DIY, Urban Suburban Daddy

Urban Suburban Daddy’s 10 tips to get your backyard space ready for entertaining

You can just smell summer in the air, and before you know – it’s here. It’s practically the end of May, it’s time to get your backyard/entertaining spaces ready.  Our Suburban Daddy has some great tips:

1. Power Wash

The snow and/or rain probably left some mud and dirt in your garden.  It’s time to freshen up your space by cleaning it up first with a little power washing.  It makes such a difference and can be done pretty quickly with a power washer like the one I have (I bought a Simoniz).  In addition to washing your deck and/or patio stones, give your outdoor table and chairs and good washing too.

2. Clean your barbecue and make sure it’s filled with propane

There are a few mid- to high-end brands out there. Weber is my go-to Weber Genesis S330

There are a few mid- to high-end brands out there. Weber is my go-to for grilling Weber Genesis S330

Now that your sleeves are all ready rolled up, make sure to give your bbq a good scrub. Remove the grills and scrub them down with a good sponge, soap and water.  You can use a scraper for any stuck-on guck. Once your barbecue is shining again, make sure to fill your propane tank.  Nothing is more embarrassing than firing up the grill for guests – only to find your tank is empty.

3. Wall planters brigthen your backyard with colour

Buy wall planters with annuals that are perfect for your outdoor space – check out whether it is shaded, partial sun or full sun, and buy accordingly. If you go to your local nursery, they will advise you on the best plants or flowers for your space. You can purchase flower boxes made of different materials such as plastic, resin or cedar that you can reuse every year.  Plant new arrangements of flowers. If you want to get handy about it and also save a bit of cash, you can build your own planters.

4. Reconfigure your patio furniture

Change up the way you place your patio furniture. Switch it up every year.  If you are going to buy new furniture, invest in pieces that can play double duty. You want both conversation areas as well as eating areas. Buy a sofa/chair and ottoman that could also be used as a table for outdoor eating. Get the comfy stuff, something you can really settle into after taking care of the yard work.

5. Light up the sky with solar power

We just bought two sets of 4 solar powered outdoor lights that we attached to the posts of our fence. They were about $30.00 from Costo per pack.  They are beautiful and are cost effective since they’re powered by the sun. They add ambience to our outdoor space.

6. Frame your space with an outdoor carpet

Outdoor carpets are available in so many different colours and patterns. You can place your patio furniture on the corners of your carpet to frame your space. The carpet will also add an element of coziness to your backyard.

7. Shoo those bugs away with citronella

Discovered this local artisan - Going Au Naturel - and her products are incredible. This citronella candle is exactly what a backyard get-together needs

Discovered this local artisan at a market – Au Naturel – the products are incredible. This citronella ecosoya Bug Be Gone candle is exactly what any backyard get-together needs

Use long Citronella candles or torches that you can bury in your grass to shoo those mosquitos away.  Or you can buy table top citronella candles that you can place on your outdoor table.

8. Build a firepit

If your space allows, build a fire pit or buy a contained fire pit or chiminea available at the local big box store. The fire pit will provide warmth and style at the same time.

9. Decorate

Choose a colour palette and theme.  What feeling are your trying to evoke? We are big fans of a peaceful space so our backyard yard is decorated with a big Buddha head and lanterns.

10. Your summer playlist

I’m a DJ – and while you may not have your own resident DJ, you can definitely set up your mixes and beats. Maybe it’s house music, maybe it’s classic rock or modern pop, invest in whatever moves you.


Assemble your summer playlist.  Invest in bluetooth wireless speakers like the JBL’s and play music from your phone or iPod.

Now pour yourself a cold one, sit back and relax.