DIY Landscaping Ideas
The do-it-yourself lifestyle is a growing movement that more and more people are adopting. Tackling home improvement projects on your own provides a creative outlet that also helps you save money. The DIY approach presents an opportunity to work with family or friends to make something you can all enjoy in the future.
A DIY landscaping project may seem intimidating, but it’s a great option if you’re considering renovations for your home and lawn. Luckily, there are plenty of useful tips, ideas and resources available online that can teach you how to landscape.
A full-scale DIY outdoor makeover involves several steps. The process starts with the selection of a focal point. Then, you can channel your inner designer to find the perfect plants, furniture and decor.
Our step-by-step guide can help you learn how to landscape a yard for maximum functionality and visual appeal with tips on the following topics:
- Picking a focal point.
- Mapping out your landscape plan.
- Purchasing the necessary tools.
- Starting with plants and foliage.
- Finalizing flowerbed details.
- Selecting your patio furnishings.
- Finishing your design with decorative accents.
Pick a Focal Point
Wondering where to start a landscaping project? Begin by evaluating the most prominent features in your yard. You could focus on a functional piece like your pool, gazebo or patio furniture or opt for a decorative focal point, such as a garden fountain. If you have a large tree in your backyard, take advantage of its natural beauty by making it the centerpiece of your design.
Design your patio around your focal point to prioritize the areas of your yard that need the most work.
Map Out a Landscape Plan
Creating an outdoor oasis begins with mapping out precisely what you want to do. Having a patio layout idea ready before you start can help you avoid making stressful or costly changes down the road. Plus, if you have a smaller yard, you’ll be able to optimize your space by plotting out exactly how you want to decorate your small patio.
Start by sketching with pen and paper or use an online design tool to plan your layout. Once you have a blueprint, measure and mark the ground using chalk, flour or another eco-friendly medium. Ensure your measurements are accurate and that individual spaces for dining, lounging and entertaining are a comfortable distance away from each other.
Defined by a large rug, this sectional set occupies its own space, leaving room for more deck decor.
Keep your space’s intended purpose in mind when assembling your backyard landscape plans. For instance, if you want to use the back porch for outdoor entertaining, draw up a design that can comfortably accommodate guests with seating arrangements, a spacious dining collection or an outdoor bar or bistro set.
Purchase Necessary Tools
Once your DIY landscape planning is complete, you’ll need tools to get the job done. Your basic equipment list should include a spade, pitchfork, wheelbarrow, loppers and gloves. Take inventory of what’s in your tool shed or garage to see if you need to visit the hardware store before you begin.
Need a big-ticket item like a chainsaw, sod cutter or tiller? You might want to rent them to stay within budget. However, if your DIY landscaping plan is a money-saving tactic, check with your friends, family or neighbors and see if you can borrow the tools you need for your project.
Start with Plants
Flowerbeds are standout features in the best landscaping projects. Some plants, like hedges, bushes and trees, take quite a while to grow, so you should get these in the ground as early as possible. Of course, you can also add a variety of other flora to your outdoor design. Perennials are popular, as they come back every year, eliminating the need to replant.
Consider sprucing up porches, patios and decks using outdoor planters. Whether you choose real greenery or silk florals, leafy ferns and vines on your terrace are a fresh accent perfect for homes with small backyards or limited gardening space. You can easily transform an urban balcony into a lush escape with hanging plants, plant stands and tabletop pots.
Incorporate nature into any outdoor space using a variety of potted plants.
Finalize Your Flowerbeds
After your plants take root, tackle the final cosmetic details using mulch, decorative rocks and edging. Pricing can vary, so explore your choices thoroughly. For example, cinder blocks are affordable but can seem a little utilitarian. Meanwhile, stone and brick offer a classic garden look, but you may need to expand your budget a bit to pay for them.
Accessories and decorative sculptures are another way to beautify your flowerbeds. Spotlights, pathway lighting and other light fixtures illuminate your blooms and make it easier to see around your yard at night. A classic garden bench adds cozy curb appeal to your front yard, too. Look for garden statues and sculptures that complement your DIY project and make it unique.
Invite guests to take a seat by your flowerbeds so they can admire your new DIY landscaping project.
Select Your Furniture
Polish off your do-it-yourself landscape design with outdoor furnishings. Your patio furniture should complement your new yard and make it feel refined and cohesive. Consider how you need your space to function as you select the perfect pieces to complete your outdoor decor. Some options to look into include:
- Dining Sets: A dining table is perfect for sharing meals and hosting guests. Make sure you have plenty of chairs for all your friends and family.
- Conversation Seating: Complete with a cluster of plush chairs, a loveseat or sofa, chat sets are intimate gathering areas where everyone can relax together.
- Lounge Seating: Comfy seating such as a sectional or pair of poolside chaise lounges elevates your patio’s potential for fun and relaxation.
- Umbrellas: Cantilever and table umbrellas provide much-needed shade by the pool or over your dining area.
- Storage: Organize your new DIY landscaping tools and other yard essentials with outdoor storage furniture.
Spend time enjoying your landscaping accomplishments by lounging outdoors with patio furniture.
Finish with Decor
Put the finishing touches on your DIY landscaping with stylish outdoor decor. Dazzling light fixtures like lanterns, sconces and overhead chandeliers have a warm glow that can help cultivate a calming atmosphere in your yard. If you’d like to incorporate a fire pit, avoid the costly process of building one into the patio or deck and increase your layout flexibility by opting for a free-standing option.
Add layers of comfort to your space with a soft outdoor rug and colorful throw pillows. Large area rugs and round rugs define your space and create boundaries between lounge areas. If you have room in your budget, add metal wall hangings to your fences or the siding on your house. Wall decor looks beautiful in the sunlight and takes up virtually no extra space in your layout.
Color coordinating rugs, accent pillows, stools and other decor put the finishing touches on your new layout.
Completing Your Project
Now that you know how to do landscaping on your own, go ahead and dive into your project with confidence. Carefully choosing your focal point, layout and decor lets you make the most of your space and create your ideal retreat. Once you’ve finished your project, you may even want to share your DIY landscaping ideas with others attempting a similar transformation.