Sunshine, the soothing sound of a crackling fire, extra time to get lost in a page-turning novel — these are a few of the things that make for a relaxing and restorative escape.
But how do you cultivate those feelings — the calm and the joy and the tranquility — if you can’t get away for a few days? You bring those feel-good vacation vibes to your own turf, of course!
Here, you’ll find ten tips to turn your backyard (or whatever green space you’re working with) into an outdoor oasis complete with all the elements of a memorable weekend getaway.
- Clear the clutter
- Enhance the ambiance
- Get an inflatable pool
- Create a zen zone
- Add splashes of colour
- Buy a hammock
- Make a vertical garden
- Plant cheerful perennials
- Invest in a fire pit
- Add comfy seating
1. Clear the clutter and refresh your yard
First things first: if your yard is a place you want to get away from rather than escape to, it’s probably time to give your outdoor space a bit of TLC.
Start by clearing out things like debris, leaves, and overgrown plants and weeds for an instant refresh. Next, get into Marie Kondo mode and discard anything that no longer sparks joy, be it dated patio furniture, unused pots, or old garden ornaments.
When your yard is organised and tidy, you can start thinking about all the ways you’ll turn it into a refuge for kicking back and fostering that holiday mindset.
2. Transform your space with lighting
Sometimes all your backyard needs is a little upgrade in the ambiance department — and that’s where outdoor lighting comes in. Try adding oversized lanterns, line your patio with solar garden torches, or drape globe string lights across your space for an enchanting atmosphere.
If you have some mason jars lying around, grab some inexpensive fairy lights and turn the jars into rustic centrepieces that look lovely on tabletops or nestled in garden beds.
3. Invest in an inflatable pool
If you have access to any sort of outdoor space (even if it’s essentially just a patch of grass), an inflatable pool is the best way to channel those vacay vibes when the sun comes out and the mercury rises. After all, what’s a getaway without a pool to lounge by?
Be it a no-frills kiddie pool or an adult-friendly model complete with seats and backrests, this fun accessory will have you living out your best backyard staycation all summer long.
4. Create an outdoor zen zone
Whatever your version of an outdoor oasis looks like — whether it’s a calming meditation space or a shady spot where you can unwind and get stuck into a good book — creating a zen zone is a great way to make your yard feel like more of an escape.
The key to carving out a corner of peace in your yard is to separate it from the other areas where you’d normally sit down to eat or toil away in the garden. An easy way to achieve this? Grab some potted plants to use a partition and enclose your designated relaxation station.
Then, add a comfy blanket and some large pillows to give it an inviting finishing touch. If your zen area is near a tree, try hanging decorative ornaments or even a swinging chair to instantly up the serenity factor. Accessories like wind chimes or water fountains add soothing sounds to make it feel even more like a sanctuary.
5. Use colour to make your space more inviting
If your outdoor space is looking a little drab, adding splashes of colour will banish those backyard blahs and make you want to spend more time there.
There are so many ways to inject your outdoor space with personality using pops of colour: incorporate rainbow-hued throw cushions, buy cheery pots and garden containers, spruce up outdoor furniture with a lick of bright paint, or opt for bold accessories — whether it’s table settings, candle holders, or a patterned outdoor rug.
Not sure which colour palette to choose? Look to the flowers and plants in your yard for inspiration, and use those hues to add coordinating pops of colour.
6. Add a hammock
Does anything scream “vacation” and “relaxation” more than a hammock? I mean, even just the sight of this glorious swinging seat is enough to get you into holiday mode.
Hang it between two mature trees or on your porch, or opt for a hammock that comes with its own stand for easy set-up virtually anywhere in your yard.
7. Create a vertical garden
A vertical garden (AKA planting upwards instead of outwards) means you can grow everything from fragrant flowers to fresh herbs while adding an aesthetically pleasing pop of greenery to your space — regardless of how big or small it is.
Not only are vertical gardens nice to look at, but they’re also simple to make and budget-friendly to boot. You can easily create your own vertical garden with inexpensive items like tin cans, clay pots, and DIY wooden planters.
If you’re keen to bring this idea to life in your yard, try these DIY hacks:
- Create a garden wall on your fence with tin cans and spray paint
- Repurpose a picture frame to make a vertical succulent garden
- Make a shoe organiser herb garden
8. Plant cheerful perennials
When it comes to sprucing up your outdoor space, you can’t go wrong with flowers — especially bright and cheerful perennials that bloom every spring.
Perennials require little maintenance to keep them looking their best and they come back year after year, which means you can instantly enhance our yard with beautiful flowers and save money in the long run. Plus, it’s hard not to feel happy when you’re surrounded by gorgeous, fragrant blooms.
Try these perennials for a cheap and cheery backyard facelift:
- Bleeding Heart
9. Channel holiday vibes with a fire pit
From camping trips to cosy weekends away, the sound of a crackling fire can evoke feelings of your fondest vacation memories like few other things can. So why not relive those much-loved moments (and create new memories) while you’re cosied up by a fire in your own backyard?
Wood fires are undeniably glorious, but they’re not a good fit for every outdoor space. If you have close neighbours or live in an area with residential burning restrictions, explore gas or propane models instead.
10. Add comfy seating
Having ultra-comfortable seating where you can really stretch out and relax means you’re more likely to take full advantage of your garden haven.
Maybe you want an intimate bench tucked away in the shade, a reclining lounger that’s prime for catching rays, or a DIY daybed that’s covered in plush cushions. Think about your preferences and budget, and choose whatever style will make you more inclined to unwind.