BBQAs Australia Day approaches, friends and families are planning outdoor celebrations and weekend vacations with loved ones.

If you are hosting an Australia Day get together it’s time to start getting ready now, so that in a few weeks when the holiday arrives, your guests will be comfortable and happy, and you can have a relaxing long-weekend with loved ones.

Outdoor Upkeep and Backyard Maintenance

Backyards are warm and welcoming in the summer, and plants are thriving. To keep the bugs at bay and the grass green and dry, regular maintenance is important. Even if you have kept up with mowing the lawn, getting ready for a party means going the extra mile from maintained to dressed-up.

First, check for any dead or dying plants, including brown spots in the grass.

Raking, applying new grass seed, and making sure to water, or even replacing grass with something that requires less water, will all need several weeks prior to the party to be ready. To get your lawn ready for lots of traffic and the hot sun, make sure it is watered, fertilised and mowed at least one day prior to the party.

Second, take a look at the trees and bushes in your backyard. Trimming and pruning can make a world of difference in the appearance of your yard and the health of your plants. Be sure to use safe practices when using ladders and tools!

Brighten your usual landscaping with the addition of summer flowers. The simplest way to do this is adding potted plants, because they can be purchased ready to go, they can be moved out of the way if plans change. In addition to adding colour from the flowers, you can choose personalised pots.

Prepare to Host Children

Even if your party will be adult centred, if children will be present, you will need to make the backyard safe, welcoming, and entertaining for them.

Children like to run around, so start with tripping hazards. If you have placed potted plants in the backyard, do so on the edge, or to create barriers so children do not trip over steps from the patio. Power wash your patio so that dirt and debris do not create slipping hazards.

Add lighting to the yard and patio. Steps should be illuminated, and make sure that distant corners of the yard are visible even at night. If you choose to use candles or flames, keep them out of the yard, away from trees and bushes, and away from the backyard cricket setup.

Provide rugby balls, croquet, a backyard swing, children’s table, or plastic jars with holes in the lids for children to play, eat, keep drinks, and catch bugs.

Provide Protection from the Hot Australian Sun

As beautiful as the sun may be, the harsh midday rays can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Keep your guests happy and comfortable with cold drinks and shady spots to relax. Consider providing sunscreen in addition to food and drinks, especially for children. When a patio umbrella is not enough, try a larger, more party friendly option. Consider a backyard marquee. It might be best to purchase or rent one from a local party planning agency a week or two prior to Australia Day, because it is doubtful you will be the only one looking for shade.

If you want a more permanent solution, try a shade sail. It’s similar to the sail on a sailboat that is attached at two ends and rolls up when it is not in use, but instead it unrolls horizontally over your backyard. Shade sails can be anchored to your home, backyard trees, or poles installed specifically to hold it up.

It never hurts to be safe than sorry, so make sure you have a first aid kit on hand for any scrapes and stubbed toes that may happen and most of all, enjoy the day!