Category Archives: Yard Ideas

7 Ways to Rid Your Yard of Wasps

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The best way to deal with wasps is to prevent them from coming into your home and yard in the first place. While you can’t keep every single one out, you can take a few cautionary steps to prevent hordes of them. Cover up your trash cans and remove any food or food spills that may be outside. Also cover up all the crevices that you are able to find. Without something to attract them and a place to build their hive, wasps will not frequent your yard as much.

I discovered recently that wasps are apparently very territorial. They don’t like it when other colonies get in their way. And they won’t get in in the way of other colonies. Use this to your advantage and hang up decoy wasp nests around your yard. The wasps will see them, think they’re real, and build somewhere else.

A natural way to repel wasps is to grow plants that they can’t stand. This is especially important if you have plants and flowers in your yard that attract wasps. Put plants like spearmint, citronella, and eucalyptus between the others so that wasps will tend to avoid your yard and garden.

Wasps not only hate peppermint plants, they also just hate the smell of peppermint in general. So take some peppermint oil and pour it on cotton balls. Then leave the cotton balls around your home and yard. Place them in spots such as near windows and eaves, by outdoor dining tables, etc. Refill or replace them as necessary.

Make a wasp trap with a 2-liter bottle. Cut the top third of it off, remove the lid, and place the top upside down in the bottom part. Duct tape it so the top is secure and then pour about an inch of equal parts beer and water. The wasps are attracted to it, fly into the bottle, but can’t get out and eventually drown.

You can also use a large jar as a trap. Drill a hole into the lid big enough for a wasp and pour in the mixture above or a cup of apple cider vinegar, a cup of water, half a cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Spread jelly on the inside of the lid, screw the lid on, and the trap is set. This too will eventually attract, trap, and drown wasps.

If you want to take drastic measures and destroy the whole hive, here’s how. Just be careful and make sure you’re wearing long and thick clothes, just in case. Do this in the evening when all the wasps are back in the hive. Using a hose with really good water pressure, pour liquid dish soap over the nozzle and spray the hive really well. The soap sticks to the wasps and eventually dissolves their exoskeleton, killing them.

15 Gorgeous Fences for Your Garden

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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

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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.

9 Ingenious Ways to Hide Your House’s Ugly Foundation

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A super easy way to cover up your house’s foundation, and which may not require any extra money on your part, is to paint it. If you’ve recently painted your house, then just use the leftover paint to paint your foundation. If you do this well enough, the foundation may blend right in. If not, just choose a color that complements the color of your home.

Stone panels are a fancy and classy way to cover up the foundation. You can choose from quite a few different types, but they all look good. These stone panels look really nice and they don’t look like you’re just trying to hide your foundation; they act as a nice decorative piece to the exterior of your home.

One of my favorite ways to cover up an ugly foundation is by using flowers. Not only is the foundation hidden behind them, but the flowers add color and fragrance to your home and yard. And if you choose flowers the go well with the color of your house, even better!

If flowers are too colorful or too much work for you, you can still cover up the foundation with bushes. These usually don’t require as much work and maintenance, and they’re often taller too. Hiding really big and ugly foundations is pretty easy with bushes.

Add some stucco to your foundation to give it a bit more of a polished look. You’ll still be able to tell it’s the foundation to your home, but it won’t have that rundown, urban feel that most foundations do. Just remember, never power wash stucco, it can remove it.

I bet when you first looked at this, you couldn’t even tell there was a foundation. That’s because you can match the foundation to look like the rest of your house. This is especially easy of you have wooden runners or beams that you can simply extend.

A veneer is a common way to cover up a home’s foundation. It’s pretty cheap, looks good, and easy enough to apply. You can also choose from quite a variety of veneers, which makes this option even better.

For a more natural way to cover up your foundation, try using gravel or other stones. Your foundation can only be a few inches, at most, for this to work best, but it shouldn’t be a problem.

Lattice paneling is a common and beautiful way to cover up a home’s foundation. If you have a large exposed foundation, then this may be the choice for you. Simple white latticework is the best, I think, but you can do what you like the most.

10 of the Fastest Growing Shade Trees for Your Yard

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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

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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!

15 Incredible Ways to Update Your Yard This Summer

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Both kids and adults love playing or just sitting on a swing in the yard. You can make a swing out of pretty much anything you have. You could use a tire, an old kitchen chair, or even just a sturdy plastic ring. Hang the swing from a tree and people will use it.

You can’t have a great summer experience in your backyard without some fantastic lighting. Whether its string lights from the ceiling, wrapped lights around your trees, or tiki torches, backyard lighting is a must. Try a few different styles out (and mix and match if you want), until you find the perfect fit.

Build some sort of lawn game for you and your guests to enjoy this summer. You could do a full-on bowling alley in your yard or you could go for something smaller like giant Jenga. These activities will bring people to your yard and give them something fun to do.

Water features are some of my favorite things to have in a backyard. After a long and difficult day of work, I like to come home and just relax in the yard. The water feature adds great white noise as well as helps me calm down.

If you have a small backyard, add some mirrors to the fences. The mirrors will reflect the light and the yard, making your space look bigger than it actually is. This is a great trick to make a cramped yard feel much more open.

If you really want to entertain guests in your backyard, get a mini bar or bar cart! This saves you time by not having to go inside for drinks all the time, and it makes the backyard more fun. Plus, if it’s a cart, then you can just roll it over to you!

You can’t truly enjoy your backyard without some really nice backyard patio furniture. Get rid of those old and cheap plastic lawn chairs, and get something with a bit more umph. You’ll be more comfortable, your guests will want to stay longer, and you’ll just have a much better time in the backyard this summer.

Along with furniture, I highly suggest a fireplace or fire pit for your backyard. There’s just something about a fire pit that makes a backyard feel much more cozy and isolated. And you could even roasts marshmallows over the fire, which the kids (and adults) will love.

Spruce up your yard by hanging some artwork on the fences and walls. There’s no rule that says fences have to be ugly and boring. Choose some nature-resistant art that can hang up and that matches the rest of the décor in your patio.

Add some plants and other greenery to your patio. This will help the yard and the porch blend more seamlessly into one another, giving a much more tranquil and relaxed environment. You could even grow herbs on the patio for your cooking.

I love the idea of curling up with a nice book and reading out in the sunlight. An arbor bench is a great way to do this. They’re not too difficult to build, and they provide a fun and cozy reprise whenever you want to get away from the chaos of inside your home.

If you have a tiled porch, give this a try. Paint a few tiles fun and eccentric colors. Not all of them, but just a few. The colors add a touch of excitement and personality to the yard, which is always a plus.

Put up some sort of birdfeeder in your backyard. It adds decoration as well as brings the birds to the yard. You’ll love seeing hummingbirds and other cute birds flying up to your patio. It’s so relaxing!

If you have a pool, build your own towel rack to keep towels organized. I hate when my kids just throw their towels on the ground, so this has been a huge help. I just made one out of PVC pipe and it works great.

For those of you who like to garden, build a potting bench somewhere in your yard. These are nice because they give you a place to work on your plants without having to be bent over in the garden all the time. Trust me, you’ll love your potting bench right away.

12 Ways to Make the Backyard of Your Dreams

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No dreamscape backyard can be completed until you have a hammock or some sort of outdoor bed to hang in. I prefer a big, sturdy hammock with lots of comfy pillows and a few blankets to cuddle underneath. A hammock actually isn’t too hard to build, either, if you know what you’re doing.

If you add lighting to your backyard, then you’ll drastically extend the hours in which you can entertain guests. You’ll find limitless options for backyard lighting ideas online, so narrow it down to a few you might like. I enjoy Edison bulbs and string lights around my trees, but to each their own.

A fire pit will provide light, heat, and a place for you and your friends to gather. You can make it extra special with a s’mores cooking station that everyone can take advantage of. Even if you don’t do s’mores over the fire, a fire pit is still a great addition.

There are all kinds of backyard art that you can hang up and put around your yard. You could do a statue, some paintings on the fences, or even decorative stepping stones. Turn your backyard into an extension of your house by decorating it just as well as the inside of your home.

If your yard and garden are big enough, make a cozy little path that can wind through the area. I think brick is such a cute material for a path, but you can choose the best material for your home. You can even add little lights on the borders to make it even cozier.

Water features are a necessity in order to get the best backyard possible. The sweet and subtle trickle of water can calm me down in even my biggest of breakdowns, haha. But really, a small little waterfall or stream will do wonders for your yard.

If you really want to impress your guests, get some sort of outdoor bar. It could be built into your patio table, on a rolling cart, or just part of the outdoor kitchenette. Whatever you choose, the outdoor bar will make every night a fantastic getaway.

I saw this idea online a few weeks ago, and I absolutely love it! Oh my gosh; it’s great! I love the beach, so turning part of my backyard into a beach is a great idea. Your kids and guests are sure to love this idea, no doubt.

Turn your backyard into a quiet little haven, no matter the size, with a privacy area. There are multiple ways to create this effect, but I like a combination of privacy hedges, posts, and curtains. You’ll be surprised at how intimate this can make your own backyard feel.

Deck out your backyard by getting some really nice patio furniture to create a zen-like retreat. Ditch the uncomfortable and cheap seating, and go for cushy seats, cozy couches, and stylish accents.

Put together a little backyard cinema for everyone to enjoy. You can hang a sheet from the tree, get a projector, and throw some super large and comfortable pillows and blankets on the ground. If you wanted, you could even get a popcorn maker for an extra special evening.

You can’t forget the nature part of your yard when creating a backyard getaway. Make sure your flowerbeds are in great condition with some popping colors and textures. Find local deals that are great for the season to plant so that your yard is always full of color.

10 Amazing Rock Pathway Ideas for Your Yard

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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.

 

 

10 Genius Ways to Get Rid of Flies Forever

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This dish soap solution is a pretty common one that works for most flies. Add about one inch of liquid dish soap to a jar and one inch of water. If you can, use fruit flavored dish soap, as that is more effective. The flies will be attracted to the soap and get caught in the water.

Apple cider vinegar also works well as a fly trap. Place the vinegar in a jar and then place a paper funnel over the top of the jar. The scent attracts flies who go down the funnel but can’t get back out. They’ll eventually get tired and drown in the cider.

Cayenne pepper can also deter flies. Mix a bit with some water in a spray bottle. Spray areas around your house like windows, doors, and other entryways. The strong smell from the cayenne pepper helps prevent flies from entering your home.

Make a type of fly-repellent potpourri that can be placed indoors or outdoors. Combine eucalyptus, bay leaves, cloves and clover blossoms. Place the contents in a bag and hang it up wherever flies tend to congregate. The smell will get rid of them pretty quickly.

If you want to take a fun and kind of extreme approach, plant some carnivorous plants around your yard! Plants like the Venus flytrap or sundew are actually really pretty while also killing and eating flies that may be around your home. You can also get potted ones for the inside of your home.

If you want to repel but not kill flies, here’s an idea. Cover strips of ribbon or cloth in several drops of eucalyptus oil. Flies don’t like the smell of this oil. Hang up the strips near doors or windows, and flies won’t go near there.

I just recently heard of this idea, and I think it’s worth try. Especially since it doesn’t take much work or material. Hang a plastic bag half-filled with water or some old CDs and DVDs up around your home and yard. The light reflects off of them and makes flies think they’re spider webs. This causes them to avoid those areas because they don’t want to get eaten!

There are a lot of plants you can keep around your home in order to repel flies. For example, grow some lavender, mint, or basil on your patio. Flies don’t like these herbs, so they’ll stay away. Keep them on the windowsill, for example, to deter flies.To repel flies in outside areas, burn citronella candles. This has a two-fold effect. Flies hate smoke, so candles and torches are great for that. They also don’t like citronella, so the smell and the smoke from your citronella candles will deter flies and other pests.

Someone once told me that flies are really attracted to wine. Who knew? But if you place bowls of wine around the yard, flies will come to them and eventually drown. Just make sure your guests don’t go drinking that wine!