Last weekend, my husband and sons landscaped our front yard. It took them an hour or so to weed, rake, and apply fresh mulch.
While it certainly did not yield the professional results of my favorite landscaping contractor, it saved us a ton of money and gave our yard that lovely, ready-for-spring look.
I also loved that it was a family project that we were able to do together and reap the benefits of an hour’s worth of time.
As I type this, I will also tell you that unlike some other members of my family, who have been blessed with much greener thumbs than I will ever hope to possess, outdoor landscaping is not exactly at the top of my favorite things to do list.
I tell you this to instill hope that even if you may have the blackest thumb, you can find ways to make your outdoor areas as lovely as those that you envy as you drive through your own neighborhood!
• Green Your Yard: By this time in just a few months, my beautiful green yard will be a lovely shade of tan, all from the high heat of the summer sun.
If you want to avoid installing sprinkler systems or watering your yard each night, try installing a rain barrel to your gutters.
Connect the rain barrel with a gravity fed drip line that you can line around your plants and you will water your lawn and plants every time it rains!
The bonus? There’s no more swamped areas where your gutters pool water.
Talk about a win, win!
• How Does Your Garden Grow? Are you envying your neighbor’s surplus of tomatoes and fresh herbs but lack the patience or knowledge to grow your own stash of veggies?
Whether you’re looking to expand your garden without taking up horizontal space or searching for small backyard ideas, wall planters are terrific for changing your outdoor area on a budget.
You can try a container garden with your favorite herbs or a tomato cage this is a minimal investment that could help you build your skills and confidence with all things green!
Your favorite local greenhouse or garden center likely has all that you need to get started and those folks can give you tips and tricks to get you started.
If you are handy with a hammer and nails, why not build your own container garden for your kitchen window or back porch?
You can drill plastic planter boxes or pots into a wooden pallet to place against your house.
For those not-so-handy folks (like yours truly), your local Tractor Supply store is sure to have a pre-made one that will work just fine. I can tell you that nothing beats clipping fresh basil and dill from my herb garden to integrate into my dinner recipes!
• Upgrade your Backyard: I am always amazed at the folks who take DIY projects to the next level like those who can install pavers and fountains over a weekend as if they were professionals!
While I don’t possess the savvy or the budget to do some of those magazine worthy projects, I have found ways to use my simple decorating style to add some zen to our backyard areas.
If you are looking for ways to de-clutter or spruce up your own backyard space, consider a few small touches. Simple additions such as a few pieces of patio furniture, solar twinkle lights and an outdoor speaker can truly transform a small outdoor space into a lovely backyard retreat.
If reading is your jam, put in a small hammock with an overhead umbrella next to a fountain for the picture of outdoor solitude!
Have a deck or pavers in need of some TLC but don’t have the time or expertise to tackle it?
Invest in a fun outdoor carpet that will add a pop of color and give you a new way to view your outdoor seating areas!
• Easy Curb Appeal: While I could go on and on about the many ways to turn your backyard area into a home oasis, don’t forget the appeal of that front yard!
Plant some bright flowers or purchase colorful hanging baskets for an instant and easy pop of cheer.
If you feel like your house is looking a little dull and don’t have the budget for new shutters or siding, consider painting just your front door.
You will be amazed at what that new shade of color can do for the rest of the interior!
Add some fun seating I am a sucker for a lovely white Adirondack chair or two and you will make your home look and feel as cozy as can be!
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)