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Tips for Building a Backyard Paradise in Ohio

Young girl celebrating her birthday with a cake and family in the backyard.
Consider how all members of the family would like to use the garden.

If you want to fall in love with your garden all over again, turn it into something more than a yard: create your own backyard paradise. What does this mean to you? A backyard paradise is a place where you feel comfortable. You might use it to entertain or to relax with a book and a cup of tea. Whatever you do in your garden, it’s your space, and you’ve designed it to be the best place for your family. Try these tips to create a backyard paradise in your Ohio garden. 

1. Know Who’s Using the Space 

Before you decide on what needs to go into your backyard paradise, consider the needs of everyone who is using that space. That includes all members of your family, including animals. 

  • For instance, you might want a dog run for your dog and a separate play space for your children. 
  • You might enjoy a place for entertaining your friends but also want a safe area where you can watch your grandchildren play.
  • You could love entertaining and desire a nook for reading too.
  • Think about the animals that you love as well. If you enjoy watching and listening to the sound of bees, add plants that the bees love and a seat nearby where you can watch them. If you adore the sound of water, put in a small fountain and watch the birds splash in it. 

Write down the needs of everyone who uses the space and see how you can accommodate those in your garden planning.

2. Think About Indoor-Outdoor Uses

A garden that’s integrated into your home rather than apart from your home will get more use, since it will become a seamless additional living space. When you’re building your backyard paradise, think about the following

  • How will you connect the materials and designs that you use indoors and out to create a sense of flow between the two spaces? 
  • How will you make the outdoor space friendly in the spring, fall, and winter? 
  • How will you create a visual link between the indoor and the outdoor space through well-chosen windows? 
  • Can you incorporate elements of the indoors into the outdoors, such as an outdoor kitchen?
  • How will you transition between outdoors and in again, so that you can clean up easily after playing, sitting, or working in the garden?
Beautiful patio with stone wall and fire pit in the center.
Depending on local regulations, you could install a garden fire pit or other gathering place.

Don’t forget about maintenance when outfitting your outdoor spaces. Ideally, being outdoors should bring a sense of relaxation, not thoughts about weeds that need to be pulled or gutters that need to be cleaned. Planning ahead can help ensure that being in your backyard will instill a feeling of relaxation. Add lots of mulch to help prevent weeds and a gutter guard to keep your gutters clean. Download our free gutter guide to learn more about gutter covers.

3. Consider Morning, Noon, and Night 

Ohio’s moderate summer climate makes it a lovely place to entertain in the summer garden. When you’re thinking about entertaining or enjoying your garden, make it a place to enjoy at any time of the day, whether you’re waving goodbye to your guests at 10 pm or you’re sitting in the garden with your coffee as the sun rises. 

  • Install bird feeders and baths and other areas where you can watch the birds as they come to your garden in the morning. 
  • Create a seating nook with a teapot and tea herbs nearby, so that you can easily make tea.
  • Develop an outdoor entertaining area that transitions into an evening sitting area, transforming it with cozy cushions.
  • Add a fire pit or gas fire for evening entertaining.
  • Add fragrant plants such as jasmine, viburnum, lilac, and tea olive. Consider plants that bloom in the daytime and ones that bloom in the evening, and place these around the locations you’re most likely to access at those times of the day.
  • Add lighting along pathways and patios for safety and for decor. Install solar lights so that you don’t need to remember to turn them on.

4. Diversify Your Space 

Your backyard doesn’t need to fill a single role: it can fill many. If you have people in your family with mobility challenges, you can create an accessible space next to the house for reading and relaxing. If you have young children, they will need a space to run and play. Your backyard doesn’t need to become a paradise for one: it can be a place for everyone in your home to enjoy. When you’re planning your space, it’s not an all or nothing endeavor. Even a small yard can have a sitting area, a play space, and a section where you can use a barbeque and entertain. 

  • Create walls in the garden by adding long grasses, arbors, and trellises to develop separate spaces. According to The Spruce, garden rooms allow you to develop many separate spaces in your garden and “allows gardeners to play with different color schemes or styles without creating chaos.” 
  • Add tables and seats to nooks. 
  • Store items in bins when they are not in use so that a play space can turn into a space for entertaining adult guests as well. 
  • Consider how all of the senses will be engaged in a space. Does it include textured plants, sweet-smelling plants, or particularly tasty plants? Mix things up to add interest.

5. Make It Simple 

A backyard paradise that requires a lot of maintenance from you may not seem like a paradise after all. If you’re constantly struggling with patio or gutter cleaning, for example, that’s no fun. Choose simple strategies to make your garden maintenance easier. These could include: 

  • Adding retractable awnings to make your garden shady and sunny when you want it to be, instead of having to move your patio tables and umbrellas.
  • Adding time-saving equipment such as gutter covers to eliminate problems with puddles and the time spent cleaning gutters. 
  • Installing a low-maintenance patio to define a space for relaxing and entertaining. Country Living suggestions establishing “a solid base for stone surfaces to avoid fix-ups later. If you are planning a stone patio, lay a six- to eight-inch layer of compacted pea stones first.” Think about the ease of washing and maintaining your patio stones over time. 
  • Adding automatic lights such as solar lights for night time entertaining. 
  • Planting shrubs and flowers that enjoy the local climate.
  • Considering the weather when you install your patio: think about how you will manage heat and wind so that you have a plan in place and don’t need to sort this out retroactively. For instance, you could add a trellis as a windbreak and ensure that there’s a bin for blankets and cushions for cool fall evenings.
  • Ensuring that you have adequate, organized storage so that you can easily tuck items away.

At Harry Helmet, we know how important it is for your home to be your sanctuary and a place to entertain friends and family. We want to help you make your home into the most functional, beautiful, and engaging space possible. Contact us to schedule a free estimate today, and you’ll be on your way to creating a backyard paradise.

Written by Del Thebaud

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