While much of Canada enjoys glorious weather in the summer, and spring and fall tend to be delightful in most provinces, winter can be precarious for outdoor activities, especially in one's own backyard.
The addition of a cozy fire pit or even an outdoor fireplace is sure the extend the season. Both would also be welcome even on chilly summer evenings. Other backyard improvements that a homeowner might consider include:
Simulate an Indoor Room
Adding a roof or attractive vine-covered lattice over a section of patio or deck creates functional and comfortable outdoor living space. With the addition of either built-in seating or all-weather furniture and some colourful cushions, the added square footage becomes a boon for entertaining as well as for family enjoyment. For even more versatility, install outdoor speakers or a wall hung television.
Define Cooking, Serving and Eating Areas
Build benches and counters adjacent to the barbecue grill. As an alternative, roll out wheeled carts to transport food and serving pieces. Add cushioned lounge chairs or easily-moved plastic Adirondack chairs for comfortable seating, and create a dining area with an umbrella table or a retro-style bistro set.
Add Art and Colour to the Landscape
Yard art doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Paint a floral mural on a wood fence. Create a curving garden path with gravel and place a bird bath, fountain, garden bench or swing at its destination. Water features are both soothing and dramatic. Use outgrown tricycles, bikes or wagons to hold pots filled with seasonal flowers, or hang baskets of blooms, wind chimes or mobiles from house eaves and tree limbs.
Extend Daylight with Yard Lighting
Don't limit outdoor illumination to house-mounted fixtures. Wrap tree limbs with white holiday lighting strings to provide evening glow. Hang Mason jars filled with sand and tea lights from brackets throughout the backyard. Create fairy lights with battery-powered mini-light strings inside clear bottles and jars; they're inexpensive and captivating. Define walkways and planting areas with movable solar lighting. Direct a spotlight toward a piece of outdoor sculpture. Hang a whimsical chandelier from a porch ceiling.
Install a Freestanding Pavilion
Take inspiration from the past, when gazebos and garden "follies" were all the rage. Today, a simple garden bench under an archway can serve the same purpose and add a great deal of charm to the backyard.
Plan to spend more time out of doors from the inside of your East Calgary new home. It addition to the benefits of sun and fresh air, time spent in the garden is tonic for the spirit. Plan a winter picnic with hot soup, hot cocoa and fresh-baked cookies just for the fun of it, even if it's snowing! Enjoy a beautiful back yard during every season; just dress appropriately!