When it comes to landscaping a backyard, homeowners have many options. However, many landscaping features can carry a hefty price tag and require professional installation. For homeowners on a budget, simple, do-it-yourself projects for beautifying a backyard are a better option. There are several easy ways to improve the look of your yard without breaking the bank or hiring a landscape architect.
Fountains as Focal Points
For a dramatic addition to your backyard, consider adding a fountain. While custom-made or larger models are usually quite expensive, smaller, less expensive fountain kits are available at many garden supply or home improvement stores. Purchasing a kit is a great idea for do-it-yourself project because all the necessary supplies are included and instructions are provided to guide you through the installation. To create an attractive focal point, add a fountain to the center of your backyard. If your yard features a garden, you may want to place your fountain in an area where it will be surrounded by flowers. Bird enthusiasts may find a small backyard fountain an ideal landscaping option because the sound of the running water usually attracts birds.
Gardens to Rock Your World
One of the most economical and easy-to-create backyard landscaping options is a rock garden. Traditionally, rock gardens are incorporated in Asian-inspired Zen gardens and are an ideal spot to sit and think. Designate an area of the yard for your rock garden. A shaded spot usually works best. Purchase several bags of gravel from your local garden supply or home improvement store to cover the area. Use large rocks to create a path or pattern across the gravel. To save money, look around your yard for rocks that can serve this purpose or ask friends or family if there are any rocks on their property that they might donate to your garden. If there is a little extra money in your budget, consider adding a bench to the area. You may also want to add some small decorative shrubs to the garden for a more authentic look if your budget allows.
Put a Plant in It
An easy way to add color to your backyard without incurring the expense of creating a full-fledged garden is to build your own planters. You can place the planters against your home or garage or set them up throughout the yard. Filled with inexpensive flowers such as annual marigolds (Tagetes patula) or geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11), they can provide a bold pop of color in an otherwise drab yard. For extra savings, plant seeds in your planters instead of starter plants. When it comes to building materials for your planters, pallet wood is an inexpensive option but you can also re-purpose wood that you may have in your garage or basement. Paint the boxes a bright color to match or contrast with the flowers that you have chosen for planting.
Shrubbery as Fencing
When you are on a budget, the cost of privacy fencing for your backyard may be too high. However, blocking your yard from the view of neighbors and passersby may be an important element in your ideal backyard design. For a more budget-friendly, do-it-yourself version of privacy fencing, use shrubs to create a border around the perimeter of your backyard. Several types of shrubs are effective as privacy hedges including bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) for USDA plant hardiness zones 3 tthrough 7; American holly (Ilex opaca) for USDA zones 5 through 9; and purple anise (Illicium floridanum) for USDA zones 7 through 10..