George to the rescue

3 ways to spruce up your backyard this summer

Whether you’re hosting a family barbecue or lounging by the pool, these upgrades will make your backyard feel like an outdoor oasis.

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Upgrading your outdoor living space doesn’t always have to be complicated. Simple changes can make the space more enjoyable for the family, especially during the summer, while also increasing the home’s future property value. 

Upgrading your home’s landscaping can add thousands of dollars to the property’s value, according to HomeLight, a real estate technology company based in Arizona. Landscaping, of course, will take some upkeep and routine maintenance, but the initial work can pay off for years to come.

While adding outdoor amenities like a fire pit, a kitchen or a deck have the highest return on your investment, creating an inviting backyard can be as simple as planting some flowers or laying down sod.

Here are three ways to spruce up your backyard this summer.

1. Landscaping

Spring may seem like the ideal time to add new life to the backyard, but despite this summer’s record-setting temperatures, some plants thrive in the heat.

Iris, hibiscus and marigolds are three flowers that bloom well under full sunlight, and they’re bound to brighten up any backyard.

If you’re looking for a lower-maintenance option, consider planting your perennials in a pot or a hanging planter. Potted plants are easier to move and you’ll have more control over watering and fertilizing.

Laying down sod can be a great way to spruce up an unfinished backyard, however the task may be more complicated and a bit more expensive than just planting flowers. Spring and fall are typically the best seasons to lay sod, though if you’re considering doing so in the summer, it’s best to avoid temperatures above 90-degrees.

2. Brighten up the patio with outdoor lights

Lighting will add an instant ambiance to the backyard once the sun goes down. Consider stringing lights over your patio or along a fence. 

If you have an outdoor pathway, torch lights, rock lights or solar lights can brighten up the walkway.

Whether you’re enjoying an outdoor family dinner or admiring the sunset, outdoor lighting is a relatively cheap investment that’s bound to enhance your outdoor experience. The lights also have a very functional purpose, in addition to setting the mood in any living space. 

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3. Invest in some outdoor furniture

The first step to furnishing a backyard is deciding what you want to use the space for. Is your backyard an outdoor extension of your living room or kitchen? Will you be entertaining, eating, relaxing or swimming? These are some questions to ask before you head to your nearest home improvement store or neighborhood garage sale.

If you’re planning on enjoying a meal or barbecue outside this summer, you’ll (obviously) want a table and chairs. 

For a more relaxing outdoor space, consider a hammock, couch or chaise lounge – the more cushions, the better. 

If you want a bit more shade in your backyard, consider adding an umbrella or canopy (which can also be great for hanging outdoor string lights!)

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