BY CHRISTINE TASSE
While the stay-at-home order might be over, many of us are now choosing to stay home after creating our own oasis right at our back doorstep. Today on ActivaLearn, I’m sharing my top five tips for creating a backyard oasis for you and your loved ones to enjoy this summer!
Build a patio
Whether you choose a deck, stone or concrete, the addition of a patio to your backyard creates additional living space just steps from your main floor. You can section off your area or combine it to include seating you and your family will use most. We went with a two-tier deck to separate the sitting area from the dining area. This is our favourite place to sit back and relax at the end of the day!
Incorporate privacy into your backyard plans
I am going to take a moment to brag – we have the BEST neighbours! That being said, I do enjoy sipping my morning coffee in my pj’s and breathing in that fresh morning air! For this reason, privacy was non-negotiable. While we are surrounded by protected forests in our community, we are still a few years away from having mature greenery in our backyards. A privacy wall will create a sense of more distance between you and your nearest neighbours. We went with Hoft posts which provide a very simple solution that can be used with deck boards. Privacy can also be accomplished with tall and dense greenery if you have space!
Stay protected from the sun
Creating shade is key for hot and humid summers and keeping you well protected from the sun. The options for shade are endless! You can choose a permanent structure which will be more robust and can provide shelter from the rain, and may even have space for a TV! If your home or lot cannot accommodate this, a pergola, gazebo or umbrella is a beautiful addition! Don’t forget there are many accents available such as bug screens or a fixed fan for airflow.
Flowers, greenery & more!
Creating a cozy atmosphere is next – you want your space to be inviting! An outdoor area rug and throw pillows will personalize and soften the space. Is there such a thing as too much greenery? If you’re asking me, my answer is no! I love a backyard with lush landscaping! Our backyard is still very much a work in progress, but a few planters can do the trick! I have quite a few tropical plants that survived the winter indoors and have lived to see another summer. Their size really helps fill the space. The floral options are endless. Make sure you buy plants, flowers and shrubbery that can be sustained with the amount of direct sunlight you have.
Don’t forget about the kids!
Last but certainly not least, include all members of the family in your backyard oasis! Whether you have a built-in sandbox or a small movable water table, adding activities for your kids will leave you with endless hours spent enjoying your outdoor space! My son, Sam, just turned one and absolutely loves being outside. This summer, we have attempted our very first garden. We have herbs that have grown from seeds and a few veggies from seedlings. Though I am no expert, Sam’s garden is flourishing and I can’t wait to add to it next year. Don’t forget to buy your children their own set of gardening tools so they can learn from you!