Skateboard Safety

Skateboarding Injury Can be Prevented

After a lot of begging and against your better judgment, you purchased your teen a new skateboard and he can't wait to get out and use it. Now you're worried he's going to get hurt.

Contrary to some parents' opinion, skateboarding can be a safe and enjoyable activity. But without proper precautions, it also can lead to everything from minor abrasions to traumatic brain injury.

They're All Going to Fall

In 2015, 125,145 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured skateboarding. More than half of those injured were ages 14 to 24, and about one-third were between the ages of 5 and 14.

While the number of injuries caused by skateboarding is somewhat high – basketball, bicycling and football rank in the top three, skateboarding comes in eighth – making sure your child has the proper safety gear can make all the difference.

Newcomers to the sport account for one-third of the injuries. But, even experienced skateboarders fall – a lot. They most frequently are injured in falls caused by rocks and irregular surfaces. Wrists usually get the brunt of the damage with sprains or fractures, but "swellbows," or swollen elbows, also are not uncommon.

Here are some suggestions to help keep skaters safe:

  • Use the proper skateboard for the type of riding: freestyle, slalom or speed.
  • Wear closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmet and pads to reduce the number and severity of cuts and scrapes. Padded jackets and shorts; hip, knee and elbow pads; wrist braces; and special skateboarding gloves all help to absorb the impact of a fall. (Equipment is not subject to government performance standards, so choose carefully.)
  • Give your board a safety check before each ride.
  • Never ride in the street, and obey local laws on where you can and cannot skate.
  • Don't skate in crowds of non-skaters. It's dangerous and annoying to those around you.
  • Only one person per board, and never hitch a ride from a car or bike.
  • Practice complicated tricks in specially designated areas.

Did you know that falling is an art? If done properly falling doesn't have to result in serious injury.

  • If you feel like you're about to lose control, crouch down so you don't have as far to fall.
  • Try to land on the fleshy parts of your body.
  • Try to roll rather than absorbing the force with your arms.
  • Try to relax your body rather than going stiff.
  • Practice falling on a soft surface or grass.

Keep in Mind

Children younger than 5 should not skateboard at all, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and children younger than 10 should not skateboard without adult supervision.

Playground Safety

Forty years ago, playgrounds were downright scary. Everything was made of metal. The slides were so hot they'd burn the skin right off your thighs. Kids would go flying off of those spinning contraptions, or perch precariously 10 feet in the air on monkey bars with rock-hard earth or concrete underneath.

They don't make them like they used to, and that's a good thing.

As the weather warms up and trips to the park become frequent, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the risks of playground equipment and injury prevention strategies.

What to Look For

Nearly 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls. Some of the top equipment associated with injuries are climbers, swings, slides and overhead ladders.

Watch for the following:

Improper protective surfaces: Fall surfaces should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires or rubber mats and  should be at least 12 inches deep.

Inadequate use zone: The area under and around play equipment where a child might fall should be a minimum of 6 feet in all directions.

Protrusion hazards: Beware of hardware that is capable of impaling or cutting a child (bolts, hooks, rungs, etc.), or catching strings or items of clothing. Children should never wear drawstring hoodies at the playground.

Head entrapment hazards: There should be no openings that measure between 3 ½ and 9 inches.
Overcrowded play area: Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment that children won't be hit by a moving swing.

Trip hazards, like rocks or tree stumps

Lack of supervision: Children under age 4 shouldn't play on climbing equipment or horizontal ladders.

Age inappropriate activities: Spring-loaded seesaws are best for young children. Avoid adjustable seesaws with chains because children can crush their hands under the chains. A traditional seesaw should not hit the ground. "Whirls" or "roundabouts" are best for school-age children.

Lack of maintenance: Metal or wooden swing seats should be replaced with soft seats, and equipment should not be split or splintered.

Sharp edges on equipment

Platforms with no guardrails

Equipment not recommended for public playgrounds: One example is monkey bars. The number of injuries caused by monkey bars is so significant many experts recommend they be removed from all playgrounds.

If your playground is unsafe, report the problem to the owner or park district. And remember, there is no substitute for parental supervision, especially for young children.

7 More Great Backyard Ideas

Take the time to make your yard beautiful this summer.

1. Framed View

Don’t want guests to notice how small your yard is? Make them look somewhere else by literally framing a view! Pergolas, arbors, and even swings are perfect for this task.

2. Snap-Together Deck

Planning a deck or a patio in a small space can be intimidating. What if it doesn’t turn out like you imagined? What if you overshoot and make it so big it swallows the yard? What if if doesn’t fit? Alleviate all those concerns and make building it a cinch with these deck tiles that snap together, don’t require any special tools, and can be reuseed and rearranged until you find the right shape and size for your small backyard.

3. Colorful Accents

Tall walls and fences are a great way of creating privacy in a small yard, but they can also make us feel claustrophobic. Draw the eye and keep things streamlined by using monochrome accents, like this design in a Toronto home.

4. Partially-Walled

Small backyards are most common in areas where houses are close together and property lines bleed together. Delineate your space and create some privacy without feeling closed in by putting up some tall, lovely partial walls that’ll actually make you feel like you have more space— and give you vertical areas to decorate!

5. Completely-Planned

You’ll have noticed by now that most of the ideas on this list involve yards that are meticulously planned. That’s for a reason! A yard feels more spacious when it’s organized instead of left to run wild. Counter-intuitive, but true!

6. Postage Stamp Design

This “postage stamp” design not only makes the most of a small space by creating mini-areas surrounded by lush foliage, but creates a yard that can easily adapt as a family grows up and grows bigger.

7. Multilevel Design

A city backyard feels like an island oasis when you use different levels to create distinct areas and an interesting, dynamic landscape.

Walking Safely

Sounds silly, but just as we teach our children to cross the street safely we need to be aware as adults too.

We rarely are more vulnerable than when walking in urban areas, crossing busy streets and negotiating traffic. And we all are pedestrians from time to time, so it's important to pay attention to what is going on around us.

Cell Phone Distraction

It has become such a big problem in recent years that Injury Facts® 2015, the statistical report on unintentional deaths and injuries published by the National Safety Council, for the first time has included statistics on cell phone distracted walking.

  • 52% of cell phone distracted walking injuries happen at home
  • 68% of those injured are women
  • 54% are age 40 or younger
  • Nearly 80% of the injuries were due to a fall

The Vehicle Factor

While many communities are implementing measures to become more "walkable," like adding more paths and traffic-calming measures, there still is a long way to go to keep pedestrians safe. Malls surrounded by parking lots, few sidewalks, blind intersections and high traffic areas all contribute to pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

Head Up, Phone Down

While pedestrian-vehicle injuries are the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 19, no age group is immune.

Here are a few tips  for children and adults of all ages:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street; looking left a second time is necessary because a car can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Be aware of drivers even when you're in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
  • Don't wear headphones while walking
  • Never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking
  • If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
  • Never rely on a car to stop
  • Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult
  • Only cross at designated crosswalks
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
  • Walk in groups

Boating Safety

No matter how much experience you have, it’s always a good idea for everyone to review boating safety rules before departures.

Read below to familiarize yourself with these 10 basic boating safety tips:

Be Weather-wise
Always check local weather conditions before departure- TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.

Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist
Proper boating safety means being prepared for any possibility on the water. From compliance with fire safety regulations to tips for fueling up, following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been forgotten.

Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card
Your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is a bit like a driver’s licence and once you have your PCOC it’s yours for life.  The PCOC is mandatory for anyone operating a pleasure craft with any type of motor, and the operator should be sure to have their original PCOC card “on board”. There are a lot of options for your get your PCOC card and you can find a list by using this link to get to a current list of Transport Canada approved course providers. You can take the test from any of these approved companies and once you pass, they will provide you with your PCOC.

Use Common Sense
One of the most important parts of boating safety is to know the rules and to use your common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Be alert at all times, and steer clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there for one reason only- to ensure your own boating safety.

Designate an Assistant Skipper
Make sure more than only one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and other boating safety tips. If the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way, it’s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone else back to shore.   Remember that anyone operating the boat must have their PCOC.

Develop a Float Plan
Whether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina, always be sure to let someone else know your float plan. This should include where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone.

A float plan can include the following information: name, address, and phone number of trip leader; name and phone number of all passengers; boat type and registration information; trip itinerary; and types of communication and signal equipment onboard.

Make Proper Use of Lifejackets
Did you know that the majority of drowning victims resulting from boating accidents were found not to be wearing a lifejacket (also called a personal flotation device or PFD)? Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a lifejacket-prior to departure.

Don’t Mix Alcohol and Boating
Practise boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for on land. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved, and studies have also shown that the affect of alcohol is exacerbated by external effects such as sun and wind.   Just like driving under the influence, boating under the influence of alcohol is an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada.   If you are planning to consume alcohol on your boat, then in most provinces you must be anchored and have permanent sleeping, kitchen and toilet facilities on board.   Check with the appropriate provincial authorities (OPP for Ontario, SQ for Quebec, RCMP for all other provinces and territories) for carriage restrictions.

Learn to Swim
If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. Local organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross and others offer training for all ages and abilities - check to see what classes are offered in your area.

Take a Boating Course
Beginning boaters and experienced experts alike need be familiar with boating safety rules of operation. In addition to the mandatory PCOC for any boat operator, you should also consider additional courses so that you can boat with confidence.   It's always important to be educated, aware and prepared for every circumstance that might arise.

Consider a Free Vessel Safety Check
The Office of Boating Safety is working to raise awareness of boating safety issues and encourage all pleasure craft operators to follow safe boating practices.   Qualified Boating Safety Specialists are available to conduct a FREE Courtesy Check of your recreational vessel (sail, power, personal watercraft or canoe.)The reviews are confidential and there are no penalties for deficiencies.

Take advantage of a free Vessel Safety Check from the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPS-ECP) working in partnership with the Office of Boating Safety. They offer complimentary boat examinations to review all the safety equipment required by law.    Free of charge, they’ll provide a specialist to check out your boat and make helpful boating safety tips and recommendations.

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Fireworks Safety

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays. But along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms – especially during July.

Thousands of people are injured every year from fireworks.  Take care and leave the big fireworks to the professionals.


Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but they are a lot more dangerous than most people think. Parents don't realize they burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and many children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.

Bottle Rockets

These small rockets are attached to a stick, lit by a fuse and typically fired from a bottle. Teens have been known to have bottle rocket wars, firing them at one another and causing chest, head and eye injuries.


Firecrackers are designed to explode on the ground. They are often linked together by one long fuse and explode in a series. They are designed to be very noisy, but they also can cause burns and other serious injuries.

Roman Candles

Roman candles eject multiple exploding shells from a tube the user holds in his or her hand. There have been numerous reports of children losing fingers, severe burns and other injuries, which are sometimes caused when the device gets jammed.

Two Words About M-class Fireworks

Just don't.

You hear them go off every year: M-80s, M-100s, even M-250s. The unmistakable explosions associated with these devices can rattle the windows of homes for blocks. They are produced illegally and without quality control, have short fuses and cause hundreds of extremely severe injuries each year.

If They're Legal 

If fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
  • Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the show.

Water Safety

Drowning: It Can Happen in an Instant

When we think of water safety, we often think of the potential for young children to drown. But drowning also is a concern for teens and young adults. While drowning is more common for children 5 and younger, it's the second leading cause of death for people age 5-24. According to NSC data, 737 people age 5 to 24 drowned in 2014.

Swimmers should keep a few safety precautions in mind:

  • Don't go in the water unless you know how to swim; swim lessons are available for all ages
  • Never swim alone
  • Learn CPR and rescue techniques
  • Make sure the body of water matches your skill level; swimming in a pool is much different than swimming in a lake or river, where more strength is needed to handle currents
  • If you do get caught in a current, don't try to fight it; stay calm and float with it, or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free
  • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
  • Don't push or jump on others
  • Don't dive in unfamiliar areas
  • Never drink alcohol when swimming; alcohol is involved in about half of all male teen drownings.

The Younger the Child, the Greater the Risk

Most parents think water safety is first and foremost on their minds whenever they are enjoying summer activities with their young kids. But when the unthinkable happens and a child drowns, parents and caregivers have been known to say, “I only looked away for a second.”

NSC statistics point to drowning as a leading cause of death for young children – mostly due to children falling into a pool or being left alone in the bathtub.

Of the 3,406 drownings in 2014, more than 12% were children age 4 and younger, according to Injury Facts 2017. These statistics are in line with Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, which state more than 200 children ages 1 to 14 drowned in pools and spas during summer 2013. Bathtubs, toilets and even buckets also can pose a danger for very young children.

Distractions Make for Tragedies

Parents are cautioned all the time about water safety, but drownings still occur. Always be aware and be in the present moment with your children. Following are a few water safety precautions:

  • Never leave your child alone; if you have to leave, take your child with you
  • Find age-appropriate swim lessons for your child, but keep in mind that lessons do not make your child "drown-proof"
  • Lifeguards aren't babysitters; always keep your eyes on your child
  • Don't let children play around drains and suction fittings
  • Never consume alcohol when operating a boat, and always make sure everyone is wearing U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
  • Don't underestimate the power of water; even rivers and lakes can have undertows
  • Always have a first aid kit and emergency contacts handy
  • Get training in CPR
  • If a child is missing, check the water first

Every pool, every lake and every warm summer day holds the possibility of new, fun summer experiences. All you need to add is your undivided attention.

9 More... Clever Ideas to Make Your Small Backyard Feel Bigger

1. Faux Grass Rug

Not enough green in your yard or space to grow it? Fake it! A faux grass rug will make your patio seem bigger, and add some life to brick or concrete.

2. Reflected Green

If hanging mirrors in small rooms makes them feel bigger, why wouldn’t we try it outside?! Hang some vintage or older mirrors to make the green grass and blue skies feel like they’re going on forever.

3. Tiny Garden Shed

You don’t need acres of land or a huge garden to justify a gardening shed. A tiny one adds whimsy and decoration to your small yard, and keeps your gardening tools organized!

4. Triangle Shed

Another way to get that shed without sacrificing too much space? Turn it on an angle!

5. Mini Water Feature

Just like with that gardening shed, don’t let a lack of space kill your landscaping dreams of a water fountain. This water feature is the perfect size for a small space AND you can make it yourself for around just $30!

6. Decorative Focal Points

So what’s the POINT of a water feature, you may ask? It creates a focal point! When people are noticing the conversation piece in your yard, they’re not noticing the lack of space. Even better, a focal point draws the eye and pushes the surround walls out of focus, helping to make a space FEEL bigger, too. Use a fountain, art, or a very large potted plant.

7. Forced Perspective

Another thing a focal point can do? Create perspective! You might remember the concept from art class, but in general, we’re talking here about how parallel lines seem to converge in the distance at a vanishing point, and the basic fact that faraway objects look smaller. Use both concepts to your advantage to create the illusion of space, like with a pergola and some strategically-placed potted plants. This method’s a good excuse to let your maximalist gardening tendencies run wild!

8. Diagonal Paths and Planting

Another way to trick the eye is to plant and plan paths along a diagonal or a zigzag, which makes a space feel bigger than it is because you travel along a longer path. Want a prime example? Then check out . . .

9. Triangular Planting Pockets

. . . this design, which is all about triangles. Just because most small backyards are rectangles, you don’t have to keep it that way! Try turning everything 45 degrees, as the designers of this backyard did, to create “triangle planting pockets” for lush greenery and an interesting patio design.

Heat Related Illnesses - Do you know what to do?

The final month of summer is upon us and it promises to get warmer.  We would like to share sa series of summer safety tips with you so you make the most of your August keep safe out there.

Did you know your body is constantly in a struggle to disperse the heat it produces? Most of the time, you're hardly aware of it – unless your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle.

In 2014, 244 people died in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat, according to Injury Facts 2017, the annual statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council. Heat-related illnesses can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.

There are several heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke (the most severe), heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Those most at risk include:

  • Infants and young children
  • Elderly people
  • Pets
  • Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness
  • People who work outdoors
  • Athletes and people who like to exercise – especially beginners
  • Individuals taking medications that alter sweat production
  • Alcoholics and drug abusers


Heatstroke can occur when the ability to sweat fails and body temperature rises quickly. The brain and vital organs are effectively "cooked" as body temperature rises to a dangerous level in a matter of minutes. Heatstroke is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their organs.

Someone experiencing heatstroke will have extremely hot skin, and an altered mental state, ranging from slight confusion to coma. Seizures also can result. Ridding the body of excess heat is crucial for survival.

  • Move the person into a half-sitting position in the shade
  • Call for emergency medical help immediately
  • If humidity is below 75%, spray the victim with water and fan them vigorously; if humidity is above 75%, apply ice to neck, armpits or groin
  • Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen
  • Do not give the victim anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion

When the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water, heat exhaustion can set in. People who work outdoors and athletes are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and can include severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, diarrhea. Other symptoms include profuse sweating, clammy or pale skin, dizziness, rapid pulse and normal or slightly elevated body temperature.

Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke, so make sure to treat the victim quickly.

Move them to a shaded or air-conditioned area
Give them water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages
Apply wet towels or having them take a cool shower

Heat cramps

Heat cramps are muscle spasms that usually affect the legs or abdominal muscles, often after physical activity. Excessive sweating reduces salt levels in the body, which can result in heat cramps.

Workers or athletes with pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs should not return to work for a few hours. Instead:

  • Sit or lie down in the shade.
  • Drink cool water or a sports drink.
  • Stretch affected muscles.
  • Seek medical attention if you have heart problems or if the cramps don't get better in an hour.

The best way to avoid a heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors during hot days. Air conditioning is the best way to cool off.


  • Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat
  • Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks
  • Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body's ability to cool itself
  • Pace yourself when you run or otherwise exert your body

6 Tips for Avoiding Insect Bites & Stings

Ah, summer. ‘Tis the season of barbecues and bare feet. Unfortunately, it’s also the season of bug
bites and bee stings.  Be proactive this season and keep the pesky critters at bay. Here’s how:

1. Avoid perfume and sweet-smelling beauty products.
Insects flock to flowers, so is it any wonder they’re attracted to fragrant skin, clothes and hair as well? If you’re planning to spend time outdoors, opt for fragrance-free beauty products and skip the perfume or cologne. If you don’t mind smelling downright unappealing, some folks swear that eating pungent garlic or onions actually repels mosquitoes and other insects.

2. Dress down.
Unfortunately for those whose sartorial style tends toward the flamboyant, brightly colored clothes with loud patterns or flowers and sparkly or colorful jewelry attract stinging and biting insects such as bees, wasps, and mosquitoes. Avoid the annoying critters by dressing in earth tones or muted colors instead.

3. Keep your eye on your cup.
The last thing you want to do is swallow something that can sting you. Insects love sweet beverages, so be sure to look before you sip at picnics, barbecues, and other outdoor soirees.

4. Go barefoot at your own risk.
Bees hover around low-growing clover and yellow jackets actually live in the ground. Keep those tender feet safe from stingers by wearing shoes on grassy fields or lawns.

5. Watch out for hives and nests.
This may sound obvious, but beehives and wasp nests are often anything but. Insects tend to build their hives in nooks and crannies, like beneath the eave of a roof, under a gutter, or in the crook of a tree branch. Clean, garden, clip and mow with caution!

6. Remain calm.
This old chestnut bears repeating. When you do come in contact with a stinging or biting insect, making sudden movements or trying to shoo away the offender is the last thing you should do. Instead, slowly and calmly moving out of the insect’s way is the safest way to avoid getting bitten or stung.


9 Clever Ideas to Make Your Small Backyard Feel Bigger

Summer is the time we spend in our backyards and outdoors in general.  Time is taken to create our own little space outside.  Here are some ideas for your small backyard.

When you imagine your dream home, what does the outside look like? For most of us, the first thing that comes to mind is space: space to run, space to relax, space for the kids to play, and enough left over to entertain, install a pool, plant a garden, or enjoy any of our other outdoor interests. Those dreams are great, but when most of us wake up, it’s to a yard far smaller than our ideal. That’s why it’s so good to be reminded that small is beautiful, too, as this post from WooHome recently did for us. If you’re creative and clever, even the narrowest of outdoor spaces can feel like an oasis. So we decided to round up our favorite tips, ideas, and inspiration for ways to make small backyards have big personalities. Check out what we found and see which ones YOU should try today!

1.Stone Patio Pool

Some people dream of a backyard pool, but few of us have enough room for both a pool and for just sitting and enjoying fresh air— unless we combine them! This stone version has three different depths to be a splash pool, a wading pool, and a full-depth pool . . .

2. Outdoor Lounge

Small backyards are often found in cities where it can be difficult to get healthy grass growing, and the lack of lush lawn makes the tiny space even sadder. Make it better by treating your yard more as another room, making an outdoor lounge using budget-friendly products.

3. Multifunctional Furniture

If it works indoors, it’ll work outdoors, too! Multifunction pieces like tables with storage or adjustable seating lets you use your outdoor spaces however you like without having to fill them with accessories.

4. Vertical Gardens

Of course we all want to grow things in our yards – it’s what they’re for, after all! – but the amount of space gardens take up can be overwhelming. Go UP instead with a vertical garden, and make your fence or privacy wall green and lush at the same time. Hint: mason jars will be a big help here.

5. Tiered Planters

Prefer more traditional planters? Make sure you’re still maximizing your ground space by arranging them in tiers!

6. Minimized Dirt And Other Mess

While we’re on the subject of plants, in general, planters are better for a small yard than ground-cover soil. You still get the green, but you don’t end up with mud or other debris that can quickly take over when there’s such little space. Even more generally, embrace minimalism to keep your yard feeling spacious!

7. Plant Particulars

If you’re going the more traditional planting route and growing things directly in the ground, be particular about the plants you choose. Lean more toward dwarf plants, conifers, and other plants and shrubs that are smaller and less prone to spreading out and taking over your yard.

8. Murphy Bar

Want to entertain but don’t have the space for a full outdoor bar? Make a Murphy bar! This DIY foldable bar is fun to build and to have, and the perfect size for mixing summertime cocktails.

9. Murphy Picnic Table

Don’t stop with the bar! A foldable Murphy-style picnic table gives you the option of huge outdoor suppers without having to commit to a permanent table taking up valuable space.