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Backyarding— Personalize Your Yard

“Backyarding” – the trend to personalize your yard and to move indoor activities outdoors, that was made popular during the pandemic – is here to stay and will continue to expand in 2022, according to the TurfMutt Foundation, an environmental education and stewardship program that encourages outdoor living and caring for green spaces. 

Living Outdoors

“Backyarding is a way of life now,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation and its parent organization the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Homeowners spent lots of time, money and effort over the last eighteen months improving their backyards to make them an extension of their homes so they could work, cook, exercise and even vacation outdoors. We believe people will continue to ‘backyard more’ in the coming year and beyond.”  

“The pandemic has put an even greater priority on the need for outdoor living space. Products that extend the outdoor living season such as fire pits, heat lamps and even misting systems continue to grow in popularity.  Additionally edible gardens and privacy structures are very trendy right now. And for those with enough outdoor space to accommodate, outdoor kitchens are also in high demand,” says Annapolis realtor Liz Montaner.

Backyarding trends for 2022

Lines between the indoors and the outdoors will continue to blur. Doors and windows will be opened to the great outdoors and more people will enjoy breakfast or a nightcap on the deck. Decorating choices will marry the outside and the inside, with colors and tones that provide more visual connection between indoor areas and the backyard, for a seamless transition.

Offices will turn to the outdoors. There will be no need to turn to technology to create a virtual backdrop for video calls. The natural setting created by the yard’s living landscape – trees, flowers, bushes and other plants – is the best video call background, bar none. Privacy screens, electrical outlets and wifi extenders could become more common backyard amenities.

Balconies, porches, window boxes and patios will be maximized. Think tuning up the volume on these additional outdoor spaces and you’ve got the idea. Seating, flowers, potted plants, curtains and more make these areas sparkle as places for retreat and socialization.

Kids (and adults) will spend more time outside learning. The backyard or park become an even bigger living laboratory for learning. Kids will likely take online classes or do homework under the shade of a tree, in an outdoor classroom at school, or at a patio or picnic table. They brush up on STEM concepts (see TurfMutt’s free lesson plans for help!) by planting and studying flowers, bugs, and weather. Gardens for vegetables educate families on where food comes from and nesting boxes or bat boxes for wildlife showcase the nature around them. 

Al fresco dining will become the norm. Grills, pizza ovens and overhead lighting with seating make many homes outdoor eateries for families and neighbors. Interest in outdoor kitchens, pergolas, shade sails and landscaping will define and enhance outdoor dining.

Homeowners will plant with wildlife in mind. Knowing the backyard is a habitat for pollinators, insects, birds, and other wildlife, homeowners likely will choose plants, trees and shrubs that nurture and support wildlife – delighting in discovering them. 

More people will discover their backyarding personality types – and design a yard that matches their outdoor lifestyles. They will map out their yards, take an inventory of tools and equipment available to create and maintain their dream, and then work hard to create a defined backyard that meets their needs over the coming year. 

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