One of the bright spots in the pandemic is the rediscovery of front yard life. It’s not new. We just forgot about it.
Our grandparents understood the importance of the front yard and the neighborhood connection. It was evident in our architecture for generations. The front porch was an integral part of any home.
At my aunt’s house, life revolved around the front porch swing, all day and all night. Neighbors would come and go. You heard family stories, neighborhood gossip, speculation, and even secrets! As it got dark, kids would be out in the front yard catching lightning bugs in mason jars or playing tag. Everyone was relaxed, and often there was live music. No one ever considered inviting people into the house or the back yard.
When we suddenly found ourselves sheltering in place, the longing for human connection came fast. After all, we are social creatures. Think about it. Did you even know half the folks on your street before the pandemic? Now you know them, their kids, and their dogs. You welcome the sidewalk chalk drawings and wave down walkers for a chat.
So, it was not surprising as I walked my dogs each evening to see front yard transformations. Some neighbors went all out, adding flagstone patios, high-end weatherproof furniture, fire pits, and even sculptures. Some simply put out of a couple of lawn chairs. But everyone was out front, and they still are.
People are getting creative, as well. I have a friend that set up a wine station in her driveway and poured drinks for the neighbors. Another filled up the kiddie pool but for the local dog walkers. It proudly displays a Dog Pool sign. She’s seen neighbors she never knew lived on the street. Everyone loves that dog pool.
Front yard living is here, and it appears we have wholeheartedly embraced it. I don’t think we will give it up, so here are some essentials.
The Adirondack Chair
Almost every one of my neighbors has a few Adirondack chairs. On the corner, one household has an Adirondack chair for each family member, right down to the toddlers. Another neighbor has pals over every Thursday night. It’s a BYOCC event—bring your own chair and cooler. They have a socially distanced, great time.
The Adirondack chair is a front yard favorite. I especially like this one as it folds for storage. It’s a bit of a DIY situation as you must assemble it but then there is the joy of customization if you want to get wild with color. Customer reviews indicate it’s very comfortable, and I have not found a better price at $73.99 with free delivery.
There have been some surprises like fire pits. It appears people are making a commitment to front yard living regardless of the pandemic. It’s because they are genuinely enjoying getting to know their neighbors.
I deem fire pits or fire tables essential year-round. You can go nuts and spend a ton on these but just remember this is fire. Opt for something sturdy. This one is pricy but it’s great for those who have gone the distance, creating a decent sized front yard patio.
Seriously, nothing connects a neighborhood like booze. A bar cart is absolutely a front yard essential.
Again, there are a lot of choices, but weatherproof is always a positive quality. This one is expensive, but hey, you saved a ton on those Adirondack chairs!
One of the best inventions ever is the shade sail. They are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors and the prices keep falling. You can get a 12-foot square shade sail for under fifty bucks.
Music is another front yard essential. Who doesn’t love a Bluetooth speaker disguised as a rock? Brilliant!
If you have not fully embraced your front yard yet, start with a few of these essentials and get to know your neighbors!