In the modern world, it can be easy to stay cooped up indoors. Even with the best intentions, many people only go out to get to their car.Having an amazing outdoor living space can encourage you and your family and friends to get outside. If you want to spend a lot of time enjoying the backyard this summer,  here are a few must-have items to help you make the most of your space.


Plants truly make or break an outdoor living room. Sure, you probably have some plants around the perimeter of your yard, but what about accent plants and pops of color? Finding great plants for your space is all about matching your style with your environment. Whether you want to create a tropical oasis filled with birds of paradise, tropical hibiscus, and canna lilies or are more of a desert-lover in search of succulents, the plants you pick out will have a huge impact on your enjoyment of your outdoor space.

Make note of the sun/shade conditions of your yard before you plant shop. Areas that receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day are considered “full sun.” Three to six hours of sun are “partial sun,” and less than three hours of direct sunlight is considered “shade.” Bring your notes and questions and we’ll help you find the perfect plants for your yard or garden.

Fire Pit

There’s nothing that brings people together like a fire pit. Spending an evening sitting around a fire is an easy way to bring family or friends together outdoors for some great conversation. Safety first, though! Keep a chic watering can filled and at the ready in case a coal or two escapes, and set the fire pit on a non-flammable surface. Think patio pavers or pea gravel, not mulch.


The choices for outdoor lighting are almost endless. Make sure you have the three main types of lighting in your garden so that you can enjoy your space. Functional lighting, like pathway lighting or deck lighting, lets you move around after dark without tripping.  Task lighting— such as a light by the grill — allows you to fire up the barbecue, no matter the time. Then there’s the fun lighting, ambient lighting, which includes string lights, pillar candles, glow balls, and more. Great lighting can encourage you to spend time relaxing outside after work, helping you make the most of every single day — not just the weekends.

Comfortable Seating

Whether you opt for a porch swing, hammock, or a patio furniture set you should find something that is both durable and enjoyable to sit in. If you really want to use your outdoor space, this is an area where it’s well worth making an investment. Look for weatherproof fabrics and sturdy materials that will stand up to the elements. Plump cushions are a must. Pick comfortable seating or you probably won’t use it, but there’s no reason your porch can’t be as cozy as your living room.

Throws and Pillows

While we’re on the subject of creating a cozy space, throw pillows made of outdoor fabric definitely increase comfort. Keep a basket of throws handy for chilly nights. (Tuck some bug spray in the basket, too — just in case.)  You’d be amazed at the types of outdoor fabrics available. You can practically recreate the look of your living room on your patio or porch and nothing will be the worse for wear.

Outdoor Rug

Tie your seating areas together with an outdoor rug. Much like outdoor cushions and throw pillows, outdoor rugs have come a long way in the past few years. You’d never know these new choices are all-weather and can stay outside 24/7/365.  Rugs can also make patios and porches comfier for pets and kids to play and lounge.


Every family should have a good grill! It’s another investment piece that can make or break your enjoyment of your patio or backyard. Sure, hot dogs and hamburgers are standard fare, but when you have a nice grill, you’ll find yourself dreaming up new ways to use it as often as possible. Trying to eat more vegetables? You can’t beat a mixed grill of peppers, onions, eggplants, and mushrooms tossed in a little olive oil and plenty of salt. When it’s so hot you can’t bear to think of turning on your oven, go for the grill. Did you know you can even bake a pizza on a grill?

Adding even a few of these items to your outdoor space this spring will make you more excited to spend sunny afternoons and breezy evenings enjoying your porch, patio, deck, or garden this summer.

Come visit us at either of our Homestead Garden locations for these items and more to set your backyard apart from the rest.

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