Most of us have spent a great deal of time at home recently. Pandemic-related lockdowns have limited travel to places both far and near, and many people are still working from home. Even as various businesses and industries slowly reopen, it’s likely we’ll spend much more of our summer and fall in and around our houses than we normally might. This means that finding ways to enjoy time outside has taken on a new level of importance. For those with their own homes and yards, now is a great moment for a refresh.

Relaxation: Our lives can be stressful during the best of times, but right now you may understandably find yourself with an added layer of restlessness or anxiety. Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature is a great way to unwind and relax. The greenery of your yard can be comforting all on its own, but if you include plants that attract birds, butterflies, and bees, you can enjoy the added cheer of providing food and shelter for winged visitors. Making use of natural materials like wood and stone can also be calming, or add a fountain and be soothed by the sound of running water.

Dining: Is your favorite restaurant still closed? Even if it’s open, you may be relegated to sitting in the parking lot to eat. While that may be a creative solution for some enterprising restaurant owners, you might prefer get your favorite meal to go (or cook it yourself!) and eat outside in your own backyard. Now is a great time to spruce up that patio to enjoy some al fresco dining—power wash the concrete, get new cushions for the furniture, and set up some speakers so you can listen to your favorite music while you eat. You might also consider a fan for warm evenings, or a space heater for cooler ones. And if you’re feeling ambitious, a small herb or vegetable garden can add a very satisfying element of accomplishment to any meal, knowing that some of what’s on your plate came from your own yard.

Recreation: With many parks and playgrounds still closed, your little ones may be feeling cooped up. Set aside a dedicated area of the yard just for your kids or your dogs—or both! A playhouse, a sandbox, a patch of grass to run around on, or even a small pool can lift spirits and provide hours of enjoyment and entertainment for all manner of small companions. An umbrella for shade and a good supply of water for hydration will allow everyone to enjoy time outside in the yard.

Many of these ideas are small enhancements you can make yourself, but if time at home has you dreaming of larger-scale improvements to your yard, it’s time to call for reinforcements. A professional landscape design firm like Ware Associates can help you turn your yard into its best self. Get in touch with us today and see how amazing your home can look.