9 Genius Ways to Create a Backyard Paradise

One of my favorite things about my backyard is the amazing water feature we have. It’s a waterfall type feature, and it’s the best. Not only does it bring birds and other gorgeous animals, but the sounds are so relaxing. I could just go back there and fall asleep right next to my water feature.

If you like to entertain guests, then hanging lights are an absolute must for your backyard. There are so many different types and ideas, but they all look good. I love the Edison bulbs because the give your patio or porch a nice rustic look that feels really homey and cozy.

Add some light and get rid of bugs by installing some mosquito-repelling tiki torches. You can make your own or buy them from the store. They easily install to the walls (or you can get tall standing ones), and help repel bugs from biting you and your guests.

One of the biggest kills to having a backyard paradise is the outdoor furniture. If you have those dinky plastic chairs, then you definitely will NOT be in paradise. It’s time to get rid of that furniture and get some nice and comfy stuff. You can still spruce up your backyard without breaking the bank.

A little garden pathway is a great visual element, but it’s also fantastic for getting around more easily. Build those gorgeous curling pathways that make you feel like you’re in an 18th century English manor or something. There are lots of different types and materials you can use to build a pathway in your own backyard.

Make sure you have a relaxing area that you can go to in order to get away from the everyday stresses of life. Mine includes a cute little pillow hammock that I can sit in to just breathe! My kids know not to bother me there, and my husband knows it keeps me sane. 🙂

For those of you who plan on using your outdoor space as much as possible in the warm months, you may want to build an outdoor kitchen. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a nice little sink, oven/stove area, and maybe even a small fridge can save you a lot of time and hassle. Plus, it’ll stop you from having to go inside all the time, which can help with the AC bill.

Divide out your yard (if it’s big enough) to make cute distinct zones. You can use privacy hedges, picket fences, or any other type of material. This is a great idea if you tend to have adults and kids in the yard at once. Areas can be divided between the two ages while existing together at the same time.

This may seem silly, but place some greenery on your patio and porch to make it feel even more comfortable. I know you probably have greenery in your yard and garden, but if you don’t have any on the porch, it will feel like a stark divide between urban and nature. By adding some potted plants and shrubs to the patio, you help blend the two together.

10 of the Most Gorgeous Backyard Waterfall DIY Projects

This waterfall is a combination of a small stream and a waterfall, actually. This is nice because you can get both features in one build. It also imitates the downhill aspect of a waterfall and stream, which I really like. It makes the water feature seem more natural and in the right spot.

If you don’t have much space to work with but still want a waterfall, try an isolated pond. There won’t be much room to sit around the waterfall, but it still looks good and gets that nice relaxing sound we all love. This works well on the side of the house or in a small yard.

My favorite part about this is the log that comes over the top. It makes it feel like a really naturally-occurring waterfall. Not all water features have to seem like they’d really be found in nature, but this one does a great job of that. It proves you can make your own waterfall and still have it look natural.

I look at this waterfall and I just think “Zen.” It seems so calm and relaxing to me. I can almost smell the cool air and feel the water lightly splash against my feet. If you need a place to relax and unwind, this is definitely the waterfall to build.

This high-tiered waterfall is very elegant and classy. It takes a bit more know-how to build, but don’t let that intimidate you! The rocky border around the edges of the waterfall really helps complete the whole experience and look.

This lily pond waterfall feature reminds me of the sprawling backyard of an English cottage. It just seems so cute and quaint. This would be my choice if I was going for a water feature I could spend time with my friends around.

Just because you have a small backyard or garden doesn’t mean you can’t have a waterfall. This one is really small, but it still gets the job done. The waterfall may be tiny, but the grass and greenery around it make the who feature perfect.

A central and elevated waterfall is great for a large yard or garden. It can be seen from the entire space, and the water creates a unifying element to the lawn. Not only that, but the sound of the rushing water will be great background noise for fantastic dinner conversation, I’m sure!

Here’s a waterfall idea that’s a bit more modern and fun! It’s a bamboo structure where the water falls out of the top. It’s not a natural-looking waterfall, but I still love it. The bamboo really makes it look nice.

Dryer and browner climates can try this waterfall that builds on a rock foundation. There’s not much greenery required to spruce up the area, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance and upkeep. But the water feature is still astounding.

How to DIY a Pergola and Save Thousands!

A pergola is a great addition to any yard, but it can be expensive to have one built. But if you do it yourself, then you can save thousands of dollars, as long as you know how to do it. The follow guide was brought to us by our friends at Popular Mechanics. Enjoy!

First, you want to place the posts and tightly secure the anchors into the ground so that the pergola is strong and sturdy. There are a few different ways to do this (and different materials you can try out), but the anchor is vital in order to have a safe pergola. Once the anchors are secure, place the support beams in them and attach securely.

After the posts are in, it’s time to attach the safety beams. These keep the posts securely in place and prevent them from toppling over in high winds or other inclement weather or sudden movement. Make sure the support beams are even and flush with one another so that the pergola is straight all the way through.

Next are the crossbeams for added support and a nice aesthetic appeal. If you’re handy with a saw, and want a nice look, curve the ends so that you don’t just have a straight piece of wood sticking out.  Attach the other trim and braces around your pergola for maximum security and appeal.

Now it’s time to fit the slats into the top of the pergola to get that rustic and charming look that you’re probably going for. Make sure the slats are screw tightly to the frame in order to prevent them from falling out or breaking off.

Lastly, you can cap the posts to give the pergola a more finished look. This isn’t necessary, but I like it because it makes it look more elegant and professional. Go ahead and paint or decorate the pergola however you want. You’re all finished!

12 Amazing Pathways for Your Yard and Garden

Don’t spend any money and make this pathway out of an old garden pallet. You can use the slabs of wood for the steps to create a boardwalk in your yard. Paint and coat the wood if you want them to last longer or look a different color.

This log slices pathway is incredibly gorgeous. I love the texture it creates while also adding color and depth to the yard. For a rustic look, this is definitely the path to choose.

Flagstone is a common pathway for your yard. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Flagstone looks great in nearly any backyard, and the options are limitless.

Brick is one of my favorite types of pathways. You can choose any design you like, and it will always look classy. These brick paths remind me of simpler times. The color contrasts with the grass and greenery for a dazzling effect.

Lay in some diamond-shaped stones to add a unique touch to your yard. They work well for getting around without being your bland and boring pathway. The diamond-shape really gives the yard some personality.

This moss-and-stone pathway is just so fun. It reminds me of those old cottages you see in Ireland and Scotland. It provides a sense of privacy and intimacy that the other pathways just can’t offer.

Make your own mosaic pathway for a really fun DIY project. You can even get your kids involved, if you wanted. The mosaic can be as simple or complex as you’d like; it’s your choice!

Don’t underestimate the simple elegance of a gravel pathway with raised edge. The border is necessary because it prevents the gravel from spreading out, but it also gives the path a really crisp and clean look. Choose colors that complement each other well.

Stepping stones are a classic approach to your garden pathway. There are lots of options and ideas, even DIY ones, so your possibilities are endless. Combine them with soft grass to get a pathway everyone will love using.

I think this inverse path is such a genius idea! It just is so cute and quaint. You have the grass be the pathway and then the stones and other features be the sight to see. Isn’t that fun?

Go for a more modern feel with this pebbles and rectangular stepping stones idea. This is especially good in hot climate areas where grass is too hard to grow and maintain. You can do it anywhere you want, though.

If you have a hill in your yard or a slope that needs a pathway, try this. It’s a simple and rustic idea that gets the job done. These wooden stairs combine with the stone/rock steps to create a beautiful scene in your yard.

15 Gorgeous Fences for Your Garden

Be environmentally friendly and use recycled wood to make your garden fence. It doesn’t have to be gross wood that’s falling apart, though. You can find some really good wood in garden pallets and other sources.

A privacy hedge is a clever way to add a boundary to your wall without introducing any non-natural elements. You can use small hedges, tall trees, or any combination you’d like. Privacy hedges keep your yard green but also give you the border you want.

You can’t mention a garden fence without bringing up a picket fence. You could even go for the classic white picket fence. It’s up to you. But they all look great.

Bamboo is an interesting, fun, and really effective material to use for a garden fence. This doesn’t do much to keep out pests (unless you connect the bamboo posts), but it is a great decorative fence. Put the posts in at varying heights.

Wattle fences are super adorable. And they remind me of an English cottage from a Jane Austen novel or something. They vary in difficulty to make, depending on the type and complexity you want, so keep that in mind.

You could also just make a generically rustic fence. Get the right posts with the perfect amount of distress and then add some ivy or other vines. Before you know it, you’ll have a fence that looks like it’s been there for ages!

Wood and brick fences, in my opinion, are some of the cutest out there. They remind me of old, colonial America and how quaint everything was back then. You can use actual bricks or just a veneer. It’s up to you.

For a more modern feel, try corrugated metal panels. They can be placed vertically or horizontally, so keep that in mind. This provides a great combination of natural and urban for a fun and unique yard.

I feel like I’ve started seeing a lot of these fence types around my neighborhood and city. Gabion walls use metal cages that are filled with some sort of material. I like river rocks or other stone because they look the best.

Get creative and use old window shutters or doors to make a fence for your garden. Distress the texture a bit to give it that worn-down look that really adds to the garden. I particularly like the pop of color and style these can add to a garden.

Make this really cool and modern steel fence. As with some of the other styles, it doesn’t keep everything out, but the design is phenomenal. This curved layout helps accentuate the best parts of the metal, I think.

Vinyl fences are a lot like picket fences, but they’re much easier to maintain. They last longer in bad weather and don’t require as much upkeep while still giving you that quaint charm you want.

Why not use some concrete to make a garden fence? It’s easy enough to do, and the concrete can accentuate the natural elements of the garden. This could be a great option for you.

This boundary is made out of Massachusetts Goshen stone. It’s beautiful, fits great together, and blends seamlessly with the garden or yard. It may require a bit more time and money than other projects, but I think it’s worth it.

Wire mesh is a simple yet effective solution if you want a garden fence. If you want one to keep out animals, then this is your answer. It takes less than a day to put up and it will protect your plants.

10 Cute and Easy DIY Fences

You guys, I can never get over how cute a good ol’ fashioned picket fence is. Don’t they just remind you of a simpler time? I love how they so neatly border the whole yard and garden, creating your own little piece of paradise.

Vinyl is another suggestion that’s just as fancy as a picket without so much upkeep. The material makes it really weather-resistant and strong. You can even get kits and materials that are super easy to install.

If you already have a fence but want to add a little something to it, try this. Drill small holes and fill them with marbles. When the light hits them just right, they cast an amazing rainbow of colors on your yard. They’re beautiful to look at.

I’ve always loved shutters, so being able to use them as a fence is perfect! You’ll need shutters tall and strong enough to actually make a fence, but it shouldn’t be too hard. The combination of colors and textures adds such a fun aspect to any yard.

If you want a classy and elegant fence, then look no further. A wrought iron fence is exactly what you need. It’s crisp, clean, and creates an amazing ambiance for your yard. You can’t go wrong with a wrought iron fence.

Add a touch of unique personality to your yard with a bamboo fence. There are quite a few ways to do this, actually, so choose which style is your favorite. You can have just sticks of bamboo, walls of bamboo, or anything in between. You’ll be surprised at how effective and cute this fence is.

For those on a budget, consider a upcycled pallet fence. You just take the strips of wood from old garden pallets, paint them, and create a fence. You’ll just need to get the posts and longboards, but that’s not hard at all. Or you could use the full pallet to make the fence. There are lots of options.

I have a friend who collects doors. I know, weird, right? But I saw this idea and immediately thought of her. A door fence is actually so cute! I love it. Now I may start collecting doors until I have enough to build my own one of these.

I saw this idea and thought it was so fun! All you have to do is paint your fence white and then hang small planks of black wood. It looks like a piano! If you and your family love music, then this is such a clever idea for a fence.

Add some class and style to your backyard with this gabion fence. It’s definitely more work than a lot of the others (plus more money), but it’s so worth it. A gabion fence is effective, gorgeous, and will last for a long time.

10 of the Fastest Growing Shade Trees for Your Yard

Northern Red Oak. This tree prefers soil that is moist, well-drained, and acidic. When possible, plant it somewhere it can get full sunlight. When in ideal locations, this tree can grow up to 75 feet tall, providing your home with plenty of shade.

Freeman Maple. This tree is very well known for its amazing fall colors. It grows best in zones 4-7, so just remember that. At its best, this tree will be around 80 feet high and nearly 50 feet wide. Not too shabby for a fast-growing tree.

Tulip Trees. Known for their flowers, this tree is anything but small and delicate. Tulip trees need a LOT of space to grow, so they’re not meant for a small yard. Avoid planting them near patios; it needs an open yard to be truly appreciated. You can definitely dine or hang out underneath it, though.

Leyland Cypress Tree. Something I like about this tree is that it can be used for shade or as a privacy fence. Many owners will use it for both. It grows best in zones 6-10, but it can also survive in zone 5 if you know what you’re doing.

Green Vase Zelkova. I love the shape of this tree. The way it arches up and out is mesmerizing. It can get up to 70 feet high and nearly 45 feet wide. Plant this tree in full sun, but it can survive in a variety of soils. The leaves are great colors, ranging from dark green to maroon. It’s also a pretty hardy tree, which is great.

Royal Empress. Once this tree gets full grown, you’ll know why it’s called a Royal Empress. The purple leaves are incredibly majestic, but they also provide some great shade. Make sure you want such a unique tree in your yard before you plant it.

River Birch. If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that birch trees are my favorite. I just love their bark and the sound they make in the wind. River Birch is no exception, with great bark and fantastic foliage, especially in the fall. If you plant this, just keep it away from septic tanks.

Sawtooth Oak. This is one of many oak trees that are fast-growing and great for shade. In fact, most oak trees can be planted, but I like this one in particular. It grows fast, and it thrives best in zones 5-9.

Weeping Willow. You can’t talk about shade trees without mentioning the famous Weeping Willow. It can grow anywhere from 3 to 8 feet a year. Fantastic! While it grows best near water, some newer hybrids can thrive in other places as well.

American Sycamore. This gorgeous tree can grow up to 6 feet in one year. If you’re looking for a fast-growing tree to give you as much shade as possible, then this is the tree for you.

5 Tips for Growing Japanese Maples

If you’re planting a Japanese Maple for the first time, plant near the beginning of fall. Ideally, you’ll plant it about a month before the ground begins to freeze. This gives it time to grow and spread its root system out. Place about 3 inches of mulch around the tree and remember to water it well during the winter.

Japanese Maples don’t always need an annual pruning, but if you do give it one, it’s best in the late summer or early autumn. You’ll get the best results at this time of year. But again, it may not be necessary. Inspect the tree during this season, and only prune if there are too many branches, crossed branches, or any other issues.

Keep the Japanese Maple happy by planting it in well-drained and consistently moist soil. If not, you run the risk of exposing it to fungus and other diseases. You could also add compost to the soil before planting so the tree gets as much nutrients as possible.

There are actually quite a variety of sun/shade combinations that Japanese Maples can grow in. That being said, they thrive best in partially shady spots. Full sun can scorch the leaves, but not enough sun can decrease how beautiful the foliage becomes. Plant it somewhere it gets some nice relaxing afternoon or evening shade.

One of the downfalls of Japanese Maples is the sensitivity of their foliage. The leaves can easily fall off if exposed to too much wind. Because the leaves are a key component of the tree, make sure it’s planted somewhere with wind protection. You don’t want a barren tree all year long!

10 Amazing Rock Pathway Ideas for Your Yard

Use some upcycled slabs of wood and some rock to make a gorgeous pathway for your yard. The wood adds an extra dimension to the rock path and really brings the whole thing together. You could use wood from old pallets for this idea.

I like combining shapes, and this is a fun idea. Use large square stepping stones with smaller, round stones. The play between the color of the rocks as well as the shapes is awesome. I prefer rounded square stepping stones, but you can choose the type you like best.

Flagstone is another great way to use different sizes of rocks. The flagstone is nice because it has a more natural look. Put rocks between the flagstone or use something else like mulch.

Be creative and make a geometric pattern for your rock path. You can choose any geometric style, but a solid crisscross usually works well. I would suggest using two colors of stones (three at THE most), because it can get a bit too intense after that.

Have fun and stencil or paint the stepping stones that you want to put in your yard. This is a great idea if you have little kids that need some fun projects for the summer. Choose a simple design with simple colors to make the best stones.

Customize the stones you use in your rock path to get a really unique and one-of-a-kind yard. I really like these lace stepping stones because they’re so delicate looking but really strong. They also remind me of dragonflies, which I like.

If you’re going for a sea and beach theme, then these ocean-inspired stepping stones are for you! You can even get your kids to help by collecting seashells, sand dollars, and other similar objects.

A gravel rock path with a simple border is an awesome idea. You can choose from many types of gravel (color, size, etc.), so choose the one that goes the best with the rest of your yard. Also, make the border a strong part of the path and not just a lame sidepiece.

Decorative stepping stones are a fun way to bring a rock feature to your pathway without overloading. You can either make your own with a cement cast DIY or just buy ones that you really like. The choice is yours!

Did you ever think about using old broken plates and bottles to make stepping stones? Much like the idea above, this requires you doing a DIY project, but that should be fun! The plate pieces can be a nice way to recycle what you can’t use anymore.



12 Projects to Instantly Approve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

When a new guest is looking for your home, the first thing they’ll see is the house numbers. So you want to make sure yours are crisp, clean, and looking good. Replace them, if need be, to get bigger and more visible ones that also increase curb appeal.

You need to paint something in order to make your home look better. It could be the entire house, the front door and its trim, or maybe just the shutters. Or all three! New paint will make your house look newer, which will increase its curb appeal.

Improve the lawn by planting flowers or adding flower boxes to your windows. Everybody loves a good flower garden, and they will increase your curb appeal. Plant flowers in season that are colorful and bright. Depending on your skill level, you may want flowers that are hardy and easier to take care of.

You could also consider adding decorative hedges to your yard. These can take a boring yard and turn it into a fancy-looking cottage replica. Usually hedges look best bordering your home, the yard, or a path. Choose their placement and go for it.

Believe it or not, the garage door can say a lot about your home. If you don’t have the time or money to replace the whole thing, try this. Just paint a faux carriage design on your existing door. It looks great, and you can’t even tell its fake from a distance.

At night, the first thing anyone is going to notice is your lighting. If its old, rundown, and ugly, then your home will look terrible. Go out and buy some new light fixtures and light bulbs so that your home is bathed in soft, cozy lighting.

If you have the space, add some really comfortable front porch furniture. Not only can you and your guests spend time out there, but it also looks good when people come over. It makes your home feel very inviting and welcoming.

A lot of newer homes don’t have stand-alone mailboxes, but if yours does, then you probably want to update it. Don’t just have a dingy and boring mailbox, but really make it something fancy. Honestly, you could even place a fake one just for decorative purposes if you wanted to.

Something that a lot of homeowners don’t realize is that you want your front door to have symmetry. If not, it can look off-putting and awkward. All you need to do is use identical decorations on each side of the door so that it’s even. It’s not too hard, and it makes a huge difference.

If you can, add an arbor or some sort of arbor gate to your yard. It gives you extra privacy and security, but it also makes your home look fancier. By setting it apart from the sidewalk and road, your house will have an air of importance and grandeur that people will notice.

For yards with pathways, update and improve it right now. There’s always something you can do. It may be to replace the entire pathway, or you could just get pavers to line the current pathway. Whatever you choose, pathways can always look better.

Add some tile or even faux tile to your ugly concrete entryway, and you will realize how much of a difference it makes. Tile looks a thousand times better than bland concrete, and you can even have it complement your house so that the color scheme all works together.