Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time to take it outside! If you’re ready to turn your backyard into a beautiful retreat, see these tips outdoor landscape tips from the experts at HGTV.com:

1. Try an Outdoor Fireplace
Fireplaces are the cornerstone of any party, creating a very social vibe. There are lots of different kits and systems to use when building one. In addition, there are self-contained units that don’t require flutes, making it easier to install and not as restricting.

2. Add Unique Outdoor Furniture
Though your backyard is an open space, you can create a room without putting up a wall by adding outdoor furniture, water features or plants, and pots. In terms of outdoor furniture, it’s good to stay away from iron, which is heavy, difficult to move and quick to rust. Instead, try aluminum, which is easy to move around and withstands the elements. In addition, most manufacturers are using more weather-resistant fabrics on their outdoor furniture.

3. Use Cooling Plants
Plants transpire, which means they evaporate moisture, so having them on a pergola is like an organic air conditioner. They can help cool an area by as much as 15 degrees. Plus, they add color and texture to your outdoor space.

4. Utilize Shaded Areas
While most people may think a solid cover is the best choice for outdoors, it actually traps more heat. While open shade bars give you 50 percent less covering, they allow more of the heat to escape, creating a more comfortable outdoor experience.

5. Perfect The Patio
A patio is usually at a minimum of 12 to14 feet wide, but if the patio gets too large it will create more heat than you want because of all the concrete. Make sure to keep stone and concrete patios at a minimum to reduce the heat.

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