My husband and I live in Boulder, and our house is on a classic sloping Front Range lot—where no amount of grading and rock-wall construction could ever transform it into one of the pancake-flat yards I remember from my childhood in the Midwest. (A landscape architect once called the yard “magical,” but I think she was just being nice.) It’s basically a hill. Combine the slope of the yard with a very wet and windy winter and, well, you end up with whole swaths of land where the mulch and ground cover have been washed away, leaving nothing but mud.

Of course, my toddlers love it this way. But as I watch them play outside, gleefully sprinkling dirt on each other’s heads, I start to fantasize about the backyard we’ll someday build for them—and us. Green grass, aspen trees, hammocks, and swings. And, yes, somewhere we’ll have that fire pit I keep fantasizing about. We don’t have the budget or time for a renovation right now, but one day this yard will be made for both kids and grown-up entertaining.

Which is why I’m so thrilled about this summer issue of 5280 Home. I’m already tearing out pages to file in the “Dream Backyard” folder that sits prominently on my desk—starting, of course, with Matt Suskin’s patio (“High Fidelity,” page 62), which Denver landscape architecture firm Blu Design Group outfitted with a dreamy fire pit that Suskin and his young daughters use to while away long summer evenings.

I hope you, too, will find inspiration for outdoor summer fun in this issue—whether it’s planning a stylish Fourth of July ice cream soiree (“Ice Cream Social,” page 34), hosting a Mediterranean-inspired garden party for your friends (“A Place In The Sun,” page 50), or finding the perfect pot for your front stoop (“Posh Planters,” page 28). And if you—like me—have a yard that needs some serious attention, perhaps this issue will find its way into your inspiration folders (and onto your Pinterest boards), too.