Enjoy your backyard throughout the year by creating an outdoor living space and dining area. Use the space to entertain friends and family or to simply unwind after a long day. Add beauty to your backyard by planting perennials and annuals. Add them to containers and beds for bursts of color and texture.
Nothing flourishes and creates a long-lasting design like a perennial garden. Each year perennials grow back healthier and fuller, making them beautiful in any landscape. In the back of the bed, start with taller perennial plants like butterfly bushes and rosemary. Use medium-size flowers like black-eyed Susan and phlox. Purple iris and daffodils, which emerge in the spring, will add bursts of color at the beginning of the growing season. Add perennial flowers to containers to scatter around the yard. Perennials can thrive for years in containers, and are easy to move around the garden. To protect your perennials in the warm summer months, add a layer of mulch. Mulch helps to retain the moisture in the root base of your plants, and will reduce the amount of water applied to each plant.
Meander along your garden pathway to admire your perennials. Adding a garden path through your landscape is the perfect way to beckon you into the outdoors. Use the garden path as a resting point while gardening or as a way to lead you from one area of the yard to the next. Flagstone and slate, which have natural earth tones of grays and oranges, will complement the existing landscape. Lay the stones every 1 to 2 feet. In between the stones, add a layer of pebbles or your favorite creeping plant. Fill in the cracks with thyme or sedum, and watch them grow around your stones. Every so often, prune them back so they don't cover you pretty path.
Building a casual courtyard in your backyard will create outdoor dining and living areas to enjoy. Use a pergola to help create the alfresco dining feel. For a private retreat, begin growing wisteria vines or another favorite creeper up each pergola post. Add an outdoor patio set under the pergola to use for evening meals. Around the base of the pergola, add a couple of potted plants for extra bursts of color. Outdoor lights will enhance the space, and they can be wrapped around the pergola posts or set on the table. Enjoy this mini courtyard throughout the seasons.