We Americans do most of our outdoor living in our backyards. Yet most backyards aren’t divided into specialized activity areas like the indoor space is. Until now, that is. People are now starting to dedicate sections of their backyards to specific activities.
Entertaining has been the one activity with dedicated space. We usually find the grill, table and chairs on the patio or deck. Some are very basic while others are an extension of indoor entertaining space, complete with television.
Another area can be dedicated to children’s activities. It’s best to design this area to be flexible. Kids’ interests change as they grow, so making modifications easy will save both time and money when the time comes for the kids’ area to be updated.
You’ll want playground equipment for young children. A playground set, a sandbox and a safe space for them to drive electric vehicles. As they grow into their tween, teen and young adult years, they’ll probably prefer sports equipment. A basketball hoop, a soccer goal, a baseball or softball pitch back or, possibly, a lacrosse net.
You’ll need different surfaces for the various activities. The safest surface for the playground set is rubber mulch or specially designed rubber mats. Rubber mats could also be installed under a sandbox. Grass will be best for some athletic areas, such as soccer, baseball, softball or lacrosse but a basketball court requires a hard surface. To keep this area flexible, consider artificial turf where grass is recommended.
Many families opt for a pool that will become the family recreational area. If that’s likely to happen soon, take that area into account when designing your backyard rooms. Then you won’t have to “steal” a little bit from the existing areas in order to retrofit the space with a pool.
A Secret Garden would be a nice rest area for the adults. This could be a small area where you could get away from the hustle and bustle of family life to read, think or meditate. It could be completely enclosed by high shrubs, except for the entrance. Inside, a comfortable chair, a small table and a container of seasonal annuals would make a fitting décor.
Your Secret Garden may be a good place to meditate. But if you prefer to walk as you meditate, consider a labyrinth, if you have the space. The space set aside for a future swimming pool could be made into a temporary labyrinth until it’s time for the pool to occupy that space.
I realize that these are a lot of ideas to consider all at once, but they’re presented so you can pick and choose those that’ll be best for your family, and so you won’t be surprised when the backyard needs to be modified to accommodate the needs of your growing family.
Winter is a good time to begin thinking about how to divide your backyard so it will serve the needs for your family now and well into the future. For help from the initial formulation of your plans to committing your desires to paper and right trough installation, our landscape professionals are here to serve you.