6 Ways to Make The Most of Your Back Garden


How to Make The Most of Your Back Garden

Maintaining a stylish back garden can be a lot of work. But the last thing you want is for your garden to become overgrown and overstocked with weeds, and become a place you’d rather shut the blinds on, rather than open the door to.

To get you thinking about the year ahead, and all those fresh spring days and lazy sunny afternoons, here are six ways you can make the most out of your back garden.


Further Reading: 3 Magical Ideas To Refresh Your Garden This Summer


6 Wonderful Ways to Make The Most of Your Back Garden


1 – Make the Most of Your Back Garden by Building A Swimming Pool and/or a Biodiversity Inspired Pond

Swimming Pool

When it comes to their garden, most people want a little oasis where they can relax on a hot summer’s day, after work, or at the weekend, while the kids splash around in cooling water. Sound like your idea of bliss? Then building your very own swimming pool could be the answer.

Your pool doesn’t have to cost the world. A simple above-ground pool will work and provide plenty of fun on those hot summer days or after dinner when everyone wants to cool down for a bit before going inside.

Unfortunately the Field of Dreams ‘If you build it, they will come’ is not guaranteed when it comes to the weather, especially in Ireland. But one thing that should come with your pool is a cover, because water safety comes first, especially when there are children in the household.


6 Ways to Make The Most of Your Back Garden - Garden Wildlife PondImage by Wonderlane


Garden Pond

Even a small pond in your back garden can thrive as a wildlife pond. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either. Of course it’s important to get advice before you start digging – a good garden centre will always have an expert on hand. And obviously you really need to think about the best area for your pond – and if you have small children, will it be safe? Here are seven simple steps to get your pond in action to really make the most of your back garden:

  1. Dig a hole, removing any sharp stones.
  2. Line the hole, you can use sand or even an old carpet!
  3. Install the pond liner.
  4. Fill with water, preferably rain water from your water butts.
  5. Plant some oxygenating aquatic plants or let nature do its thing, create a beach for easy water access, and some bark or dead branches to attract more local wildlife.
  6. Place some larger stones around the pond to provide structure and shade. And place some in the pond to create an underwater amphitheatre.
  7. You can even add some lighting around your pond and then it’s just a matter of waiting for your pond to come to life all by itself! Think tadpoles and frogs, damselflies and dragonflies, or even newts!

6 Ways to Make The Most of Your Back Garden - Outdoor DiningImage by Yael Gonzalez


2 – Make the Most of Your Back Garden by Creating the Perfect Outdoor Dining Area

Another great way to make the most of your back garden is by hosting barbecues for friends and family, so everyone can sit back and relax after work or on weekends whilst enjoying delicious food together.

A simple setup will include an outside kitchen where you can place all cooking appliances, grills etc., an eating area that seats at least four people or more if you want it to be more than just a barbecue night once in a while.


3 – Make the Most of Your Back Garden by Building a Modern Outdoor Kitchen

It’s always better when the food is right outside! Installing an outdoor kitchen will not only help you save time but also potentially make your garden even more modern. Have a grill and a sink built-in so that it looks clean and stylish – allowing you to cook up a storm for any occasion.

Also consider growing a herb garden near your ‘Outdoor Kitchen’, or an edible garden. Think; fresh lettuce for burgers, herbs for marinades, and flowers for cocktails!


Further Reading: Sustainable Living – Grow Your Own Food in a Vegepod


6 Ways to Make The Most of Your Back Garden - BiodiversityImage by Nick Fewings


4 – Make the Most of Your Back Garden by Adding Some Special Elements

Adding in timeless elements like trellises, birdbaths with fountains, and sundials can go a long way in making your garden feel more inviting. But, of course, it’s always essential that your garden doesn’t just look good, but it functions well too.

Attracting wildlife into your garden is probably the most worthwhile element you can add to your back garden. From the aforementioned wildlife pond to simple bird feeders. Maybe consider creating a biodiversity friendly garden by installing a bee and bug hotel, and growing some bee and butterfly friendly flowers and plants. Be considerate of when you cut the lawn – give wildlife a chance to enjoy those dandelions! Or may you could even create a mini wildflower meadow, where you don’t cut the grass at all!


5 – Make the Most of Your Back Garden by Installing a Fireplace or Pit

Another great idea to make the most out of your back garden is including an outdoor fireplace where you can gather around with friends and family during late summer, early autumn nights when it’s cold enough to want to warm up but not too cold that everyone is forced inside.

There’s nothing quite like sitting by a fire pit at night under the open sky. Fire pits have been the rage in Europe since the middle Paleolithic period, 300,000 – 400,000 years ago, so you could say they’re a timeless addition to any garden!


6 Ways to Make The Most of Your Back Garden - LightingImage by Laura Adai


6 – Make the Most of Your Back Garden by Upgrading Your Outdoor Lighting

You don’t want it to be difficult for guests to walk around in your garden at night, which is why lighting matters. Make sure there are ambient lights throughout, especially by pathways leading to seating and dining areas, and into your home. That way, one can easily get from place to place no matter how late the BBQ goes on to! Because you might as well make the most of your back garden at night too!


Feature Image by Tim Cooper – CCO Licence


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Edwina O'Connor
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