How to Make Your Yard Welcoming for Non-Outdoorsy Guests

As the temperatures outside warm up and everything begins to bloom and put on lush greenery, it’s exciting to think about spending time outdoors again. One of the best ways to get in some fresh air is to spend time socializing with friends and family in your own backyard. Modern outdoor decor can change the atmosphere of any yard. However, spring and summer conditions may not be a favorite for your guests. Many people do not find outdoor living spaces appealing, whether it’s allergies or a distaste for uncomfortable weather. Here are several ways to make your yard more welcoming to your non-outdoorsy guests.

Porchside Appeal

First, if your yard is a hot mess, it will not be an appealing invitation for any guest, let alone those not keen on staying outdoors. Take a step back and look at your space from their perspective.

Ensure you trim your hedges and sweep or mulch any clippings. A manicured lawn will have a significant impact on the appeal of your space. Likewise, a maintained yard will be far less appealing to unwanted guests, such as snakes and insects.

You will also want to ensure that any shrubbery and landscaping are maintained. Regardless of your landscaping style, taking care to trim dead greenery and pull weeds, as well as to prune shrubs and trees to keep their desired shape, will give guests the impression of care and intentional design for your landscaping.

Another way to make a great first impression is to sweep away dust and debris from porches and decks. Knock down spider webs, wasp nests, and any other intrusive insect abodes. Sweep or pressure wash all surfaces and keep this area comfortable and inviting to sit and sip.

Pest Control and Prevention

Speaking of spider webs and wasp nests, pests are a major reason many people may prefer to spend less time outdoors. Taking extra care to prevent pests from spaces used for socializing can help eliminate some stress for your guests.

Remember, maintaining your yard and landscaping is the first step in controlling pests. They are less likely to intrude if the space is not appealing to them.

As for biting insects such as mosquitos and gnats, there are plenty of options for temporary repellents. Citronella and other natural oils are used in candles, torches, and even electric devices such as fans or diffusers to keep your space bug free. If you will be using these items, start them up 30 minutes to an hour before your guests arrive, and ensure that you have enough on hand to last through their visit. If

your gathering will be on the move, and stationary repellent isn’t very effective, keep some spray-on bug repellent on hand. Be mindful that some chemicals in bug repellents can cause a reaction in some people, so you may want to opt for a milder version.

Prevention is typically the key to pest control. Consider signing up for quarterly pest control with a vendor in your area. They will take note of specific insects that are abundant around your yard and can provide options to mitigate any problems.

Beyond Insects, other common backyard pests can wreak havoc on your time outdoors. You can deter small mammals such as mice and squirrels by eliminating any possible food sources. The same goes for snakes and lizards as well. Eliminating insects and cool hiding spaces for them to retreat from the sun will deter them from making a home in your space.

As for birds, they frequently encroach on your space, looking for safe nesting places. Keep an eye out and clear out the beginnings of nests before any eggs are in them. It can be an ongoing task, as the birds may repeatedly try to establish residence. As cute as they can be, parent birds can become quite aggressive over their offspring.

Fragrance and Ambiance

Once your space looks great and the pests are under control, it’s time to set up your area for socializing. Creating an inviting ambiance offers extra encouragement to reluctant guests.

Consider planting fragrant and blooming plants nearby, but not so close that pollinators will impose on your space. Equally important to consider is the potential for unappealing fragrances. Keep your social spaces upwind of unsightly odors, such as septic tanks, pet areas, or farm enclosures.

When setting up your space, look around and determine which view will best suit your space. A southern or northern-facing view will prevent the discomfort of squinting while conversing. If your seating area faces east or west, you may encounter issues where one or more guests stare into the sun.

You will also want to account for lighting. If your guests are visiting during daylight hours, you’ll want to provide some shady options and opportunities to soak up some sunshine. In the evening, consider indirect soft lighting. Adding bright floodlights away from your social space will also help divert insects.

Comfort in Any Weather

Another primary reason people choose to stay indoors is comfort. Given that everyone has a different range of comfortable temperatures, providing outdoor options for them to achieve comfort will make your space much more welcoming. Outdoor heaters or fire pits are great for cooler temperatures, and if you are in an oppressive heat climate, consider adding fans or misting kits to your space. You may be surprised at how effective these can extend your comfort level in less-than-ideal weather.

In addition to weather comfort, seating should also be inviting and comfortable. For guests who prefer the convenience of couches and recliners, consider splurging on some luxe, plushy outdoor furniture. These pieces can give you the cozy vibe of living room space, but you can hose them off later to keep them clean for use season after season. Adding an outdoor rug will tie the locale together to make this seem like an additional room instead of your backyard.

Entertainment and Entertaining

Once you have everything set up, you must create something to hold their attention. Consider adding entertainment devices, such as outdoor speakers for music or a television or outdoor theater screen for entertainment.

Whatever activity you choose, you’ll want to add food for the best experience. Choose menu items you are sure to be a favorite for your non-outdoorsy guests to distract them from any reminders that they are not in their preferred space.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing to remember when designing your outdoor space for any visit is to keep sight of the purpose of your visit. Whether it’s a relaxing afternoon with iced tea and good conversation or a work meeting with a tedious agenda, setting up your outdoor space to accommodate a broad range of guests will allow you and your guests to relax and enjoy the time. Taking the time to care for your yard properly will leave your guests with the impression that your space is clean,

safe, and inviting. Who knows, you may even inspire them to spend more time outdoors on their own.

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