The Entertaining Yard
You have a yard, maybe a deck or patio, family, and friends. And summer is coming. Time to pull out the BBQ and plan some long-awaited outdoor gatherings! Hold on a sec. Is your yard ready for family and friends? Here is a better question… Have you considered the possibilities of what an entertaining yard could look like?
If you really want to transform your yard into a fun and relaxing place to hang out with family and friends this summer, here are some of our favorite backyard features and tips for entertaining.
Create Micro Areas
Think of your backyard as an extension of your home, with different “rooms” for different activities. These might include areas for dining, relaxing, and conversation, open space for games, a grilling station, etc. The sky really is the limit! Our favorite yards for entertaining, though, are those with clearly defined spaces and this can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Low walls, fences, and privacy screens
- Trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses
- Raised planters
- Patios and decks
- Arbors, pergolas, and gazebos
Consider Flow, Form, and Function
When you walk through a house, there is a certain order and flow to the rooms. Same thing with well-planned yards, and, especially important for the entertaining yard. As you are dreaming up the perfect backdrop for all the fun things you want to do in your yard, consider how one space might flow into the next and consider how your guests will move through and interact with the space. Here are some of the details to think about as you are planning the different areas and uses of your yard:
- The amount of room needed for different activities
- How a space should function and will it be multi-purpose
- Placement of pathways or steps leading from one area to another
- The surface materials that should be used*
*Hint: Surface materials can provide a common theme throughout your yard, add a ton of interest and help to define specific areas.
Add Special Features
Yards can be perfectly functional and provide all the necessary elements for entertaining and still be quite boring to actually spend time in. So, add some personality and interest! Special features or design elements can make your yard even more inviting and a place you and your guests will want to be in. A few of our favorite design elements include:
- Water features
- Unusual Plants
- Use of color and textures
- Boulders or stonework
- Garden Art
Establish a Theme and Style
As you are deciding what to include in your yard, you may find it is easy to get carried away with lots of different elements—and that is not necessarily a bad thing. What you want to establish, though, is a consistent theme throughout so everything works together visually. This will make your space even more inviting for your guests.
Fun really is at the heart of the entertaining yard, so have fun with your design. Making your yard a great place to spend time with family and friends is not supposed to be difficult, so enlist the help of a pro if you get stuck. If you need help with ideas, planning, or installation, Landscape East & West has years of experience helping homeowners create great yards for entertaining—and we have fun in the process! Browse our blog and portfolio for ideas, or contact us today to get started.