During the summer, your backyard should be your favorite place to be. From a relaxing getaway for your mind to a place to gather your family and friends, you can do it all. A backyard overhaul typically requires heavy equipment and several trips to the hardware store. Take a look at some easy and cost-effective ways to improve the look and feel of your backyard.
- Check out a fire pit
- Add the perfect plants
- Browse your local dollar store
- Repurpose your existing furniture
- Shop for decorations in your garage
- Add some mulch
- Light it up
- Swap around your plants
- Define your edges
- Grow plants from your garbage
1. Check out a fire pit.
Many backyards are large enough to accommodate a fire pit but check with local regulations before you start shopping. These are relatively inexpensive and you can even make a simplified one using patio stones for around $60. It gives your yard a modern look while providing a great gathering place for your family and friends during the dusk hours. Nothing compares to the memories you’ll make from homemade smores and roasted hot dogs.
2. Add the perfect plants.
While this one seems pretty obvious, adding specific plants to specific areas can help the space feel welcoming. Placing a sapling in the center of the yard gives a focal point that will end up providing shade as it continues to grow. Creating a vertical garden is a great way to maximize your area while keeping your valuable yard space open. They can be made relatively cheap using hardware supplies and succulent plants. Bonus: Everyone will want to come over just to take their Instagram pictures.
3. Browse your local dollar store.
Most of these stores have a garden section with a variety of outdoor lights (we’ll be talking about these more later) and planters that are just as good as garden centers. You can even use a can of spray paint to spruce up anything that doesn’t suit your style. Make sure to check the other aisles for gardening ideas too. Simple planters can be made from almost any container with adequate drainage.
4. Repurpose your existing furniture.
A few coats of paint can breathe life into a set of old, rusted chairs. A brand new set usually costs $100-$300 but you can find a good quality cushion for a fraction of that price. If you’re painting, make sure to use spray paint that is specifically for the furniture you’re covering. Ask a store employee which one they recommend for the project you’re doing or read the instructions on the can before you purchase. Nobody wants their hard work washed away after a good rain.
5. Shop for decorations in your garage.
A great way to add a unique look to any backyard is likely collecting rust and spiderwebs in a different part of your yard right now. A broken bicycle with a basket full of growing marigolds or a rusty wagon carrying daisies will give your yard a whimsical charm for next to nothing. If your own garage is already cleaned out then try looking online. There are plenty of local Facebook groups for free items. For a quick trip across town, someone else’s trash could become the treasure of your garden.
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6. Add some mulch.
Mulch for an average-sized garden (around 500 sq feet) can cost around $175 when you buy it from a store. There are a few easy ways to DIY some mulch from your gardens or get it for free from your neighborhood. Covering the dirt makes the yard look cohesive and maintained even if it’s not. It also helps retain soil moisture. Denver has roughly 300 days of sun a year so adding a solid layer of mulch can give you an extra day or two before you need to water.
7. Light it up.
Adding a bit of brightness will allow you to spend a little bit of extra time in the yard during the evenings. The most important thing is to make sure you get lighting that fits your needs. A small area is perfect for string lights while a larger backyard can benefit from the insect repelling tiki torches. Whatever lighting you choose, make sure it’s outdoor-friendly. Battery-powered are usually the best and they won’t put a dent in your hydro bill. Throw in some rechargeable batteries and you’re saving yourself even more. Hardware stores have a large selection but if you’re buying quite a few then dollar stores will give you the best bang for your buck.
8. Swap around your plants.
There are quite a few plants and flowers that can be easily transferred or split. Keeping the roots moist and moving them quickly will give you the best chance of success. A bit of hard work can turn one overgrown hosta plant into five smaller plants that are much easier to place around the yard. If you have a green thumb, you can try your hand at cutting and regrowing from a plant you already have.
9. Define your edges.
Building a small fence for your flowerbed can be costly, but using rocks or old bricks can be a simple and efficient way to add definition without breaking the bank. Save any stones you’d normally toss during regular gardening and give them a coat of glow in the dark outdoor paint. The sun will charge them during the day and provide you with a gorgeous glowing outline during the night.
10. Grow plants from your garbage.
Many of your favorite fruits and vegetables can be regrown into new plants just by using stuff you’d normally toss out. There are quite a few Youtube videos and tutorials on how to grow new plants from strawberries, peppers, and yes, even beloved avocados. Seeds you’d be composting or throwing out can grow with a little care. Look into each seed you’re growing to see whats its needs are. While you might not be able to transfer it into your backyard garden right away, eventually you can grow an edible garden to enjoy for years to come.