The day is never fun when you have to close up your outdoor space for the impending winter weather. Gone are the days of stargazing from your patio, gatherings as the sun sets while the kids play in the yard, or enjoying a snack or an ice tea while you bask in the sun. But just because summer turned into fall and winter, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your backyard in the colder months. Here are some creative ways to transform your outdoor space for winter.
Fire It Up
Is there anything quite like a toasty fire to warm your hands on a chilly winter evening? Add some hot chocolate and sweets, like roasted marshmallows for s’mores, and we think not. A fire pit is a great addition to your yard for almost every season, but especially when it gets cold. Coming in a range of styles, functions, and levels, you can customize everything from how hot your pit can get to how large.
An easy way to start is to simply purchase a small, mobile fire pit, which are usually easy to carry, cover, and maintain. However, for January’s bite, you may want to up the ante a bit and purchase a more powerful pit or have one professionally installed within your hardscape. Just make sure you plan ahead for the latter option.
Make Use of Open Space
During the spring, summer, and fall, your patio is likely filled with tables, chairs, lounges, and potted plants. But come winter, it’s best to either cover or store these items to keep them in good shape for the next season. Once you remove them, you’ll have a decent space left open, which can be used to make a winter playscape for kids. From snowman stations, to snowball fight courses, you can let your imagination run wild when making a space for your family’s creativity.
Connect With Nature
From bird feeders to squirrel feeders, you can set up breakfast, lunch, and dinner for wildlife and enjoy watching them coming running (or flying) in for a snack. If you live somewhere with coyotes, foxes, and deer, just be careful not to put out too much enticing food for local animals. Some may be dangerous for pets or small children.
Pot Some New Plants
Yes, that’s correct. While the ground freezes in winter, prohibiting almost any plants from being able to thrive, there are winter-friendly plants that can easily survive the cold in a pot. Blue potted spruce, boxwood hedges, winter gem boxwood, and cypress topiary are all plants that can withstand cold temps as long as they’re planted above ground. In addition to giving you a winter activity, these rich, green plants will add some color to a season that can get a little dreary.
Build a Seal
If you absolutely despise being indoors all season and want to make use of your outdoor space, seal it up. You can DIY it or call in the professionals to add tasteful plastic enclosures around your patio or porch so you can add heaters, fire pits, or cozy couches to your yard, making it fit for comfort and safety.