Is your landscape looking a bit blah? Do you wish you could spruce it up, make it more livable and more interesting without going for a total landscape makeover?
You’re in luck! There’s a lot you can do to improve your outdoor space – front yard, back yard, and everything in between – by strategically adding one or more creative elements. See which of these improvements strike your fancy. Can you imagine how they’d look in your yard, and how they’d make your time outside more enjoyable?
1. Bring Height And Depth With Container Gardens
There’s no rule that says your garden has to be in the ground! Some visually stunning gardens can be created right in a handful of pots on your patio or porch, along your walkways, beneath trees, or anywhere on top of the ground where perhaps you struggle to get anything to grow.
Adding container gardens gives you a quick pop of color and greenery, a bit of artistry in the containers themselves, and the ability to stack and layer to create three-dimensional beauty.
Choose pots of different heights and sizes, then fill them with complementary plantings – from tall and stately to low and overflowing. As an added bonus, you can fill winter planters with other décor to keep it interesting – pine branches or tall twigs, berries and pinecones, or oversized ornaments and dried fruits to name a few.
2. Soothe The Soul With A Water Feature
There are myriad ways to incorporate water into your landscape, from koi ponds to garden bubblers, patio water gardens to fountains. Beyond its four-season beauty, water adds an entirely new dimension to your space – sound!
Waterfalls, bubbling urns and columns, running streams and garden fountains add both visual and auditory beauty, bringing a touch of serenity to your space in addition to serving as a water source for birds, butterflies and other wildlife that can bring added joy to your space.
You don’t need a lot of space to include a water feature. Garden bubblers and water gardens come in shapes and sizes to accommodate just about any space. In fact, some water gardens can even be moved to an indoor window or desk during cold months!
Or, you can leave them outdoors where they’ll reward you with lovely ice sculptures throughout the winter.
3. Add Lighting For Evening Fun
If there’s a single thing you can do to extend the usefulness and increase the value of your space, it’s adding outdoor lighting – not just a few wall sconces and pathway lights, but integrated lighting that highlights your gardens, lights up your water features, surrounds your patio and dining area, and brings a warm, welcoming glow to your space.
Try adding lighting in treetops to mimic moonlight and bathe your yard in a soft glow. Add string lights to bring a festive air, or lanterns to create a cozy space. Place stake lights in gardens so you can enjoy the artistry and beauty of plants and blooms in a whole new light – literally!
By incorporating different types of lighting you can add ambiance and set a tone that will make your space much more enjoyable, whether you’re outside under the stars or appreciating it through a living room window.
4. Keep It Private And Cozy
A spacious yard is great for feeling open and free, but creating smaller, private spaces throughout can boost your enjoyment and make your yard look even better. Instead of a wide open expanse of lawn, for example, designate an area for sitting, and another for walking through gardens. Separate dining areas from play areas, and cooking areas from conversation areas.
Any of these things can help make your space both more functional and more visually compelling. Instead of a single space with nowhere for your eye to rest, you’ll be creating numerous areas of interest and intrigue.
Add privacy features to keep your space out of the direct line of sight of neighbors and passersby. Something as simple as a natural bamboo screen can look gorgeous and offer year-round separation between you and the rest of the world.
Tall grasses double as a beautiful garden addition and an excellent privacy screen, as well as a natural way to create separation between spaces.
Garden trellises interwoven with vines and flowers, gazebos hung with string lights, a cozy fire pit surrounded by summery blooms and winter grasses can all enhance privacy and make your space look and feel cozy and comfortable.
5. Play Your Favorite Tunes
Leave the stereo speakers inside and go for an outdoor audio system instead. Outdoor audio embedded into gardens and planters, built into retaining walls, and networked throughout your yard will bring an entirely different dimension in sound.
Instead of music that gets louder near the speakers and fades as you move to another part of the yard, an outdoor audio system is designed to keep sound consistent throughout. That means you can play background music if you choose, or turn it up for party mode. Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy it no matter where you are in your yard.
You can even create different music zones in a larger space. Play pop music for the kids poolside, and a bit of classical in your cooking area as you grill kebobs for dinner.
Outdoor audio is a great addition if you enjoy entertaining outdoors, or if you like to garden, engage in a hobby, or just spend time outside with some music to keep you company. It’s as easy as tap-stream-go, and if if unexpectedly rains on your parade, you know your speakers won’t be damaged.
6. Plant A Wildlife Garden
A surefire way to bring beauty and joy to your yard is to invite wildlife. It doesn’t take much to ensure that you can enjoy a summer full of colorful butterflies and multiple seasons of hummingbirds, cardinals, robins and chickadees.
It’s all in what you plant and how welcome you make them feel. Sunflowers are great for attracting birds, and make as good a snack for humans as for our feathered friends. Honeysuckle and trumpet vine are gorgeous additions that keep the hummingbirds coming. And tall grasses will provide shelter and nesting spaces for other birds.
Add colorful blooms to attract butterflies – goldenrod, aster and lavender are all fan favorites, and all look fantastic in a summer garden.
Your water feature will come in handy here, too. Both birds and butterflies need a place to drink and bathe, so provide them with a small pond area, water fountain or water garden, and they’ll reward you with their company all season.
Don’t forget you can always add your own “wildlife” with a koi or goldfish pond!
And unless you’re planting a vegetable garden, don’t be afraid to attract rabbits, too, who particularly enjoy berry bushes and like tall grasses to hide in.
7. Upgrade Your Hardscapes
You can improve visual appeal and make your space more enjoyable with the addition of one or more hardscapes. A hardscape can be anything that isn’t an organic planting bed – patios, walkways, gazebos, and rock gardens to name a few.
Patios in particular can be a welcome addition, giving you space to dine, entertain, gather for conversation, sunbathe, and more. Don’t be afraid to think creatively. Borders and rules need not apply! Patios can be rounded, irregularly shaped, combined with decking, even tiered. They can incorporate multiple types of natural stone for beauty and to designate areas of use – limestone around a pool area, for example, with bluestone as an accent delineating stairs or a fire pit, surrounded by patio paving stones.
If you want to go low-maintenance, replace some of your lawn or garden space with a “garden” of natural stone. You can add container plants, artwork, or even a water feature to your stone garden for instant appeal.
8. Include A Fire Pit
The simple addition of a fire pit can bring you four seasons of enjoyment and become a central gathering spot for family and friends to relax, unwind, talk, snack, and create memories. A natural stone fire pit built into your landscape will add another visual element and an opportunity to use lighting, audio, plantings and other features to create a special and beautiful space.
If you’re not ready to build a permanent structure, try a patio fire pit instead. With the right seating and some surrounding ambiance, you can sit back and relax, toast a couple of marshmallows, and enjoy everything from summer afternoons to autumn evenings.
Did any of these ideas call to you? Can you imagine adding one or more to your space to spruce it up and make it more beautiful and more fun?
If so, or if you’d like to talk about another idea for revitalizing your landscape, book a consultation with us and let’s talk. We’ll work with you to create just the space you’ve been imagining – and more!