Around the House: Turn Your Backyard Into a Summer Paradise
By Yehudit Garmaise
With temperatures climbing and Shavous around the corner, now is a great time to consider how to best maximize whatever outdoor space we have for summer fun and relaxation.
While decluttering whatever we stored outside all winter and weeding, outdoor enthusiasts should take care to wear protective gloves to keep their hands safe from both sharp edges and possible allergic reactions to the many plants that grew wild throughout winter.
After sweeping away dried leaves, tossing garbage, and organizing and donating old toys, urban dwellers with spring fever can start to transform their outside spaces into beautiful garden retreats for every age.
Beautiful wooden decks or even just laying down grass carpet, can serve as the foundations for the backyard oases about which Boro Park residents may dream.
To significantly supplement their available living space, New Yorkers can add an outside “room” by adding barbeques, mini bars, wrought iron outdoor tables and chairs, colorful umbrellas, greenery and flowers, and stylish string lighting to brighten summer dinners and late-night gatherings.
Not only do decks create hours of fun and relaxation in the fresh air, but they “offer great returns on investment, so if you choose to sell your home down the line, you’ll definitely make your money back (and then some),” according to Forbes.com.
Pop-up canopy tents, fabric awnings, or wooden structures called “pergolas” are great options for creating shade and shielding eyes from the bright summer sun.
Also, consider whether any of your trees naturally provide shade under which you can place some comfortable seating.
Hang a hammock on which to gently swing in the breeze and set out large, comfortable outdoor chairs on which to read, learn, relax, or snooze.
Comfortable wicker couches with cushions and throw colorful throw pillows are great investments for hosting a family and friends.
A low table topped with glass or plastic is the perfect place for summer drinks, snacks, and games for kids.
For little ones who can’t wait to play outside: Swing sets, such as those created by Swing-It, kiddie pools that are always supervised by adults, sand and water-play tables, Little Tikes cars, trucks, and playhouses are all fun additions to outside play areas.
Plant bug-repelling plants, such as citronella grass chrysanthemums, bails, petunias, and lavender not only to avoid bug bites, but to add floral beauty to your outdoor retreat.
Other types of gardens can include anything from cheerful English roses to colorful plants with large leaves to provide a tropical vibe to the asymmetrically placed rocks, running water, and green plants that create a tranquil space of a Japanese garden.
What are your best tips and tricks Around the House? Share your ideas and successes (with photos!) with us at [email protected].