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Build Your Own Backyard Retreat


Spring has finally arrived! Every day, I see trees growing fuller and flowers starting to bloom. As we settle into a warm, pleasant season, it’s time to transform your backyard into the perfect retreat. The best thing about this type of project is that you can do it with a budget of any size. Enjoy!

Decorate Your Gazebo

If you’re lucky enough to own a gazebo, dress it up a little to make it the highlight of your backyard. One idea is to get some hanging baskets brimming with colorful flowers. Just imagine a collection of hanging baskets containing pink, purple, and white petunias. Or get a gathering of bright red geraniums and put them in white baskets for a dramatic effect. Or you can forgo the flowers and hang some strings of battery-powered white LED lights around the railings and posts of your gazebo. Battery-powered LED Chinese lanterns in blue, red, or green can instantly give your covered backyard retreat a beautiful glow.

Set Up a Collection of Hummingbird Feeders

If you love watching the activities of hummingbirds, set up some hummingbird feeders in one area of your backyard. You can purchase inexpensive hummingbird feeders and make your own bright red, sugary solution, or you can go ahead and make your own feeders, too. Be sure to place a comfortable bench or lounger nearby so you can observe their activities up close.

Plant a Butterfly Garden

A butterfly garden is simply a gathering of flowers that attract butterflies. Just imagine how peaceful you’ll feel as you watch all kinds of butterflies sampling the flowers in your garden. Some butterfly-friendly flowers include lavender, goldenrod, phlox, purple coneflowers, Shasta daisies, thistle, zinnias, and, of course, butterfly bushes! I suggest adding a silver or gold gazing globe or two to the scene to make your butterfly garden even more attractive.

Create a Pathway of Stepping Stones

Construct a simple path leading to your backyard retreat by laying down a row of stepping stones. Stepping stones are available in many textures and shapes that can add style to your backyard retreat. Put a pathway through your butterfly garden, or make one that leads up to a comfortable hammock, portable patio swing, or pair of lounge chairs. Be sure to leave equal distance between each of the stepping stones as you put them down on the grass.

Set Up Solar LED Path Lights

Whether you make your pathway with stepping stones, gravel, bricks, or mulch, you must be able to find the way to your retreat when the sun goes down. Set up solar LED path lights on both sides of your pathway. These lights soak up energy from the sun during the day and pop on when darkness falls. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so you’re sure to find some that enhance the look of your backyard. I like the fact that you can leave these pathway lights up all year round.

The smallest additions and changes to your backyard can make it a more inviting place to be during the warm weather months. Use your imagination and make your backyard one of your favorite places to be this spring and summer. Thanks for reading. – Alan

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