There might still be a chill in the air, however it’s the perfect time to get your backyard ready for spring. Many hands make light work, so they say, and we’ve got ideas to get your yard ship-shape in time for party season, while you’re actually having a party!

Organise a group working bee

At this time of year, you’ll find a lot of winter yards are in need of a complete overhaul. Chances are, your friends and family’s gardens are among them, so invite everyone to join in a group working bee, disguised as a party. Pick a few dates when everyone’s available to tackle one yard, then move on to the next.

At each house, the host is responsible for the all-important reward during or after the clean-up. One fantastic idea is to hire a hot dog cart as a treat for lunch, so everyone can enjoy their favourite snack with delicious relishes. After all, there’s nothing like a hot dog to spur you on to get the job done! While you’re working, make sure you pump some high-energy tunes and delegate jobs so that the work’s shared fairly.

Trim and shape your yard

Back down to work and you might be wondering where on earth to start in the yard. First up, tame out-of-control garden beds, trim shrubs and hedges, get rid of all those weeds, fertilise the lawn and give everything a good water. It’s amazing what a simple tidy up will do before adding accessories in the spirit of spring. With a group of people, you won’t even notice as the time flies by and your yard comes alive.

Dust off the barbecue

You might not have used the barbecue for a few months, so it probably needs a good clean. It’s important to turn off and disconnect the gas first, if you haven’t already. Then, remove the tray, scrape off any excess and give it a good wash in warm, soapy water with a soft scouring pad, and do the same with the grills. Wipe everything dry with paper towels and line the drip tray with new aluminum foil.

Revitalise outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture often looks a little worse for wear after sitting in the shed or unused in the elements during winter. Drag it all out and give everything a good hose and scrub down. If you’d rather start again, consider a theme to make alfresco dining extra special. Choose bright colours to suit the season and mix and match a range of decor, such as hammocks, daybeds, solar lamps, water features and cushions made with weather-resistant fabrics.

Freshen up the deck

If you’ve got a timber pool deck, verandah or patio, pretty decor just isn’t enough to cover it up, when that ‘weathered’ look has gone too far. Staining your deck is an easy option that’ll make it look like new. Prepare the timber by cleaning and sanding, then start painting the edges and corners first. To do the rest, a lambs’ wool applicator makes the job a breeze.

Once it’s done, you can all stand back, admire your handy work and get excited for the springtime parties to come - with hot dogs in hand!