Seems that 2020 is the year to really appreciate what we have in our own backyard. Literally.
With a lot more time spent at home, we’re discovering that hanging out in our backyards can actually be kinda fun and that it’s sometimes the simple things that really bring us the most joy.
Whether you have a tiny terrace or a big, sprawling backyard, there are lots of ways to enjoy quality time outdoors and appreciate mother nature, all on your own turf.
If you haven’t caught onto the veggie growing craze yet, it’s not too late. It is always a good time to get out in the garden and get your hands dirty. Growing and picking your own produce is truly satisfying and actually quite addictive. You will be guaranteed to have some hits and some misses and will at times have to ‘share’ your produce with the local critters, but that’s all part of the ‘journey’.
So, what are you waiting for? Just start small with a veggie bed or a couple of pots and just add as you go. One thing is for certain, you will have a whole new appreciation of the produce you buy at the shops once you see what goes into growing your own!
If a full veggie patch is just a bit too daunting or you don’t have a lot of space, why not start a bit smaller with an edible garden wall. Making a colourful DIY garden wall will get your creative juices flowing and will provide you will yummy herbs and greens for your culinary creations. Find some old timber and plastic containers/bottles and get to work. You can plant out all your favourite herbs and throw in a bit of extra colour with some potted marigolds or other flowers.
Did you know that a worm can eat its own weight every day?
Having a worm farm in your backyard is a great, sustainable way to get rid of your household food waste. It will also provide you with amazing compost and liquid gold in the form of ‘worm tea’ fertiliser for your garden.
They are also quite a fun way for kids to see nature taking its course. Seeing the wriggling worms when you lift the lid is quite entertaining and adds a bit of incentive to take out the rubbish.
To get started, you’ll need:
Once you have all the gear, and you’ve chosen your spot (your worms will like a cool sheltered position in summer and a sunnier, warm position in winter) you can find great tutorials online to help you get set up.
Nothing makes a backyard seem homier than the cluck of chickens as they scratch about. Keeping chickens in your backyard is surprisingly easy and the beautiful fresh eggs you’ll be rewarded with will be well worth your efforts.
Make sure you check with the local authorities to see if you are allowed to keep chickens in your area and any special requirements. For example, in Brisbane, you are allowed up to six chickens and you will need a livestock permit (don’t worry, they are easy to get and you can apply online). Your coop is required to be at least one metre from a boundary fence and it’s a good idea to make it fox-proof to protect the girls and ensure they stick around.
If you’re looking for great layers, popular breeds include Isa Brown, White Leghorn, Black Australorp, and Rhode Island Red.
Sometimes you just need to see things from a different perspective. Grab the kids and a couple of magnifying glasses and venture out into the great unknown (a.k.a. your backyard) to explore. When you get up close and personal with all the living things out there you’ll discover an incredible world filled with wonder.
For the bigger kids, doing some macro photography can add another dimension to the experience and really capture this amazing world we all have right under our noses.
If veggie gardening is not your thing, why not try growing flowers to add a splash of colour to your life? You can grow them from seed or pop some bulbs in your garden beds and wait for an explosion of colour in a few months. Or if you are more of an instant gratification kind of person, grab some ‘potted colour’ (potted flower plants already in bloom) from your local nursery. They will cost less than your average bouquet and keep on giving for weeks or even months.
Imagine being able to give a friend or family member a fresh bunch of flowers picked from your very own garden.
The buzz of bees brings a sense of energy and life to any garden. And when they are native stingless bees, you don’t even have to worry about getting stung.
A nest or box of native bees makes a wonderful addition to your backyard. It’s also great to know that you are doing your bit for the environment. These tiny little bees will do a great job pollinating your plants and are fascinating to watch. They do also produce honey but not quite in the same quantities as European honey bees.
You can either purchase a box of native bees (just Google suppliers in your local area) or build a native bee box and cross your fingers for some new residents to move in.
Create a special space in your backyard to salute the sun each morning.
If you have the space, you could build a decking platform to practice on. A quick and inexpensive option is to repurpose a few timber palettes to create the structure.
Or you might just find the perfect little corner to set up your special space and roll out your mat each morning.
You can decorate with plants, stones, suncatchers, lanterns, crystals and even prayer flags.
Bubbles are one of nature’s little miracles. There’s something magical about seeing a wave of shimmery rainbow bubbles drifting through the air.
Kids big and small love to blow bubbles and your backyard is the perfect place to do it.
If the aim is giant bubbles, you can reshape a wire coat hanger into a loop or use a couple of sticks and some string to make a pretty nifty and effective bubble blowing tool.
For an epic bubble blowing session, mix up a big batch of bubble mixture so you never run out!
To make your own bubble mixture, you will need:
Big bubbles, no troubles.
With or without kids, this is a great way to spend an evening. Set up some banana lounges or a blanket and cushions and settle in for an evening beneath the stars. Download a ‘Star tracker’ app and you’ll be able to work out which constellations you’re gazing at and even track satellites going by. If you sign up for updates or notifications, they will even let you know when there’s something exciting will be happening in the skies like a comet or meteor shower.
If relaxation is more your thing, the backyard of our Peregian Prize Home is just the ticket. With a huge undercover entertaining area overlooking the sparkling pool and leafy golf course beyond, this is the perfect place to settle in and relax. Take a virtual tour now or find out opening hours and directions so you can sample the good life in person.