Your backyard could be your own private getaway. However, many of us don't have a lot of time to put into our backyards, so we also need something that's easy to maintain and care for. Luckily, your oasis doesn't have to be labor-intensive.

1) Create Shade

If your back yard offers shade trees, get them trimmed up and checked out by a tree expert. Properly managed trees can provide shade for your family for years. If you need to plant new trees, make sure you get your lawn established first; young grass can take a lot of water, which may drown a new tree. Discuss your concerns with an expert on lawn care by searching for a professional in your area. For example, if you live in Charlottesville you would search for lawn care in Charlottesville.

If you don't have the space or the time for a shade tree, consider putting canopies or a retractable awning in place. Get in the habit of taking down or rolling up your shade tool at the end of the evening to reduce the risk of damage if weather kicks up. As possible, use the structure of your home to shade an outdoor seating area.

2) Keep It Comfy

You want outdoor furniture that will stand the test of time. You will also need furniture that is comfy to sit on, but not so low that people can't comfortably get up from the seat. Add a center table for drinks and plates.

You want your outdoor gathering space to be as bug-free as possible. To this end, make sure to keep birdbaths far from the patio, as water can draw flies. Plant herbs such as basil and lemon balm in pots around the seating area to repel mosquitoes and other pests. To each pot, consider adding a multicolor solar light so the pot is always interesting and pretty to look at, and it will be easily seen in the dark.

3) Water Is Soothing

Stagnant water can draw bugs and be a haven for mosquito larvae, but moving water is remarkably soothing to listen to. Consider creating a small water garden with a solar pump or fountain. You can add solar lights in and around the feature to keep it bright and beautiful.

If you can get power to your personal water garden, the sky is the limit. Add a recirculating pump to direct water to run from pot to pot or down a stack of stones. You may need to treat the water to reduce the risk of mineral damage to your pump or saltwater buildup on the pot itself. Take care to put this feature somewhere your pets can't get to it to drink if the water has been treated.

4) Edibles In The Landscape

Flowers can provide an endless variety of color and beauty in the landscape. Take care to keep your flower beds well balanced, so there's always something interesting to look at, no matter where you are in the growing season. An iris bed can be beautiful in May, but by August it may be shabby if there's nothing else to look at among the plants.

In addition to flowers, make sure you plant some edibles, for food and for beauty. A zucchini plant offers huge, glossy leaves, bright golden flowers, and squash. Eggplants are compact, well-balanced, and offer pretty purple flowers until the veggies set, and then all you have to do is grill them up! Cherry tomatoes can be hung upside down in custom planters designed for the purpose, making for an easy and delicious harvest.

5) Decorate With Lighting

Solar lights are easy to install and offer both security and endless variety. If things get hot in your part of the world, you may find that solar lights can add visual interest when your plantings are suffering. Many of these items are easy to take apart so you can replace batteries. Finally, by defining pathways with light, you can keep your loved ones safe from a tumble in your garden after dark.

Your backyard can be beautiful, versatile, and simple to care for. Consider your yard goals. Are you growing food, or do you mostly want flowers? Do you enjoy sitting out in the evening, or is your yard the perfect spot for morning coffee? No matter how you want to use your yard, you can create an oasis that suits your needs.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.