Friday, June 22, 2012 4:17 PM EDT
Canadians know how to make the most of short summers. The moment the snow
has melted, we head into our backyards and gardens and get to work
on making them into idyllic retreats. Trouble is, we often find ourselves toiling more than we do sitting back and relaxing. This summer, my goal
is to transform my not-so-perfect backyard into an enjoyable escape
with the least
amount of effort possible! I’m talking quick fixes that will distract the eye from all the other real work (weeding, landscaping, fertilizing)
that has to be done. Pea Gravel Dining Area Pea gravel dining areas, via Martha Stewart and 8FOOTSIX.
Adding a pea gravel dining area to my garden is my most ambitious project this summer and one that I hope won’t require too much work
. There is something decidedly European about dining al fresco
under a string of lights, with the crunch of pea gravel at your feet. Find a spot in your garden that you can dedicate to this project and then get to work
clearing it of any growth. Next, put down a weed barrier and top with pea gravel. To define the space, you could ring it with terracotta planters or edge it with cedar posts. Outdoor Lights Strings of outdoor lights, via Small Place Style (L&R).
For a magical, romantic feel, illuminate your patio (or your new pea gravel dining area!) with a string of outdoor lights. It’s amazing what effect a few twinkling lights can have on an outdoor space. Alternatively, for a touch of moody atmosphere, you could add lanterns or even mason jars filled with votive candles to your deck or outdoor entertaining
space. Rattan Chair Rattan chairs, via Remodelista and Serena & Lily.
Imagine walking into your backyard and seeing a pod chair floating from a branch. A hanging chair’s very presence will make you want to escape for a few hours and read away the afternoon, sitting back and enjoying the summer breezes. It’s easily installed over some rafters or tree branches. Vertical Garden Vertical gardens, via Green Upgrader and Life on the Balcony.
If you’re itching to do a little growing in your backyard but don’t want to commit to a full-on vegetable garden, try an easy, low-maintenance, DIY
garden structure. The one on the right uses angled eavestroughs to grow salad
greens, and the one on the left reuses a wooden shipping pallet for herbs and nasturtiums. Their minimal footprint and upright structure means less weeding and more efficient watering. Outdoor Rugs Outdoor rugs, via Les Papillons Rouge and Dash & Albert.
Looking to add some quick colour and decoration to your patio? Get an outdoor rug. They’ve come a long way from the green Astroturf that once dominated the scene. Available in a range
of gorgeous colours and styles, these weatherproof carpets instantly update an outdoor space, and feel great underfoot. Best of all, they can transform a patio in minutes, with minimal effort required! What are some of your own backyard quick-fix tips?