The global pandemic is changing the ways we gather, entertain, and even go about our day-to-day lives. One of the most significant changes is that it is encouraging people to do more things outside — and, more often than not, many homeowners are doing these things in the comfort of their own backyards. “’Backyarding,’ the new trend to move many indoor activities — from working in an office or classroom to dining and recreation — to the great outdoors, is growing. Under pandemic conditions, yards and other managed landscapes became a safe haven for social gatherings, celebrating milestones/holidays, working, studying, playing, exercising, [and] relaxing,” The Advocate reports.
While the trend may have taken off thanks to the coronavirus, many predict that it is here to stay. Homeowners will continue to spend more and more time in their backyards and invest in the equipment, landscaping, and accessories that make our own lawns and patios increasingly pleasant places to be.
If you find yourself continually venturing into the backyard, do what you can to beautify it and make it a perfectly comfortable and relaxing place spend time. Here are some easy yard landscaping ideas to get you started.
1. Prune Tree Branches And Add A Hammock
Some simple touches, like tree trimming, go an incredibly long way.
Cut back branches that are hanging over your roof, near your windows, close to your house, or close to your neighbor’s yard or fence. You can do this on your own, using a branch cutter, hand lopper, or hedge trimmers. Branch cutters and loppers are relatively small manual tools that run for $20 to $50. Handheld hedge trimmers are battery-powered and cordless, and most models retail under $100.
Properly pruning trees will keep them looking lush, fresh, and green. Avoid trimming or pruning blunders, like putting it off too long or taking off too much. Prune only small to medium branches on your own. This will create a slight wound, and the tree will naturally heal over time and be healthier for it. For especially large or cumbersome branches, talk to a professional about large tree branch removal.
Periodically use hedge trimmers to keep hedges and bushes at a pleasant, uniform height. Gently cut away any vines that are getting out of control or growing where you do not want them.
Add a little something extra to your backyard by stringing up a woven hammock in between two trees. Hammocks are the perfect place to relax, kick back your feet, and enjoy the breeze.
2. Install An Elegant Stone Pathway
For easy yard landscaping ideas, look no further than adding a stone path. Even the most basic stone pathway adds instant class to your backyard. Country Living agrees: “Lay a simple stone pathway that weaves through your lush yard or garden. It’s easy to create and makes a great addition to any home.” To create the perfect path near your home:
- Use your house as inspiration. One of the first decisions you will have to make is what kind of stone to use for your path. Some of the most popular materials are brick, flagstone, slate, and rock. Start by noting whether any of these materials or any other stone surface are a key feature on the exterior of your home. If the answer is yes, use the same stone for your pathway or walkway. If it isn’t quite a match, try to find a stone that matches the texture on the outside of your home.
If the exterior of your home does not contain any stone, brick, or rough textures, get inspired by its color scheme instead. Taupe, sage green, and brown homes pair well with gray stone paths. White, gray, and muted green homes look best with red stone or a brick path. Uniform concrete pavers are best for a clean-cut, modern look.
- Think about where the path will be and what function it will serve. Will the path lead from the back door to the patio, or will it snake around the pool? The answer to that question matters. If the path will be near a pool, avoid smooth stones that may become slippery when wet. Avoid black and dark gray stones that trap heat and the sun’s rays and will be too hot for bare feet.
- Lay the stones, install a weed barrier, and fill it in. Once you have determined the best materials for your pathway, the next step is to lay down the stone. Lay down the stones the way you want them and ascertain that they are level, or if your house is on a hill, that they are at a slight, downward slope, draining any water away from your home. Next, carefully place a weed barrier on top. A weed barrier is a thin, impermeable layer that will prevent weeds from growing and keep maintaining your path simple. Use sheers or sharp scissors to cut out a hold for each stone. Use dirt, mulch, or pebbles to fill in the gaps between stones or pavers.
- Dress it up with edging. Stone pathways should blend seamlessly with your landscaping. If they look rough around the edges or slightly out of place, edging can help. Edging helps blend hardscape, like stone and pavers, and softscape, like grass and plants. Edging may consist of brick, miniature fences, metal grates, corrugated metal, or plastic edging. Plastic edging is available in colors that easily blend in with the surrounding landscape, and it often comes on a large roll for easy installation.
When beautifying your backyard, keep it simple. Stick with easy yard landscaping ideas, like adding an elegant stone path.
3. Invest In A Fire Pit
For more easy yard landscaping ideas, think about attractive features you can add to your backyard at any time and within a short timeframe. For example, fire pits are eye-catching, practical, and great for entertaining. “A backyard fire pit establishes an attractive focal point and provides a gathering place where you can make precious memories with friends and family,” Bob Vila reiterates. Even better, fire pits can be as simple or elaborate as you like. They can be inexpensive or luxurious.
For a relatively inexpensive fire pit, consider building your own. You can make your own fire pit out of bricks or pavers, concrete, and stones, or if you are especially handy, out of a DIY wooden frame and fire bowl. For those who are less handy, ready-made fire pits cost anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars. Small, stove-type fire pits that you can pick up and move wherever you like are relatively inexpensive. Fire pits that are built directly into your patio, hardscape, or backyard can get pricey.
4. Make It Comfortable: Add Cozy Seating
Easy yard landscaping ideas are more straightforward than you might think. For example, if you want to make your backyard more inviting and welcoming, one thing is perfectly obvious: you need a comfortable place to sit. Spruce up your backyard with a comfy outside seating area. What does this look like?
The specifics are up to you. Tailor your seating area to your tastes. For example, if you want to bring a bit of the outdoors in, consider building a semi-enclosed seating area with cushy, plush chairs, pillows, and an outdoor rug.
Turn a corner into the perfect getaway with built-in seating, cushions, and pillows. Add planters or a plant wall for a relaxing atmosphere that makes you feel at one with nature.
If you want to make a statement and set aside more room to sit, go antiquing until you find the perfect bench. If it looks a little rough around the edges, that’s okay. It is inexpensive and relatively simple to sand down antiques and give them a fresh coat of paint. Install the bench in a perfectly scenic spot, like under a towering rose bush or near a man-made pond.
5. Keep Your Lawn Looking Nice
Once again, easy yard landscaping ideas need not be complicated. One way to keep things simple but to markedly improve your lawn’s look and feel is to be hyper-vigilant about its maintenance. If your grass is turning brown and dying, or if your lawn is overgrown with weeds, it stands to reason that you will not want to spend any significant amount of time there. Reclaim your yard from under watering and accidental neglect. To do that:
- Hire a professional lawn keeping service. If your grass is turning brown, you already know that you do not have the time or knowledge to maintain a lush, green lawn. Let the professionals do it for you. Hire lawn spraying services to treat your lawn for pests and weeds. This will prevent noxious weeds from overtaking your yard, and it will stop harmful species from damaging healthy plants and grass.
- Get automatic sprinklers. Watering the backyard by hand can be a tedious and arduous task for anyone. Remembering to turn the sprinklers on day-after-day can also be bothersome. Get automatic sprinklers and program them to water the lawn at a specific time of day (early morning is usually best. Then sit back and let your automated system do the rest.
- Look for alternatives. If mowing your grass and otherwise maintaining your backyard is too much, consider looking into more sustainable alternatives that require less maintenance. Alternatives like ornamental grass, native lawns, or artificial turf require no mowing and very little to no watering.
6. Treat Your Lawn For Harmful Pests
Keep easy yard landscaping ideas practical and useful. One way to spruce up your backyard and make it an infinitely better place to be is to rid it of harmful and irritating pests.
To start the process, keep it intuitive. Answer the question, “What pests are interfering with your enjoyment of your home?” If your backyard is teeming with mosquitos and ants, for example, chances are you will not want to eat or entertain there. To get mosquitos away from your home, look for any sources of standing water and do whatever you can to eliminate them. Change any pet bowls and birdbaths frequently, and make sure your gutters are free of debris and properly drawing water away from your home. Use large, oscillating fans above patios and dining areas (mosquitos are not strong enough to fly against the fan), burn candles, and plant herbs that naturally repel them, like basil. Talk to a professional about ant removal.
For any other pests that are making your backyard a less pleasant place to be, contact residential pest control services and discuss your options.
7. Set The Right Backdrop: Take Care Of Your Home, Too!
Easy yard landscaping ideas are not self-contained. In other words, if the exterior of your home is a serious eyesore, it often does not matter if your backyard is comfortable and inviting. An ugly home looming in the background will ruin it. That means, when you tackle easy yard landscaping ideas to spruce up your backyard, do some maintenance on the exterior of your home and around your home, too. That may include:
- Applying a fresh layer of exterior paint. If the paint on the exterior of your home is hopelessly filthy, peeling, or curling up at the edges, it’s time to do something about it. A fresh layer of paint can work wonders, allowing you to change things up if you wish.
- Power washing surfaces. A patio, fence, or surface thick with brown, black, or green residue does not look particularly inviting. Rent a power washer to blast stains away and make your patio and pathways look like new.
- Installing gutters. Gutter installation keeps water draining away from your home, preventing unsightly cracks and fissures in your home’s exterior. Plus, gutters safeguard your home from more serious water damage over time.
- Investing in residential fencing services. Finally, you may be most inclined to spend more time outdoors if you can do it with a certain degree of privacy. Contact residential fencing services about installing a sturdy privacy fence. That way, you will be able to do whatever you like in your backyard, whether that means concentrating on work or inviting a few friends or family members over to share a meal.
Are you spending more time in your backyard than ever before? You’re not alone! Make the most of your time there, and make certain that you truly relax and enjoy it. Follow these easy yard landscaping ideas to beautify your lawn in time for spring.