Looking to add a special touch to your yard beyond having a lawn? The land around your house may be your children’s playground or a frequent gathering spot for friends and family. Maybe it’s your personal refuge for relaxation. No matter how you want to use it, though, you might feel the call to add some special touches to it.
Your yard is like a blank canvas and offers so many ways to add decorative elements. Lighting, planters, furniture, and many other new or recycled items can add character and warmth. Here we’ll lay out some basic ideas but the only limit is your imagination, and the only guide your own personal style!
Lighting It Up
Lights might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of decorating outdoors. You might think of it more as a space you’re inclined to use during daylight hours. But adding the right lights is not just functional; it’s also a key part of your design. And it opens up more hours of the day to enjoy the outdoors!
There are many options for outdoor lighting. Whether you go with string lights, lights on posts, torches, lanterns, or some other options, you’ll be adding a thing of beauty to your yard. The light itself is part of the ambiance.
Intensity is one factor to consider. Softer light creates a more relaxed and peaceful feel. Brighter lights, though, can serve for a more open environment.
You can also choose the color of your lights. Of course, there are clear glass bulbs or coated ones that soften the light. But you can also choose colored bulbs that create entirely different environments.
Where you hang the lights also makes a huge difference. Hung in trees, on trellises, or wrapped around posts can lead to intriguing interplays of light and shadow.
The light fixtures themselves also play a huge role. You can find options that run the gamut from rustic to modern and everything in between.
Decorating the Fence
If you have a fence around your yard, it can be a great place to add decorations, too. All you have to do is consider it a wall.
Fences are great for hanging decorations. There are so many options available commercially, but there are also wonderful DIY ideas.
You can choose something seasonal, like a harvest theme. Hanging dried corn stalks or leaning them against the fence is a great idea. Or you can attach planters to the fence, either by constructing shelves or adding hangers.
Depending on the type of fence you have, you might even paint it. It could be as simple as differently-colored stripes, or as complex as a mural. Of course, whether that’s a DIY project or not really depends on your skill!
In short, though, a fence is not just functional. You can liven it up by adding color and life to it to make it a work of art.
Recycling Old Items
Not everything you decorate with has to be new, either. There are tons of wonderful ideas that you can make with items you already have around the house or shed or can find at the junkyard.
An old wheelbarrow, for instance, can easily become part of the decorations. Prop it up on its front end alongside your garden. Or even make it into a planter – it could look great with hanging plants falling down over its edges, or with flowers inside. Prop up a beat-up rake and shovel against the side to add to the effect.
Another favorite idea is getting a rain barrel. This could be filled with soil and made a planter, too. Or with some work, it could even become a fountain.
Old tires can be used as the base for an eco-friendly couch or chair. Stacked two high and three in a row, they’ll just need a bit more material to turn them into a great place to sit and enjoy.
If you weld, there are so many options for reusing old scraps. For instance, three old lawnmower blades could easily be turned into a dragonfly – one for the body, and two for the wings!
Adding Planters Around the Yard
You’ve already put a lot into gardening, but adding more plants also means adding more life and color to the yard. And containers or planters are a great way to do that!
We already mentioned rain barrels and wheelbarrows as great flower pots, but we skipped over using recycled tires. Paint them or cover them to improve the looks, if you like; but the form itself is fantastic. Old garden buckets also look great with flowers growing out of them!
Placing large planters at the corners or as a centerpiece on your patio helps bring depth to the space. If you have steps, smaller pots go well along the edges. Low walls are another great place to set them.
Attaching them to walls or the fence, as we mentioned, is another great idea. Even small planters incorporated into these structures can hold beautiful air plants (Tillandsia) that pulls their nutrients from the air rather than soil.
Another wonderful way to add beauty to your yard is with a great water feature. These can be of any size and practically any shape, from a small fountain on a table to a pond or stream.
Water in itself brings a sense of peace, whether it is a smooth reflective surface or gentle flowing or bubbling. But it can also attract more beauty to your yard in the form of small animals like frogs, salamanders, turtles, dragonflies, and more. It can become a visiting place for many species of birds looking to refresh themselves. If you’re fortunate, you may even have visits from deer, foxes, or other animals coming for a sip.
Ponds, fountains, waterfalls, streams, and other types of water features can all be designed to blend in with your architecture and the surroundings. Even a birdbath can look great and attract beautiful feathered friends!
Gardens and Pathways
Gardens are another beautiful feature for your yard. Beautiful flower beds can brighten up the place. They also attract butterflies and help provide food for bees.
Vegetable gardens serve a more practical purpose. It’s wonderful to watch the whole process as they produce food for your table. Maybe there will even be enough to share with family and friends.
Taking care of a garden does call for a lot of work, but many people also find it relaxing. It can be a great way to spend a weekend morning.
Of course, you’ll also want a fantastic way to move around your yard without wearing a path in the grass. Designing paths and walkways helps preserve your grass but also becomes a design element in its own right. Whether you choose gravel, flagstone, cement, or some other material, you’ll also have to consider the layout. That means looking at the route it takes, the angles it follows, and what other elements of your garden it will visit.
Your yard allows you to add a huge variety of decorative elements with your taste as your only guide. From plants and water to pathways and lighting, there are infinite options to help you create the yard you’ve always dreamed of.