of options, ranging from glass balustrades and tubular fences to brick walls, PVC panels, and live hedges. Think about the amount of maintenance you can manage before you make your choice. PVC fences require the least fuss, while hedges need a paid gardener.
Consider building a shed
If you have a lot of room, a work shed, or garden shed makes a lovely addition to your back yard. It’s functional too. It can provide storage for your tools, double as a home gym for your weights, be used as a home office or entertainment spot. It can even be a hobby room for music practice, crafts, woodwork, metalwork, or painting. If you’re into traditional photography, a shed makes a great dark room. And you don’t have to build it from scratch. You can buy a flat-pack shed made of prefab components that can be assembled in a day.
Construct a pergola
If you don’t have enough space for a shed, you could put up a pergola. It’s not as functional as a shed, but it offers a shaded area where you can relax and entertain, and you can use it for some hobbies, like writing or painting. A pergola has vertical pillars and a partial roof. You can decorate the pillars with coiling vines, either with or without flowering plants. Put some outdoor furniture under the pergola to make a cosy nook.
Start a hanging garden
Most people focus on decorative landscaping, but you can create something functional as well. You know all those internet articles about starting a kitchen garden on your window sill or back ledge? You can start one in your yard too. You don’t need too much room, and you don’t even need the fuss of excavating your paving or grass. Just dig a pole into either end of the yard, stretch another pole or wire between them, and suspend some tins, tubs, or flower pots with seedlings. You can grow cherry tomatoes, spring onions, lettuce, strawberries, or herbs like oregano, chives, thyme, parsley, basil, or sage.