Have a Holiday in Your Backyard

Not everybody has the luxury of taking a vacation at this time of year. 

But that doesn't mean you have to be miserable at home, while flicking through your friends' holiday snaps on Facebook.

Landscape expert, Jason Hodges, believes more people are opting to spend more time in their own backyards over the summer - so perhaps it's time to create the oasis of your dreams.

Depending on your 'destination' of choice, Jason has some tips for creating the best at-home haven.

1) Balinese Retreat

Skip the busy, tourist-filled streets of Indonesia and create the perfect, Zen environment in your own backyard.

A Balinese-inspired garden is all about creating a a feeling of serenity - perfect for outdoor relaxation.

Water is an extremely important feature in Balinese gardens, and is used to create a calming ambience. Think understated water features or small ponds decorated with coloured stones.

If you prefer luxury escapes, consider investing in a quality outdoor spa. Simply lay a small pad of concrete pavers and place the spa in the centre. Try a slip-resistant Euro Stone paver which has excellent grip and is great around pools and spas.

2) Countryside Escape

The countryside is often seen as the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the city. 

To replicate a country-feel, try covering any fenced area in the backyard with green hedges, which will create the illusion of complete privacy. An evergreen hedge is ideal to add some much-needed green to your outdoor space during the colder months.

Adding a terrace retaining wall will add grandeur and scale to the space, while a natural wall hanging will also add texture to the garden whilst offering more privacy and seclusion from neighbours.

Channel rural relaxation with outdoor lounge spaces or consider experimenting with retaining blocks that double as bench seats. Plush day beds with large cushions and lounge settings that are low to the ground are perfect for lying about and relaxing.

3) Coastal Getaway

One of the best things about a coastal-themed backyard is that it is extremely low maintenance and stress free.

Keep the backyard simple by incorporating premium grass, and a generous paved area for entertaining. Compliment with heat-loving plants, such as succulents. Succulents are a very low maintenance plant but still provide great texture and colour to any environment.

Connect your spaces by adding light-coloured concrete pavers to create a simple, hassle-free pathway from the house to the garden.

Extra tip: Light it up

All backyard escapes can be topped off with feature lighting to truly ensure you feel a million miles from home in your own backyard.

For beach inspired creations, try hanging fairy lights in the trees or for Asian-style inspiration use lanterns in the garden beds to create soft lighting.

For the hinterland and mountain escapes, opt for nature’s lights - the stars - and enjoy your private sanctuary before turning in for the night.

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