Three Whimsical, Backyard Retreats You Can Create On Your Own

Do you wish you could get that relaxed, rejuvenated feeling that you get after a day at the beach or in nature without leaving your home? By creating a whimsical retreat in your backyard, you can! Whether you derive your rejuvenation from some quiet time with a book, time spend in the midst of flowers, or an evening chatting with friends, this article will show you how to create that perfect retreat

The Shaded Reading Oasis

If curling up with a book is your idea of a good time, create a spot in your yard where you can do that. Start by planting a shade tree in the center of what will be your reading nook. Fast-growing trees that will provide shade rather quickly include willows, sycamores, and crepe myrtles. Then, use paving stones to make a broad circle around the tree. (Leave a few feet between the tree's trunk and the paving stones so that there's room for the tree to expand.) Set a table and a comfortable chair on your paving stones, and you have a cozy place to read and set your beverage.

The Winding Path Garden

If you love just sitting or walking amidst beautiful flowers, this idea is for you. Mark off a large rectangle of space in your backyard. Till up the soil, and then place paving stones down the center of it to create a winding path. (You can even extend the path all of the way to your back door if you like!) Then, plant flowers in the tilled soil on either side of the path. Opt for perennial flowers so that you don't have to replant them each year. Some good choices that work in many different climates include tulips, hydrangeas, poppies, and lavender.

Once your flowers are planted, place a good layer of mulch on top of the soil to hold in moisture and improve the look. You can even surround your garden with a low picket fence if you like. Many home goods stores sell picket fences that come in pre-made segments and are easy to set up on your own.

The Campfire Nook

Maybe you prefer to be social in order to relax. There are few better ways to do this than to gather around the campfire. Have a load of sand dumped in a corner of your backyard, and then use bricks to create a closed-in area in the center. This is where you'll light the fire. Around the outside of the sand, set up some large paver stones. This way, you have somewhere to set your chairs without worrying about them sinking into the ground.