A well-designed landscape can boost your home’s value, improve your curb appeal, and provide a place to relax or entertain. These DIY landscaping ideas will help you refresh your yard with ease.
Divide your yard into defined areas by using edging to distinguish your flower beds, vegetable garden, or other landscaping components. Use a simple tool to create crisp edges that look professional.
1. Create Defined Areas
Just like interior rooms are divided up with walls, floors and furniture, your yard should have defined areas that serve different functions. These separate zones will make it easier for you to tend the landscape and create a garden that suits your lifestyle and needs.
Defined areas are a great way to draw the eye to different points in the yard, highlight features and keep your plantings from getting crowded out. You can do this by introducing pathways, walls and other hardscape elements that help your garden to feel bigger, or by using pretty planters as barriers or dividers. For example, in this backyard the open lawn and stone patio are separated by a landscaping feature with a pallet walkway connecting the two.
Plants are also useful for creating aesthetically pleasing boundaries, either by their shape or their color. For example, a tall, evergreen tree can block the view of a shed or back porch while providing privacy at the same time. If you want to use plants as a physical barrier, choose low-growing shrubs that aren’t too dense and will allow light through.
For a pop of color and texture, incorporate flowers into your landscaping plan. Having a wide variety of flowers will add beauty to your garden and provide continuous blooming throughout the season. And don’t forget to include some evergreen plants to add continuity and visual interest to your landscape.
When it comes to DIY landscaping, you can add a lot of value to your property without blowing your budget. Consider how a well-planned landscape can improve your quality of life by adding functional space for entertaining and relaxation while increasing the curb appeal of your home.
2. Add Decorative Elements
Decorative elements add visual interest to your yard and help tie your landscaping together into one cohesive design. Decorative items include hardscape objects such as pavers, walls and barbecues, as well as softscape components like flowers, trees and greenery.
Adding different textures to your landscape can create interesting transitions and add depth. For example, mulch can be used to edge flower beds and help them look more finished than bare dirt. It can also be used to signal areas where you’ve placed a garden ornament, such as a statue or a water feature.
While many do-it-yourselfers focus on plants that bloom, don’t forget the value of foliage in your garden. Incorporate evergreen conifers and plants prized as much for their sculptural branching patterns and color as they are for their flowers to add variety and year-round interest to your landscape.
You can also use a variety of materials to frame your lawn and create paths that make the most of your outdoor space. For example, a gravel path can be a great way to connect points of interest in your backyard and reduce weeding time. It’s easy to create a professional-looking layout using temporary spray paint and a simple plan.
You can even add a spruced-up air-conditioning unit to your yard as a focal point. This easy DIY project is an ideal solution for anyone who wants to improve the exterior of their home, but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a full landscaping makeover.
3. Add Hardscaping
In addition to the plants in your yard, hardscapes — such as walkways, patios, decks, fire pits and pergolas — make it easier for you to enjoy your property. You can add these elements without breaking the bank, especially if you follow a few DIY landscaping tips.
When designing your hardscape, limit straight lines and avoid 90 degree angles. Instead, work with the natural contours of your garden beds, pond, wooded areas and other landscape features to make your hardscape elements blend seamlessly into the landscape. This helps to create a more natural look and also prevents the hardscape from looking like an afterthought.
Another important tip when it comes to adding hardscapes to your backyard is to add textural variety. Use a mix of materials to achieve this, and vary the size and shape of the stones. For example, using a large square paver in one area and a small round stone in the next can create contrast. Also, combining a rough gravel with a smooth paved surface and adding a few moss-covered logs to the mix will give your landscaping a more rustic feel.
In addition to adding visual appeal, hardscapes can also solve problems on your property. For instance, a water feature can help reduce your lawn’s irrigation needs, while a retaining wall can help prevent soil erosion on a steep hill. And if you don’t have room for a full sized pond, consider a smaller fountain or even a bird bath to bring a soothing sound to your outdoor space.
4. Add Plants
After defining garden beds with edging and adding hardscape elements, plant your yard. Choose trees, shrubs and flowers that will grow well in your climate and provide a natural setting. Incorporate deciduous plants like crabapples and Japanese maples that have attractive foliage and colorful leaves, as well as evergreen conifers to give your landscape color throughout the year.
Aim for a balanced design that blends your lawn and garden with hardscape elements like pavers, retaining walls and barbecues. Plants that contrast with hardscape pieces help your yard stand out and create an eye-catching design.
Tip: When handling brick, stone and other landscaping materials, use athletic tape on your fingers to keep them protected. It will prevent your hands from becoming scraped and raw, which can be a big problem when you’re working all day on a landscaping project.
Many do-it-yourself landscaping tips focus on choosing flowers and planting them in flower beds. However, perennials often bloom for a limited period of time, so be sure to include some annuals to “plug the gaps” in your landscaping. This will add color throughout the entire growing season and increase your enjoyment of your yard.
5. Add Rocks
Rocks are a versatile element that can be used to add contrast, define areas and create visual interest. They are also durable ground cover that doesn’t need to be replaced as often as mulch and can reduce weeds. You can even use rocks to create a water feature like a waterfall or small pond.
Before you start adding your rocks, make sure the area is clear of weeds and grass. This is because they will grow through the rock mulch if not removed first. You can remove them by hand or use a tool designed for this purpose. Once the area is bare, lay down a landscape fabric or geotextile to prevent weeds and help the rock hold in place. This is a necessary step because you won’t be able to get the most out of your landscape rock if the soil underneath it is constantly shifting.
Then, choose the type of rock you want to use. There are several options available to you: gravel, river rock and lava rock are popular choices as they come in a range of colors and sizes. The most important thing is to choose a rock that suits the overall look of your landscaping design and budget. You can find many different types of landscaping rocks at your local garden center, home improvement store and specialty rock suppliers. You can even find them on sites such as Craigslist and Freecycle if you’re on a tight budget.
For a beautiful finishing touch to your yard, consider creating a stone path. This is a great way to guide foot traffic around your home and lend your landscape an elegant look at the same time. Choose a variety of rock shapes, sizes and textures to add visual interest and contrast to the surrounding plants.