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Simple Tips to Take Your Backyard from ‘Blah’ to ‘Breathtaking’

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By Paige Tepping

firepitLiving in an apartment community certainly has its perks (i.e., not having to fix things when they break), but one thing I truly miss is having a backyard that I can enjoy—whenever and however I want to. While a quick look out the window may be enough to send you over the edge—Does the grass need cutting? Do the weeds need pulling? Have the flowers all wilted? Is the pool swarming with dead bugs?—having access to a yard is probably one of the greatest things about owning a home.

However, if the word ‘blah’ is the only thing that comes to mind when you think about your yard, it’s time to up the ante and consider what you can do to transform the space into your own private oasis. Bonus points if you can make your neighbors jealous!

While getting started may seem like a project in and of itself, the following ideas, courtesy of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) may be just the motivation you need to get the wheels turning. Who knows, you may never want to set foot indoors again.

Get Cooking with an Outdoor Kitchen. Everything’s better when done outdoors, cooking included! If you don’t have a lot of space—or money—to dedicate to a full-blown outdoor kitchen that can accommodate 500 of your closest friends, don’t neglect the project altogether. Instead, get creative. Have a grill? What about a table and chairs? Boom. There’s your kitchen.

Set the Stage with Outdoor Lighting. While it’s probably best to stay away from lighting your backyard up like the Vegas strip, there are plenty of tasteful lighting options out there. If you’re not ready to fully commit, you’ll want to have some solar lights or tiki torches on hand for your friends who don’t quite understand that when the sun goes down, it’s time to leave.

Bring On the Fire. Have you literally driven to your local home improvement store, checked out all the fire pits in stock and walked away empty handed after telling yourself that you don’t really need a fire pit? Whether you need it or not, a fire pit is a great addition to any yard. Seriously, go get one today.

Water, Water Everywhere. If fire isn’t really your thing, perhaps a water feature will float your boat. Create a sense of peace and calm by incorporating a small fountain or two into the space. Even a birdbath will do. If you have your sights set on something bigger, a man-made pond could be the perfect addition. Just make sure you grab your friends and post a video to YouTube.

Plant a Garden. Have a green thumb? Great! Put it to good use and add some color and variety to your yard. And get the whole family involved while you’re at it. And for those of you who love to cook, but hate shelling out money for herbs at the grocery store, take a shot at growing your own. Next time you want some basil to go with that drool-worthy tomato and mozzarella salad you threw together for tonight’s potluck, you won’t have to go very far.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.

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