With the mild climates in Forth Worth it only makes sense to take advantage of your backyard for outdoor entertaining.  Whether you have a small, intimate yard or expansive lush lawns, there are many ways to use the space creatively to meet your entertaining needs.

Not only does moving activities outdoors expand your entertaining space, it will also add value to your property.  Homebuyers want to find a house that is move-in ready and that includes the yard as well as the home itself.  Enjoy the backyard spaces you create now and then reap the rewards when it comes time to sell.

To get started you should first consider how you want to use your yard.  Cookouts for a big crowd?  Kids’ parties? Sports activities? Quiet dinners?  The size of your space and the way you entertain will guide your landscaping plans.

Here are a few options to think about for outdoor entertaining.

Peaceful retreat

If the majority of your outdoor entertaining will be small dinners or cocktail parties with adult friends, you may want to create a cozy green space.  A deck or patio surrounded by lush plantings will offer a relaxing environment.  Benches can be built into decks for informal seating or maybe you can take the party mood up a notch with a working bar.  When choosing patio materials, make sure it offers a foundation where a dining table can sit flat for guest comfort.

Music is a big part of outdoor entertaining and should be considered as part of your backyard landscape design.  Paths or walkways that lead guests in or out of the outdoor entertaining space should be well lit for safety.

Add some warmth

Whether your activities are small adult gatherings or a place for teens to hang out, a fire pit is always a welcome addition to a backyard landscape.  With so many options available these days your budget will influence the final choice.

Most home and garden stores sell a variety of metal fire pits that are easy to install – all you really need is a flat space where you can locate it.  If your budget allows something more elaborate, you can work with a landscape designer to custom build a stone fire pit.  If you will be building your own, you can choose if you want to burn wood or install a gas fueled system.

Whether you select a ready-made fire pit or one that is custom built, also consider creating a ring or circle around the pit where you can place chairs.  This area can be filled in with decorative gravel or sand for a beach feel. 

If privacy matters

Sometimes the neighbors can be closer than desired when you want to entertain with some privacy.  If a fence is not an option, you can easily create a private space with tall shrubs or small trees.  This type of backyard landscape design not only creates intimate entertaining areas but can help buffer the sound of music and laughter that can disturb your neighbors.

Work with your landscape professional to choose plant materials that will grow quickly and create a lovely isolated space perfect for entertaining.

Family mealtime

Maybe you don’t entertain a lot but you want to create a backyard landscape that will enrich your family life.  Doing so can be as simple as placing a picnic table under the canopy of a tree. Surrounding the table with beds of flowers will create a colorful, lively space.  Get the kids involved in choosing and planting so they become more engaged in creating this family landscape. Bonus:  the kids can use the table as a peaceful place to do homework.

Water components

Whether your plans for outdoor entertaining focuses on big parties or quiet dinners, a water feature will enhance any gathering.  A fountain will offer soothing sounds and can be a small pre-made hanging device or a custom built pool that shoots a water stream.  Another option could be a small pond.  There are many manufactured kits to choose from that are easy to install.  Add a few plants, maybe some koi and – voila! – you’ve created a lovely backyard oasis that your guests will enjoy.

Kids and pets

Maybe your backyard entertaining will include some rough and tumble activities.  Kids playing games and pets chasing balls.  What you will need to think about for these circumstances is designing a lawn area with durable turf.  Survey your property and pick a flat area that’s perfect for play and choose a grass that will stand up to boisterous activity.  A landscape professional can help you identify appropriate plant materials that will survive when the play goes out of bounds.

Hopefully these suggestions will kick start your plans for creating a terrific backyard for outdoor entertaining.  You better get started because in Fort Worth the time for outdoor entertaining is almost here.