How to Make a Backyard You Can Relax in

 

Your home should be your happy place. However, too many homeowners experience only stress and anguish when they look out their windows onto their yards and gardens. Out-of-control weeds, messy mulch, rusty patio furniture and worse can give you stress and headaches after a long day at work — so here’s how to change it all into a relaxing retreat that causes no worry at all.

Simplify, Simplify

The simpler your backyard is, the less you’ll need to worry about it. While plants might not seem as needy as pets or kids, the truth is it takes a lot of work to make a garden grow; you need to be careful about how and when you water it, feed it, weed it, prune it and more. Failing to care for the plants in your yard results in a less-than-attractive landscape that will embarrass you and might get you on your neighbours’ bad side.

To avoid negative feelings around your yard, you should strive to limit the responsibilities it contains. Simple landscapes can be beautiful as long as there is a design to your yard. Zero-scaping, or eliminating all landscape features, is bad; simplified styles are good.

Prioritize Hardscaping

Hardscaping consists of the elements of your exterior that are artificial, such as a patio, a pergola, a concrete path, a block wall and more. Because these design elements don’t change much once they are installed — unlike plants, which grow — hardscaping is much easier to manage than landscaping. Plus, hardscaping makes a yard more functional, providing spaces for you to entertain guests or otherwise kick back and avoid stress. Consider adding pavers or a deck to a portion of your backyard to build a larger entertaining area, and furnish the space with comfortable, weather-proof seating.

Automate Your Maintenance

It’s way more work to heal an ailing yard than it is to maintain a healthy one. However, if you lack time even to care for the few plants in your simplified landscape, you might consider installing some form of automated maintenance. To start, at the very least, you should put in a scheduled irrigation system, so you can trust that your plants are getting watered the right amount at the right time of day. This is a major responsibility, and putting your lawn sprinkler on a timer is a smart move for lowering stress.

Then, you should consider hiring yard care professionals to take over some or all your yard work tasks. Typically, you can control every aspect of a yard work service; you can have them perform common tasks like mowing the grass, trimming the hedges and washing the hardscaping — but you can also request special jobs, like sprinkler maintenance, trunk removal and lawn aeration. You should also be able to determine how often your yard team comes to your home, which will give you more control over how much this service costs every month.

Consider Coziness

It’s important to think about the ways you prefer to relax when you design your backyard. Removing stress is one thing; building in relaxation is quite another. Typically, getting comfortable is a major component of relaxing, so you should take some time to think about how you prefer to get cozy in a space. For instance, you might like the warmth and sound of a fire to lull you into relaxation — in which case, you should build a firepit in your backyard. Then again, you might like to surrender to the embrace of a hammock. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to grow two relatively strong trees or have the space to set up a freestanding hammock.

You should also consider comfort levels for any guests you might want to invite into your yard. One hammock won’t seat a party, but 10 of those cheap, plastic chairs also aren’t particularly comfortable or attractive. It’s worthwhile to invest in a quality outdoor sofa and chair set, where you and a group can relax and enjoy the scenery.

Your yard shouldn’t be a constant source of concern. Rather, it should be a place where you can enjoy the outdoors but enjoy the comforts of home. By starting with a simplified landscape, outsourcing much of the maintenance and prioritizing elements that make you feel good, you can create a yard that is no worry at all.