You’ll probably have lots of time to spend in your backyard with friends and family this summer, so here are some tips to help make it your own little getaway.

Fixing up your yard

Last month I suggested doing some work around your yard to help keep it presentable. Mowing your lawn, clearing leaves, and planting in your garden. Once you’ve done those basics, now is your chance for some bigger improvements. There possibilities are endless: add some planter boxes, flower beds, plant some new trees, or even start a vegetable garden.

Any of these will make your yard a more inviting place to spend a relaxing summer afternoon.

And if you have a wooden fence, now’s the perfect time to give it a fresh coat of paint, stain, or waterproof sealer.

You don’t need to go overboard. At a minimum, mow your lawn regularly to keep it healthy. When watering your lawn and plants, make sure you’re following regulations, and being as water efficient as possible.

Take care of your patio or deck

A deck or patio can be the focal point for summer gatherings, so it should also be a focal point for your summer maintenance. Make sure it’s clean and free of loose nails, soft spots, or rotten or damaged planks. If it’s been a while, give it a new coat of sealer or stain to ensure it is protected year-round.

Once your patio or deck has passed your own inspection, personalize it!

You don’t have to go as far as building a gazebo or installing a new hot tub. There are lots of ways to add something new to your space without it being a big project. Sometimes happiness is as simple as a comfortable patio chair.

Music is an effective way to add atmosphere to your yard. You can splurge on a nice outdoor sound system, but keep in mind that modern Bluetooth speakers generally sound just as good, and at a fraction of the cost.

The little finishing touches

Whatever the time or budget, there are many simple ways you can give your backyard a boost this summer. If you’re not looking for a large project, consider some more subtle decorative ideas.

Decorating doesn’t need to be complex. Setting up some solar-powered lanterns or string lights around the yard will add a great deal of atmosphere.

Candles, pillows, or other decorations around your yard are just as simple. And you’ll definitely see the difference.

A simple getaway

Adding even little improvements can seem daunting at first, but you do not need to take on too many projects at once. Pick one or two things that you enjoy, and focus on those. The goal is to make your yard a place where you want to be, full of relaxation and fun.

Take your time, don’t push yourself, and make sure to enjoy the results of your efforts when you’re finished.