Transform Your Yard Into an Oasis
Regardless of the size of your back yard, you can transform it into a space you can enjoy. Everyone’s tastes are different and everyone finds different things relaxing, so zero in on what you do like and forget everything else. While some people might find the babbling sounds of a water feature the height of relaxation, it might drive others crazy. Focus inward, declutter, and make sure only what will make you happy and enable you to relax is present.
Comfortable seating is key. While the style and colors and materials are totally up to your taste, seating is everything. Provide a welcoming space to relax and unwind. Why not throw in a hammock for the ultimate oasis environment?
A Water Feature
The perfect water feature in a yard is a private swimming pool, which cools you off, allows you to exercise all within the privacy of your own yard. Even the sight and sound of water has a calming, restorative effect. If your budget or space does not permit, consider these other water features:
Sure, an umbrella provides much-needed shade. But the sight of one conjures up images of a vacation at a resort, on a sandy shore or next to a pool. There's something about its round shape, projected above the other pieces of outdoor furniture, that looks fun and inviting, beckoning you to sit under its colorful form (or patterned or striped) and relax, maybe sip a cocktail or icy beverage.
Ways to create shade in a garden include:
The Right Landscape
The key is to choose plants that adapt well to the environment in which you live: dying tropical in your desert locale will not remind you of Aruba. Mix natives for your region with trees, shrubs, vines and perennials that are adapted to the climate—usually something that can be found at your local nursery or botanical garden shop. Enlist professional help from a landscape designer, or ask for suggestions.
Design A More Inviting Patio or Deck
A slab of concrete with a few plastic chairs and a charcoal grill just won't cut it. Create a space that beckons you to leave the warm nest of your den for a plant-filled, private oasis in your own backyard. Make a patio a place where you would want to spend time, perhaps relaxing in the sun, practicing yoga, reading, hanging out with friends—whatever your pleasure. Consider adding personal touches that make it uniquely yours.
Outdoor lighting—the right kind and placed to illuminate parts of the yard that experience activity in the evening—will lure you and guests outdoors and keep you there for as long as you desire.