Backyarding – the trend to use the backyard for everything from tele-working and working out to relaxing and recreating – has a different purpose for each of us. Identifying your backyard’s role in your family’s health and happiness is the key to cultivating a purposeful outdoor space that is customized to your needs.
“How do you a create a more purposeful outdoor space? First, you need to identify what type of ‘backyarder’ you are,” explains Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the TurfMutt Foundation. “Then, you can get to work in your yard with that idea in mind.”
Here are just a few of the backyarding personality types. Which one(s) are you?
Your yard makes neighbors green with envy. You know how to maintain a healthy living landscape all year long, and you have the latest outdoor power equipment to make even big jobs easier. You put the right plant in the right place, so your green space is always thriving.
• Outdoor athlete
Forget basement workouts – you have an outdoor gym and exercise space that makes the neighborhood running club want to pit stop at your house. Your yard is the ideal place to stay active and inspire others to work out, too.
• Work From Home Pro
Your work from home means nature is your background, and there’s no lag on the living landscape. The birds, squirrels and, yes, the dog your co-workers see on conference calls are all real. All you need is strong wi-fi, your nicest sweatpants, and a jacket for chilly morning meetings, and you’re ready for work.
• Nature Lover
You know that nature starts at your own backdoor, and understand pollinator support and plant choice. You prefer to spend your free time in the urban habitat of your living landscape, watching the birds, bats, butterflies and other wildlife that count on your yard for food and shelter.
• Kid Zone Creator
You know the safest place for young kids is in your own backyard, and you work hard to create an outdoor fun zone they will never want to leave. A flat area of sturdy turfgrass to play sports and pitch a tent? Check. Treehouse? Check. Zipline strung safely between backyard trees? Check. An elevated garden where they can help grow family meals? Check. Natural playscapes, like a patch of sand bordered by rocks and log stump seating? Check. “Fun” is your middle name, and you are winning at this game.
• Pet Pamperer
Your focus is on Fido – no one knows your yard better – and you take cues from your four-legged friends about how to purpose your backyard. You’ve planted appropriate turfgrass that can stand up to pet play, and you’ve used soft foliage to create a natural barricade between “off limits” areas and the rest of the lawn. Trees and shrubs are strategically planted for shade, and you’ve even set up a shallow water feature to help your pup cool off on hot days. Planting with purpose for you means keeping toxic plants out of the picture. (For a complete list, visit ASPCA’s list of non-toxic and toxic plants.)
• Entertainer Extraordinaire
Your backyard was the neighborhood hot spot long before the pandemic made that trend posh. Family milestones, birthdays, graduations, reunions, socially distanced BBQs – your yard is *the* place to gather. Your yard is set up for success with patio furniture, fire pit, yard games, plenty of outdoor seating, string lights, and maybe even an outdoor kitchen.
• Zen Master
Your yard provides you and your family a place to be still and de-stress. Whether it’s coffee in the morning or yoga in the afternoon, You know that spending time outside is good for your health and well-being, and thanks to your yard these benefits are only steps away.
Sign up for Mutt Mail, a monthly e-newsletter with backyarding tips and all the news from the TurfMutt Foundation here. To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit TurfMutt.com