10 of the Easiest Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard Like a Pro

There are few things better than spending an afternoon relaxing in your backyard, listening to the sweet serenade of chirping birds and enjoying the scent of freshly-bloomed flowers.

However, according to Yale-led research published in The Nature of Americans National Report, while spending time in nature is essential for our overall health and wellbeing, Americans spend under five hours a week outdoors.

Though, for many people, itís a busy schedule that keeps them from enjoying the great outdoors, for others, itís their unsightly back yards that make spending time in nature a less-than-appealing prospect.

And considering that a contractor-led complete backyard makeover can cost thousands of dollars, itís no wonder many people would rather simply stay indoors. Fortunately, thereís an easy, two-word solution: Go outside.

“Our home lives shouldnít be limited to inside. For a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, it behooves us to ‘bring it outside’ and extend the enjoyment of our homes, friends, and families to the outermost permitters of our property,” says designer Gwen Snyder Siegal of The Nest Design.

“Think of outdoor home improvements as being just as important as any other renovation because it beckons us outdoors. Even in the doing of yard work, landscaping, and other exterior home improvements, we are living a healthier lifestyleógetting fresh air and exercise and possibly some quality time with our spouses or kids. And the fruits of our labor will be savored by all as we enjoy that al fresco meal at sunset or that morning coffee overlooking our beautiful lawn and garden.”

With that in mind, weíve compiled 20 genius ways to spruce up your outdoor areas without spending a fortune.

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