• Lisa Myles

Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space

This year, more than ever, most of us will be spending a lot more time at home and in our yards. That's why this month we thought we would look at some fun ideas to make the most of your outdoor space.

1. Veggie Gardens

There is a certain level of satisfaction that comes with growing your own food. Nothing tastes better than freshly picked, pesticide-free veggies! Planting a garden can be low cost and can fit in all sorts of spaces. All you need is a sunny spot, some dirt, water, seeds or plants.

Limited on space? Consider growing in containers. Many garden centres have plants such as tomatoes or mixed herbs already planted in pots, ready to take home and enjoy.

If you have more space or want a larger garden, raised beds might be a great option. Here is an example of how Lisa transformed an awkward space behind their cabana to a garden retreat.

For the most flexibility in design look to plant right into the ground. You can make your garden as big or as small as you want. This is a great way to utilize unused space in your yard.

2. Sandboxes, Water Tables & Pools

You may not be able to hit the beach this year with your little buddies but that doesn't mean they can't enjoy sand and water. Is there a little nook in your yard that doesn't grow grass or isn't being used for much? Maybe a shady spot under a tree? A sandbox, water table, or pool can provide your kids with a ton of entertainment all summer long.

3. Decks and Patios

Decks and Patios are great ways to create zones for casual seating and outdoor dining. Did you know Tanya lowered a deck this past month? They had an upper deck that was not being utilized so she lowered the deck and WOW did it ever transform their backyard! Look at these before and after photos. If you have a deck or a patio that isn't being used consider altering it to make more sense for your lifestyle.

Already have a functional space? Perhaps an aesthetic make over is in order! A coat of paint or stain can refresh your space in no time and add a little something extra to your time outside. Other elements to consider: need for shade; outdoor lighting for those warm summer nights; or even outdoor speakers. These little things can make such a difference in how you enjoy your yard!

4. Fire Pit or Fire Table

One of our favourite features in a backyard is a fire pit or table. If you don't enjoy cutting grass but you like the idea of sitting around a fire, adding some flagstone, chairs, and a fire pit might be a better way to utilize part of your yard. It's also a great way to provide year round entertainment!

5. Swings and Play Equipment

At this time, the play equipment at public parks are still closed. It might be the right time to consider adding a play structure in your own backyard. If you don't have the space for a swing set using a tree to hang a swing or a climbing rope is a great way to save space! If you don't like the idea of a permanent structure, consider a slackline with some rope obstacles. This idea can provide some fun and then be tucked away when not in use.

Look to unused space or consider altering existing features to maximize your backyard's potential. Consider function, aesthetic and practicality as you plan. Get creative, have fun, and enjoy the comforts of your own backyard retreat!