Those of us fortunate to have a backyard know what a wide variety of uses it embraces and the vast number of purposes it can have.
It can be the focal point for any outdoor activities, games, socializing with friends or enjoying wildlife.
The back yard really is an extension of our life to the outdoors and says something about our individual style and a lot about the family unit.
As kids, we can all remember that tree in the backyard …that one where we could climb and be whatever we wanted.
Or perhaps, those endless baseball games or when the garden hose was the touchdown line.
The reality was too real, the competition fierce and it happened all again the next day.
Then, after the game and all the other neighborhood kids had gone home, there was time for a quiet family cook-out or a relaxing drink as the sun went down.
It’s incredible what can be done with (in many cases) such little space. It can be the Superbowl or Wrigley field, or the home for your shed, aviary, garden, pond or play area.
It can be a shady place to relax on summer’s day in your favorite outdoor chair or a place to wonder at the sight of snow covered branches and fixtures in winter.
It can be the place to get away from it all at times and a place full of action at other times.
It’s ready and waiting day and night and always available.
Backyards are patient, forgiving and there for you.
Show your backyard some TLC and you will be surprised at the results.
Sure, sometimes the lawn needs attention or the leaves need raking, but a well-planned and put together area can bring endless joy to families, wildlife and pets.
Birthday parties, Anniversary parties, and even the neighborhood friends gathered for a BBQ all happen in that area behind the house.
With just a little planning and not a lot of maintenance you can transform the space into something with has functionality on so many levels. Using clever landscaping ideas and making the most use of the space you have available is the key to a well laid out and organized outdoor space.
Some suitable outdoor furniture or a secluded gazebo will give a wonderful look and feel.
A swing set for the kids or a garden shed for the yard tidy tools all increase its usefulness and adaptability.
A lovely raised vegetable garden bed can provide fresh organic veges.
Or, if you have the space, fruit tress and a grapevine are also great backyard ideas.
This is where the space in a backyard shines. Many games are suitable for outdoor play and the most popular ones do not require and special skill set.
The whole family or indeed the neighborhood can join in. Football is always a popular one and requires nothing more than a ball. It doesn’t even to have to be a “proper” football.
Cornhole, Ladderball and Bocce as well as many variations on them are just perfect for games in the backyard. They are typically inexpensive and easy to store play and involve the whole family.
The classic horseshoes game is always a winner and for those even younger, don’t forget hide and seek.
Many styles of patio chairs and tables are now constructed with all weather, maintenance free materials. They are not only functional, but also comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
For some additional comfort in the cooler weather, outdoor fire pits come in a huge array of designs and styles.
If you have the space, keeping some backyard chickens is a great way to have those lovely fresh, eggs which are simply better than the store bought variety.
Your chickens will become your pets. Just like a dog or a cat they each have their own personality and traits.
For the family cat, an outdoor run is the best of both worlds. The moggy gets much need exercise, but there is no danger of wandering or interfering with the birds in your garden.
A nice dog kennel always adds a certain character to the backyard and your pet will love you for it.
The backyard is a wonderful place for kids to interact with any type of pet, particularly dogs.
A nicely tucked away garden shed helps keep all tools and other yard equipment safe and out of the weather as well as removing any clutter.
With the advent of things like solar panels, high tech fabrics, building materials and kids playthings, creating a special backyard is a lot easier than it used to be and also more affordable.
Even yard tidy tools have evolved to a point where the effort it takes to trim a hedge or blow the autumn leaves into a heap is a snap. With a few hand tools and some basic yard tidy equipment, things will be spick and span.
Best of all, your backyard is like you: unique!
With a little planning and some imagination it can be both unique and special.