How to Create a Backyard Oasis (Without Breaking Your Budget)
Picture your ideal vacation: a getaway from anything and everything that’s stressing you out, a place where you can feel restored, rejuvenated—and, let’s be real, enjoy a drink with a tiny umbrella in it while working on your tan. Aaah. That happy place doesn’t have to only exist in your dreams or require you to save up for a decade to visit it. What if you could go there any time you liked? It’s possible. Truly. Here’s how to create a backyard oasis that may rival any resort vacay.
1. Prep Your Yard
The average backyard renovation costs $7,500 to $10,000, according to HomeAdvisor data, and one major way to trim your expenses is to get your hands dirty. That means raking up leaves and clearing your existing planting beds of dead foliage and weeds, so you have a blank canvas to assess what you’re working with—and where your biggest opportunities lie.
2. Beautify Your Vegetable Garden
Searches for victory gardens have skyrocketed in the past 90 days, according to Google Trends, but that doesn’t mean your new (or existing!) vegetable garden has to be an eyesore. With the help of Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® consider using raised bed planters, container gardening or intermixing veggies and herbs right into your flower beds so that you maintain a sense of landscaping. It's all about form and function here, folks.
3. Create a Designated Lounge Area
Fact: To create a true getaway, you need a spot where you can kick back and put your feet up. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- For a beachy vibe, try a small deck with outdoor chaises (bonus points if it has a slide-out side table for holding your drink and phone!)
- For a meditative retreat, opt for an outdoor rug, poufs and an umbrella to help you keep your cool
- For a napper’s paradise, hang a hammock between two trees or place a swing chair in a shady spot
- For a backyard movie theater, create a second living room with an outdoor sectional (cushy seats are a must!), projector and inflatable screen
4. Take Dinner Al Fresco
Whether it’s a long, rectangular table the whole family can gather round or a fold-up bistro table and chairs that can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces, a spot for enjoying dinner—or an early morning cup of coffee—is crucial. Two things that can take that experience to the next level? Upgrade the chairs with extra-cushy cushions (because the standard-issue ones are often pancake-like) and a tabletop pizza oven, which cost a fraction of the price of freestanding brick ones.
5. Just Add Water(fall)
Just like you design a room, your yard should have a focal point and nothing draws your eye quite like a small waterfall or fountain. (Plus, how soothing are the sounds of a babbling brook?) It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, either—dozens of styles, from faux-rock formations designed to complement your surroundings to sleek, ultra-modern models, are available online and require minimal setup.
6. Bring All the Butterflies to Your Yard
Sweet alyssum, salvia and torenia are just three of the many flowering plants that will add color to your yard—and attract all kinds of hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. To help decide which plants are right for your landscape, check out the USDA’s hardiness zone map, which reveals what types of greenery can survive in your area, based on how cold it gets.
7. Light Things Up
Just because the sun’s gone down doesn’t mean the party has to end. Low landscape lights along pathways, a trio of LED-filled lanterns near the patio furniture and a simple set of string lights overhead can create a romantic ambience that won’t leave your guests busting out their phone’s flashlights to move around. With these areas covered, you may very well become a staycation person. Just don’t be surprised if your neighbors keep finding excuses to drop by, too.