You don’t have to sacrifice beauty for functionality and fun

If you have kids or pets, you probably know from experience that your backyard space has more uses than just looking nice. While you, the homeowner, may have ideas and dreams for your yard, sometimes giving your kids (human and animal!) a place to hang out and run around is just as important. 

Luckily, with some planning and time (and maybe a bit of help from a professional), you can still have the backyard of your dreams without sacrificing beauty for your kids’ and pets’ fun. Here are a few unique ideas to level up your yard for those family Summer days.

1. For the kids: Install a firepit

Firepits have been a trend in the landscaping world for many years now, and that trend isn’t going away anytime soon! If you don’t already have one in your backyard, it may be the perfect addition to your space this year. Not only are firepits great for entertaining, but we don’t know a kid that can resist making smores on a warm Summer night! 

As a secondary benefit, firepits can be used in the Fall and Winter when we have drier nights, too, making it a potentially year-round staple of your yard.

2. For the pets: Build a sandbox

If your pup likes to dig, you’ve maybe experienced something that many pet owners have faced before… a never-ending sea of holes in your lawn and garden beds. While unfortunate and unsightly, digging is a normal instinct for dogs, so why not give them a designated place to dig and bury their favorite toys without messing with your beautiful landscaping? 

By building a tall box and filling it with sand, you can give your pup a space to do what dogs do best while protecting the rest of your yard – win-win! 

3. For the kids: Help them grow their own garden

An easy way to give your kids a unique outdoor experience while providing some extra value to your yard space is with a raised planter garden. Let your kiddos pick some flowers, greenery, or veggies at the local nursery, and help them plant their own little garden that they can watch grow throughout the Summer. A fun activity and learning experience combined! 

As an added bonus, a vegetable garden looks nice in any yard space, and who doesn’t love fresh, homegrown veggies for salads or other dishes? 

4. For the pets: Build an outdoor dog washing station

If your pet likes to get dirty while you’re out and about (or maybe they spent the afternoon digging in their new sandbox!), creating a space in your yard to rinse them off without tracking all that mud and dirt inside your clean bathrooms is a great option! By putting down some cement blocks or bricks, getting a hose adapter, and maybe building a little shelf for shampoo and towels, you can wash your pup and let them run around in the sun to dry off.

5. For both kids and pets: Install artificial turf

Turf sometimes gets a bad rap, but technology has come a long way in the past decade or so, and more and more people are putting turf in their backyard for a myriad of reasons. Turf is sustainable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective. Best of all, it’s great for homes with kids and pets!

For kids, turf is completely safe for playing and won’t leave pesky grass stains on clothes, and for pets, turf is much easier to clean and is harder to destroy. 

If you’re not ready to give up your beautiful grass lawn quite yet, consider creating separate, designated kids and pets space with turf and setting up some lawn games or sprinklers instead. This way, you get the benefits of turf without the 180º shift in your yard.

While we love making our clients’ backyard spaces beautiful, we’re also big fans of function and enjoy creating spaces that cater to the whole family! If one of these ideas sparks your interest (or maybe you have another idea you’ve been dying to try), the Greenhaven Landscapes team would love to help you bring these ideas to life this Summer!

Give us a call or contact us to schedule some time with one of our talented landscape designers.