March 17th, 2017 at 3:00 pm


Daylight saving is always a bittersweet time: An extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, in exchange for an unpleasant Monday morning after you’ve lost an hour of sleep.

Once they adjust to the loss of an hour, though, most people really enjoy the extra light that accompanies daylight saving time.

Here are a few ways you can spruce up your outdoor space so that you can enjoy your backyard all spring and summer.

Quick fixes that will get your yard in shape

If you’re short on time or money, these quick fixes will have your yard looking great in no time.

Add some mulch

With all the wind and rain California has experienced over the past few months, your yard is probably not in the best shape. If you’re not the gardening type, or simply don’t have the time to plant new flowers, adding a fresh layer of mulch is a simple way to make your front and backyard look neat and put together.

Sweep and collect old mulch, stray twigs, and dirt, remove or prune dead plants, and apply a fresh layer of mulch to your flower beds, under and around bushes and trees, and in non-grassy areas that you would like to spruce up.

Plant water-efficient plants

If you do have the time and energy to add some green to your yard, consider drought-tolerant plants. Though most of California is out of the drought, it’s still important to conserve water, especially in Southern California. If your flowers and plants from last season are looking a little worse for wear, consider adding succulents and other desert-loving plants.

Drought-tolerant plants not only require less water, but they also need less attention, so you can spend more time enjoying your yard and less time pruning and pulling weeds.

Buy (or build) a seating area

No matter how big or small your yard is, every Southern California backyard needs a table and chairs to enjoy a cool spring or warm summer night.

If you want to do it yourself, this small side table is the perfect size for a cool drink and snack, plus it has storage. If you’re looking for a family-sized table, so that friends, family, and neighbors can sit comfortably next time you grill out, try building this farmer’s table that seats 10 to 12.

Paint your fence

This might not be a quick project, but it is relatively inexpensive to add a fresh coat of paint on your fence. While some fences may be covered by shrubs and bushes, if your fence is exposed, you should probably consider painting it. Use a light, neutral color to brighten your backyard, or a dark neutral if you don’t want sunlight reflecting into your home.

Get your friends or your kids and their friends involved, provide some sandwiches and beverages, and this job can be done in one weekend.

Your yard looks great! Now what?

Once you’re satisfied that your yard looks good enough to spend some time in it, there are a few extra touches you can add that will take it to the next step.

Create shade

Umbrellas, a pergola, or shady trees will keep your yard cool so that you can enjoy the fresh spring and summer air without overheating.

Hang some lights

What’s better than a warm summer afternoon spent in your backyard? A warm summer night! Once the sun goes down, you won’t want the fun to stop, so hang some twinkle lights, find some tiki torches, and party on.

Play some games

It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone enjoys being outside and playing or watching games. Plan an outdoor game day with cornhole, giant Jenga, or Twister. Head to your nearest drugstore or dollar store to find fun and inexpensive outdoor games, or make some yourself. Once you have your games picked out, ask neighbors and friends to bring over a dish or snack to share, and your game day is now a potluck.

Toast marshmallows

Don’t have a fire pit? No worries. Fire pits are easy to make, or you can easily find an inexpensive one. Now, all you’ll need are supplies for s’mores!

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