Summer outdoor lifestyles in Australia are iconic, glorious, and downright intense. Our heatwaves can be severe, and reports forecast that they’re only going to get hotter, longer, and more often. We’ve compiled a treasure chest of backyard life hacks to get the most out of your sizzlin’ summer outdoor lifestyle!
Made in the shade
If you’re outside during summer, you’re going to need some shade to save you from the risks of sun burn or heatstroke. There are plenty of ways to create more shade in your outdoor area, for all levels of budget and effort.
Garden trellis canopies, trees, umbrellas, shade cloths, retractable awnings, pool gazebos, patios, pergolas, or overhanging balconies are all great backyard life hacks to create an outdoor space away from the bite of the sun.
Your biggest fan
Tried and tested, the ol’ faithful fan is a sure way to move the air around and create a breeze to cool you off. Portable pedestal fans, tower fans and outdoor ceiling fans create a soothing airflow for those still, sticky days when all you need is a lick of wind to cut through the humidity.
Don’t beware of the mist
If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest in a residential misting system! From misting fans to smaller kits that hang off your umbrella frame or patio frame, these bad boys are an absolute game changer, and may possible be the ultimate backyard life hack for summer!
Or, for a super easy DIY version, invest in some spray bottles and essential oils, like lavender, peppermint, lemongrass or sandalwood, for a calming, revitalising touch.
Portable evaporative cooler
Hold the phone…air-conditioning has made its way to the backyard! These units, also called “swamp coolers”, cool air through the evaporation of water, and offer an eco-friendly, healthy, and cost-effective alternative to traditional air conditioning systems.
Check out if this option would work for your home with these 5 considerations of whether they’d suit your needs.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, summer backyard lifestyles might not seem so hard to handle. But for everyone else, it can feel so much harder to enjoy our outdoor areas on a 30 degree day. Even a small plunge pool or water feature to dip your feet in can offer a huge relief in the heat, but if you’re still too space-challenged for these options, don’t fret – there’s other ways to make a splash. Water toys and blow up pools are a great way for families to keep cool whilst playing outside, and gadgets that stick to the end of your hose offer endless hours of fun.
Hit the showers
For a more luxurious way to cool down, consider installing an outdoor shower. Mounted on a wall, they take up literally no space, and offer all the cooling benefits of a pool. Surround the space in jungle plants, climbers, vines and trees for a stunning bathing experience; backyard life hacks don’t get much more lush than this!
That’s so cool!
The outdoor kitchen trend has exploded in popularity, ranging from smaller pizza oven stations to elaborate cooking spaces. A hidden bar fridge or cooler that doubles as a bench is an awesome way to keep chilled drinks or icy snacks handy and cool you down from the inside, out.
For the avid entertainer, consider incorporating a swim up bar or built in seating area into your pool design for the ultimate chill sesh.
Take care of your fronds
Your garden is going to also feel the heat more than anyone, so take care of precious petals or fragile ferns, by;
- Ensuring they have plenty of water and shade
- Re-mulch the garden beds to combat excessive soil evaporation
- Scatter ice over the base of tougher plants
- Consider installing shade cloths or relocating the less hardy specimens to shadier areas
- Invest in an irrigation system that ensures your plants don’t go thirsty. Whilst sprinklers are fun for both gardens and kids alike, ensure you’re in keeping with any drought-conscious practices or water-restrictions.
Stay on Paw Patrol
Our furry family members rely on us to keep them safe and healthy during out severe Aussie weather, by:
- Making sure their food, water and rest areas are in cool, shaded areas
- Consider letting them bunk in a cool laundry or garage for the day
- Treat them to blocks of ice to lick
- Leave out a paddling pool to cool off in
- If they’re super fluffy, research if they should be shaved in the hotter months
- Before taking them on any walks, test the ground with the palm of your hand. If it’s too hot for your skin, it’s too hot for their little foot pad jellybeans!
Where the wild things are
Our native fauna is incredibly resilient; however, that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate some help. The last of our backyard life hacks, even the smallest gestures, like shaded birdbaths and bird feeders, can have a huge impact on surrounding wildlife that is feeling the heat. If you live amongst bush surrounds, check out these 8 tips to helping the surrounding wildlife this summer.