3 tips to improve your backyard

October 15, 2014

Backyard got the blahs? Here are quick, easy, and cheap landscaping ideas to spruce up your outdoor living space.

3 tips to improve your backyard

Landscaping tips

You’ve got a backyard, but never use it because it just isn’t inviting enough. Well, it’s time to change that with three quick, easy and cheap landscaping tips that will instantly improve the look of your outdoor space.

1. Mulch is your new best friend

Mulch. Say it with me. MULCH! Mulch is about to rock your backyard.

  • If you have exposed soil and no grass to speak of, lay down coloured bark mulch and it will instantly brighten the yard.
  • Add mulch to your flowerbeds, and it will block weeds and hold in much-needed moisture and nutrients for your plants.

Bark mulch is usually red, brown or black and can be purchased from most nurseries or home centres.

  • Be sure to measure the square footage of your yard (by multiplying length by width).
  • Bring a calculator to the store to figure out how many bags of mulch you’ll need. The bags conveniently have the math printed on them.
  • The large plastic bags often rip, so ask the nursery if you can get a discount on their damaged bags.

2. Flower power

Adding annual and perennial flower plants to your yard will add a pop of colour and help draw the eye to areas you want to accentuate.

  • Buy them when they’re already blooming and you’ve got instant yard appeal.
  • Be sure to scope out your yard to see which areas get the most sun.
  • For full sun areas, marigolds are a colourful burst of orange and yellows.
  • For partial sun areas, begonias are low maintenance and really just need water and light shade.

3. Thick as a brick

Section off parts of your yard for flower beds using simple, inexpensive bricks. You can easily find them for cheap/free online, and they're available for purchase at most home centres.

  • You can lay the bricks flat or on their side for more height.
  • For some stability, dig a shallow trough for them to sit in, or use a rubber mallet to secure them into the ground.
  • If you want to draw more attention there, stack a second layer of bricks on top for added height (which will also help keep your mulch in place). Be sure to alternate bricks so they’re not stacked directly on top of each other.
  • They are usually heavy enough that you don’t need to use an adhesive.

Cinder blocks

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, find some cinder blocks and paint them bright, pretty colours.

Larger cinder blocks can make great table bases or foot rests. Or, use them in the garden and plant flowers in the holes.

Transforming your backyard into a lovely retreat

Using just mulch, bricks and flowers in bloom, you can transform a drab backyard into a lovely retreat without emptying your wallet.

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