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Is The Suburban Backyard a Thing of the Past?

It wasn’t too long ago every home outside of Melbourne’s CBD had a substantial size backyard. For those who grew up prior to the turn of the century, playing outside whether it be in the yard or in the street, was the norm. In fact, a typical 1960’s suburban backyard was often substantial enough to support a family game of cricket, a cubby house and a menagerie of pets.

With Melbourne’s population growing at an accelerated rate, property subdivision and the removal of older houses to make way for townhouses and apartments is becoming more commonplace, particularly in suburbs that have excellent transport links and community facilities. Whilst these new dwellings suit some people, there are others who are keen to own a property with some outdoor space.

So are there benefits to having a decent size backyard? Yes! Here are just a few:

Children are easily tempted to remain indoors using electronics or watching television, therefore a backyard is an excellent asset to help encourage outdoor play. There’s plenty parents can do to entice children to spend time outdoors including arranging family activities such as gardening, outdoor games, and mealtimes in the warmer months. Finally, make sure your garden is child-friendly and you should have no problem getting the younger family members out in the yard.

A backyard can equate to more work so it’s important to decide the amount of time you want to commit to your garden and then landscape/design it accordingly. A lawn for children and pets to run around on is preferable, but keep it manageable to you’re not having to mow every weekend in spring. Having an area to sit and relax in is equally important—why have all this extra space if you can’t enjoy it? Make sure your relaxation area is free of clutter and isn’t in need of work or you’ll struggle to unwind for thinking about the ‘chores you should be doing’.

Growing your own fruit and vegetables and composting are both rewarding and environmentally friendly ways to put your backyard to good use. Not only will you save money by growing edibles, you’ll also be consuming pesticide-free food. Compost bins are now available in all shapes and sizes—from large ground tubs to tumblers—and are a great way to reduce your contribution to landfill. Alternatively, worm farms might be more your thing and a great way to get the children involved.

Reconnecting with nature and the outdoors and enjoying the local wildlife are all underrated benefits of having, and spending time in, your own backyard. Native plants, bird feeders and possum boxes will ensure your yard is ‘the place to be’ and will help remind you there’s more to life than spending it in an office or a virtual world.

The good news is there are still plenty of suburbs in Melbourne’s east that feature homes with medium to large backyards—take a look at Box Hill, Blackburn, Burwood, Croydon, Ringwood, Wantirna, Chirnside Park, Warrandyte, Lilydale, Kilsyth, and Vermont.

If you would like help finding a home with your perfect sized backyard contact a Noel Jones agent today.