It’s easy to enjoy your backyard in the spring when the flowers begin to emerge, and it’s time to do some planting and get things ready for the summer months. Summer is great too, when the sun shines, you can light up the barbeque for garden parties and everything’s in full bloom. Even autumn has its charms with the bright colors of the fading leaves and the last lingering warmth from the summer. But then winter arrives, with longer nights and low temperatures which make going outdoors less tempting. But you don’t have to abandon your backyard altogether in the winter — these 7 simple ideas will help you to keep enjoying it all year round.
1. Keep Warm With a Fire Pit
There’s something about an outdoor fire that brings out a kind of nostalgia for the simple living of our distant ancestors. Of course, you can have a traditional firepit installed in your backyard — a hole in the ground with brick surround that you build a fire in — but there are cleaner, safer and more modern alternatives available. Fire pit tables are gas-fueled and keep the fire well-controlled on top of a sturdily constructed table that keeps the flames away from pets and small children. They’re also super easy to clean, so a great option if you don’t have the time to clear away ashes and build a new fire.
2. Bring The Wildlife Closer With Bird Feeders
During the warmer months, you can usually see plenty of wildlife in your garden, but much of that natural beauty disappears over winter. However, you can bring some of it back by investing in bird feeders. Hang these in positions that are out of reach of neighborhood cats or your own pets and fill them with appropriate food to get birds through the winter. Foods that are suitable include sunflower seeds, which are rich in protein, nuts, nyjer seeds, fat balls, peanuts and fruit. You also need to ensure that the food is replaced regularly to remove any that might be spoiling. With these and a supply of fresh water, you’ll have birds in your backyard all through the winter.
3. Keep The Weather at Bay With Motorized Screens
Your patio might be a lovely place to sit in fine warm weather, but cold, rain or high winds will usually send you feeling indoors. Installing motorized screens means that you can use the space year-round, no matter the weather. Motorized screens can be transparent so you can still see the world outside in your backyard or shaded to keep the bright glare of the low winter sun at bay. Either way, they’re a great investment that allows you to keep getting the most out of your backyard through the winter.
4. Enjoy Physical Activities With the Kids
When it’s cold outside, you can add extra layers of clothing, bring in some heat — or engage in some physical activity. Kids don’t usually mind the cold as much and will be happy to shoot some hoops, throw a ball around or play soccer in the backyard, even in the coldest months of the year. To help with this, you could install a basketball hoop, put a soccer goal on the lawn or even purchase an outdoor trampoline.
5. Enjoy the Snow
If you live somewhere where snow is common in winter, then why not embrace the weather and enjoy it? There are a few fun activities you can take part in in your backyard when it’s covered in snow. If you don’t have kids, why not let your inner child out to play? Once you’re wrapped up warmly, you can have a snowball fight, make snow angels or build a snowman.
6. Stay Cozy on the Patio With an Outdoor Heater
Outdoor heaters are an excellent way to keep the cold at bay and enjoy your patio during the winter months. There are many options available these days, and they don’t all require huge amounts of energy. Gas and propane heaters are now on the market that hang from your patio roof and have tinted ceramic glass fronts that maximize efficiency. They’re also safe in winds up to 40 mph. If you’re not comfortable with gas heaters or don’t have the space for storing fuel, you can also get infrared heaters that put out between 1,500 and 6,000 Watts of heat and are very sturdy.
7. Take The Dog Out
Even if you don’t particularly enjoy the cold weather, your dog will still love to get outside and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy time in the backyard with them too. You can play fetch with a ball, frisbee or stick, or if you have the space and you’re feeling adventurous, you could design an obstacle course that your furry friend will love. Just remember to have plenty of water and treats for them at the end!