The backyard is at the center of American family recreation — in pleasant weather, it’s the prime location for relaxation and play. But if your backyard doesn’t have a cohesive, thoughtful backyard design, you may be missing out on prime relaxation territory.
If you’re considering revamping your backyard, here are some backyard design ideas to consider.
Related: Landscaping Trends of 2015
Just Add Water
As Arizona’s scorching summer gives way to cooler temperatures, you may want to consider including a water feature in your backyard. Fountain, ponds, and man-made rivers are all popular choices with our clients, and can be customized to fit any area.
Fire pit for those chilly nights
Deserts are notorious for their chilly nights. What better way to embrace fall than with a fire pit? There are several attractive pre-made fire pits available for purchase, or you can build your own for fairly easily. Incorporate one into your outdoor seating area for cozy stargazing or late-night ghost stories.
Who says eating outdoors is just for summertime? Now that it’s cooled a little, Arizona has the perfect weather for dinner outside. If you don’t already have an outdoor dining set, we heartily recommend investing in one. Don’t have room for it on your patio? No problem — cover a flat area of your backyard with pave stones for your best al fresco dining experience ever.
With the recent popularity of urban gardening, many of our customers are choosing to include edible plants like vegetables and fruit trees in their landscapes. Most traditional vegetables are designed for cooler temperatures than we experience here in the Valley, and don’t last for the entire growing season, which extends well into summer. However, many cool-season vegetables do well if planted in late summer or early fall. Start with vegetables like beets, carrots, spinach, broccoli or kale. For warm-season crops like beans, cucumbers, corn and tomatoes, plant early in the spring so that fruit develops before it becomes too warm.
An alternative to traditional vegetable gardening is container gardening, which lets you grow on your deck or patio as easily as in a bed. But it’s not limited just to vegetables. Evergreens and flowers also do quite well in containers. For this technique, it’s usually better to opt for dwarf versions of some plants, as the full size may overwhelm the container.
Chickens or bees
Want to take the grow-your-own trend up a notch? Consider including chickens or bees in your backyard. Not only do chickens provide you with fresh eggs daily, they also help maintain your garden by eating bugs and pests that might attack your plants. Their manure also makes a great fertilizer. If chickens aren’t your thing, opt for bees instead. You’ll have fresh honey and fantastic pollination for your plants, and the hives will blend in beautifully with any backyard design. Check with your city code to make sure your neighborhood is zoned for these animals.
Sustainability has become a buzzword in many circles, but when it comes to landscape design, it’s still worth considering. As you choose the plants to include in your backyard, consider the water requirements of each one. Will its water needs become a burden in the hottest months of July and August?
Add a gazebo or pergola
Let’s face it — just because it’s beginning to get cooler doesn’t mean the sun isn’t still a bit much at times. If your backyard gets lots of full sunlight, you may want to erect a gazebo or pergola. These shade structures are simple to build and still allow for plenty of breeze to blow through.
Light it up
What’s the use of designing a beautiful backyard if you can’t see it after dark? Garden lights are a simple and affordable way to really show off your backyard’s design. If you opt for a solar-powered model, they’re energy efficient as well!
Add some terrain
Flat backyards may be great for volleyball, but when it comes to visual appeal, they leave something to be desired. Change it up by adding some terrain. A higher area at one end of the yard could be the perfect spot for a rock garden, while a lower area could be great for a pond (see No. 1).
Related: How Should I Budget for Landscaping?
For more backyard design ideas, give ABC Scapes a call at 602-404-0568.