Most people use their home rather differently in the summer than they do in the winter. When it’s cold outside homes are usually sealed off with every draft that can be kept out excluded, windows are covered with heavy drapes and no one looks outside at the back yard unless they want to check how dreary and cold it looks.

A summer home is very different though and most of us prefer, if we can to spend as much time outdoors as possible. To truly enjoy doing so however you’ll need a space that is visually appealing and spiritually soothing. An oasis if you like. Here are some tips for creating one that everyone can enjoy.

Create an Outdoor Dining Space

The last thing that most people want to do on a warm summer evening is sit down to dinner in a hot stuffy kitchen or dining room. Alfresco dining is one of the great joys of summer and even if you only have the smallest porch, patio or patch of grass a small bistro table and a couple of chairs can be all it takes to create a simple outdoor dining space you can enjoy all season long.

Light Up the Night

Most people like to spend summer evenings outside and with just the right amount of illumination you won’t have to come in as soon as the sun goes down. Outdoor lighting does not have to mean spending a fortune on electricians and rewiring though, their are plenty of inexpensive DIY outdoor lighting solutions at your local home store that can not only light up your garden but make it look far more attractive as well.

If you want to extend the range of your outdoor lighting further out into your garden, away from the restraint of your home’s power supply solar lighting is the answer. It can be purchased inexpensively, installed with ease and, perhaps best of all, costs, zero dollars to run!

Add a Water Feature

The sound of gently running water is one of the most relaxing in the world, and adding a great water feature to your garden is probably easier than ever before and the fact that there is a fountain available to suit almost any taste means that you can blend your new fountain into your existing landscape seamlessly.

For those who love simplicity, an Eastern-inspired fountain might be a fantastic choice while those who prefer a little more whimsy will probably be rather charmed by the fairy themed fountains that are becoming very popular.

You can even choose to recreate the look of outdoor spaces from a long bygone era in your own backyard by choosing a wall mounted courtyard fountain that can be used as a focal point for a whole new landscaping theme.

Add Visual Interest and Charm with Great Garden Decor

If you look at pictures of the great gardens of the world – Versailles in France, the Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC, the manicured grounds of Hampton Court in England are just a few examples – you will see that they all have one thing in common. Although they are all very different they all feature beautiful garden decor in the form of statues, wall plaques and other man-made objects that compliment the beauty of the flowers, plants, and trees.

Although you may not be able to recreate Versailles in your humble backyard you can use beautiful – and very affordable –  modern garden decor items to add an extra level of visual interest to your personal garden landscape.

Create a Great Chill Out Spot

A glass of something cold, a good book (even if it is on an iPad or a Kindle these days) and a nap in a hammock in a shady place, sounds pretty wonderful right?

Adding furniture to your outdoor living space whose only purpose is to help you to relax is key to creating a great backyard retreat. Whether you choose a big comfy hammock or a relaxing garden swing, a great garden bench, an outdoor fireplace or maybe even a combination of all of these features choosing great summer furniture is a must.

Choose Fragrant Blooms

When they are choosing flowers and shrubs for their gardens many people base their choices on the colors and the shapes of the plants. If you want to create a truly tranquil and relaxing place adding fragrant blooms is important as well.

Sweet peas have a beautiful scent and are fabulously colored as well, and irises have as many different “fragrances” – everything from very delicate and floral to anise to fruity – as there are color variations. Other very fragrant flowers worth considering include lilacs, roses, lavender and gardenias.

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