Get your Backyard Ready for Summer with These DIY Tips
As the mercury inches, upward day by day thoughts turn to lazy Saturdays by the pool, weekend barbeques, and holiday get-togethers. We wait the better part of the year for the chance to entertain outdoors but doing so is not as simple as sending out a few invites and buying some hot dog buns. There’s work to be done to the backyard landscaping and all the things that occupy it first. Below are 5 tips that will help you get the backyard ship-shape in no time.
- Build a fire pit - Hanging on the deck in the afternoon knocking back a cold one and enjoying a barbequed chicken wing is all great fun. But let’s face it, much of what makes weekend summer get-togethers so spiritually rejuvenating is relaxing under the stars when things have quieted down a bit. And that feeling of contentment we enjoy in such moments can be taken to another level if there’s a fire pit for folks to kick back around. Installing a DIY fire pit is actually far easier and more affordable than you think. There are numerous videos on the internet that will take you through the process. Or you can ring up a landscaping contractor and have them install something a bit more elaborate.
- Clean up the edges - During the late spring and early summer, it’s easy to lose track of incidental growth in the yard. But before you have folks over for that Memorial Day BBQ you’re going to want to break out the edger and clean things up. Hit all the areas around the base of the fences, cut back long grass around the trees, tidy up the borders of the flower beds and don’t forget the walkways and driveway.
- Power wash the patio and/or deck - The patio takes a beating during the winter time. Snow, sleet, slush, rain, atmospheric pollution, and windborne debris from who knows where all conspire to turn the patio into a yucky mess. Come April it’s often hard to see the slate, flagstone or pavers for all the dirt. And then come to the weeds pushing up out of every crack and crevice. The late spring is a good time to rent a power washer and do what landscaping companies do. If you have a deck the dirt won’t be as thick or obvious as it would be on a patio. But pounds of it are still there, clinging to the supports and caked to the banisters and stairs. Give the whole thing a good power wash and it will shine like new in no time.
- Add accent LED lights to the pergola or deck - LED lights are all the rage and for a lot of good reasons. First, they’re incredibly energy efficient. Second, they emit the cleanest, glare-free light you can imagine. Third, they’re available in just about any color. And fourth, they don’t take any special skills to install. Run some up the corners and across the top of the pergola. Use them under the lip of the stairs on the deck to create atmosphere and make the stairs safer to navigate at night and tack some up under the railing of the deck. The sky’s the limit when it comes to backyard LED lighting.
- Bring on the furniture - Once the patio and deck are nice and clean and the edges of the flower beds and walkways tidied up it’s time to introduce some comfy outdoor furniture. Here’s one instance when you may want to consider spending a few extra bucks. Wicker frame furniture with large comfortable cushions. A coffee table, side tables. A big semi-circular sofa around the new fire pit. Maybe even a nice rattan rocking chair or two. The atmosphere is what will bring the family and friends out into the yard. Comfort is what will keep them there. So a nice comfy U-shaped sofa, or sofa and chairs set, will put the finishing touch on your backyard summer fun.
Getting the backyard landscaping ready for summertime guests is easy if you approach it in a methodical fashion. Take the above tips to heart and turn your yard into the vibrant social center of the neighborhood.