Sitting in the backyard

May is the end of spring uncertainty and the start of the summer season. Gone are April showers, replaced by the gorgeous flowers blooming in your own backyard garden. Make the most of your down time this May by finding a new hobby to keep yourself occupied, all without leaving your own backyard. From star gazing to bird watching there’s something for everyone when it comes to backyard hobbies. And with these ideas for inspiration, you can’t possibly go wrong.

 

Star Gazing

In-depth celestial knowledge is sure to impress anyone and everyone. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry: learning to read the sky by studying up on just a couple major constellations is easier than you think. Get yourself a book, map, or webpage that shows the constellations and spend a few evenings camping out in the perfect spot on your roof, porch or patio, gazing at the stars, moon, and planets in our sky. And if you're feeling ambitious, pick up a telescope and take a closer look at identifying these easy to find constellations.

 

  • The Big Dipper might not technically be a constellation but it is the most easily identifiable pattern of stars in the sky, making it an excellent point of origin to begin your stargazing journey.
  • Like its big sister, The Little Dipper is a part of Ursa Minor. However, to find Ursa Minor, you first have to find The Little Dipper.
  • Orion is easy to spot in a clear night sky. Just look for the three bright stars that form the straight line of the hunter's belt.

 

Grill Master of the Universe

When the summer warms up, don't just be a bbq’er — be ready to be the grilling master you wish to see in the world. Learning how to grill perfectly succulent steaks or ultimate juicy burgers isn’t as hard as it seems. Just remember that practice makes perfect when honing your skills as an outdoor culinary chef. And once you master the basics, don’t be afraid to try out some more creative cuisines, like barbeque chocolate chicken or miso-glazed shrimp skewers. You might even want to give smoking meats a try with your very own smoker. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure when you’re done to use your custom grill and smoker covers to keep your prized possessions ready for the next round of culinary adventures.

 

Plant & Pickle

Spring is well known as the time to plant. There are a myriad to choose from - the only thing limiting you is time and space: leafy greens like kale, spinach, and lettuces; underground dwellers like carrots and beets; veggies that go wild on vines and stalks like cucumbers, brussel sprouts, zucchini, and tomatoes (which is technically a fruit but work with us here); maybe even plant some strawberry, blackberry, or blueberry bushes. You can order organic seeds online and even get all the proper soil, fertilizer, and watering tips you need online as well. Make sure to have a tarp to keep your seedlings safe just in case you get that unexpected cold front roll in. The excitement of that first harvest is really something other than else. 

 

Since healthier snacks are always smart alternatives to junk food, especially when you can make them yourself, make a hobby out of pickling the vegetables that you’ve grown in your own backyard garden. From traditional cucumbers to wild and crazy jardiniere, you can pickle just about anything. Just get a few mason jars, pick your favorite vinegars and spices, and you’re off to creating sweet, sour, spicy - and kind of pickled delicacies you can conjure up! Warning: this can be addicting, so proceed at your own risk!

 

Yoga

You don’t have to pay high-end prices for classes at a yuppie yoga studio or buy fancy equipment to become an amateur yogi when the zen you’re looking for is in your own backyard. With a decent mat and a few YouTube videos, you’ll be saying “Hot downward dog!” And if yoga isn’t of interest to you, you can enjoy your garden by simply meditating with the beauty of morning affirmations or reading amongst the flowers. 

 

Flower Power

We all know that April showers bring May flowers, and while the weather is an ever changing mystery of the universe, you can be sure that there are still a myriad of flowers ready for bloom at the start of summer. The fifth month of the year is the time when many of the world’s favorite blooms burst to life with their beautiful colors and scents to remind us just how beautiful a backyard garden can be. Sunflowers, Hibiscus, and Dahlias are perfect for seeing without smelling, while Lavender, Roses, and Gardenias put out luscious fragrant aromas. The choices for gardening are plenty, the only hard part is making your green thumb decide which flowers are the right fit for your garden.

 

Bird Watching

Who knew birdwatching could be a relaxing and meditative way to spend a warm spring afternoon? Especially when you’re in your own backyard. Learning a few local species of winged creatures in your area and finding a good spot is just the start of your new favorite hobby. Outside your door, on your way to work, anywhere you can think of —birds populate our world. Not only will you find it peaceful, but you'll also look pretty sharp when you can identify the myriad of differences between a chirping sparrow and a white-throated sparrow.