Trending: Your Backyard

Outdoor garden office setting with forest and mountain views

By Meg Walburn Viviano

It’s almost Halloween, and Thanksgiving’s soon to follow, so it’s time to think about outdoor home projects.

Wait a minute, that’s not right. Don’t we plant gardens and spruce up our yards and patios in the springtime? You know, just in time to enjoy them for the warm summer months?

Yes, that used to be true. But a lot has changed since we entered a global pandemic. For one thing, outdoor gatherings have become a year-round occurrence. If you’d like to bring together a larger group of family or friends, entertaining outside suits even COVID-careful guests.

We have a slew of these outdoor social events over the next few weeks on our family calendar: A neighborhood pizza party—on the lawn of the clubhouse instead of inside. A Halloween block party where everybody brings a camp chair and a Crockpot dish to share. Children’s birthday parties in the backyard in mid-November.

What if it’s cold, you may wonder?

Then we will bundle up, layering the Halloween costumes or wearing winter coats to the birthday party, knowing we’ll need to be comfortable outside for a couple of hours. A fire pit is handy, as are some ambient string lights for the early sunsets that come with autumn.

The desire to entertain guests well into the fall and enjoy our downtime out in the yard has made outdoor home improvements enticing, even this time of year. Right now, one set of our neighbors is beginning a project to extend their deck into a stone patio (with fire pit, of course).

A friend in Millersville is in the middle of a large swimming pool installation, anticipating the fun next summer will bring. With supply chain challenges affecting construction materials and contractors backlogged, it’s good to plan ahead for home improvement projects, like my friend is doing, well before pool season.

As for us, we’ve been working to get those bald and patchy lawn spots resolved—before the ground is leaf-covered and then too frozen to get any grass to grow.

Apparently, my friends and neighbors are far from the only ones taking the fun outside. In planning for this week’s issue of CBM Bay Weekly—our annual Fall Fix-up edition—our editorial team discovered there is a trendy term for all this: backyarding. And yes, there’s a social media hashtag for it, too.

In these pages we hope to spark ideas for your own outdoor space, whether it’s a cozy fall hangout you’re looking for or an investment that will pay off for next year’s warm-weather living.

If you need me in the meantime, I’ll be #backyarding by the fire pit with a s’more in hand.