Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 Cheap Backyard Ideas

DIY a Seating Area

1. DIY a Seating Area

Furniture can be an expensive investment for backyards, but there are options for make-it-yourself benches, chairs, and tables. Here, low-cost concrete blocks, dry-stacked and covered with a foam pad, offer lots of seating in a high-traffic spot outside the home's back door.

Drape Overhead Spaces with Lights

2. Drape Overhead Spaces with Lights


Outdoor lights remain a perennial favorite for outdoor spaces, and there's good reason: They're celebratory and fun, with just enough sparkle to keep the light from being distracting. Inventive options offer pretty colors and shapes; use them to wrap a tree, or drape them down a table for a twinkling centerpiece.

Use Remnant Stone for Hardscaping

3. Use Remnant Stone for Hardscaping


One of the most expensive elements in any landscape is hardscaping: walkways, retaining walls, edging. But the stone leftovers at your local landscaping, big box, or nursery supply store may be a less expensive option. Placed together in a dry stack, the stones (such as these in the elevated garden section) offer a pretty element that looks as if it's a natural, always-been-there part of the yard. Low-growing groundcovers soften the edges with charming blooms. Bonus: Those perennials can easily be divided to plant elsewhere and save even more.

Choose a Simple Plant Palette

4. Choose a Simple Plant Palette


Although including a huge range of flowers and plants in a landscape is one option, another is to keep the plant selection simple. That translates into multiple opportunities for dividing plants and covering more ground with growing material.

Create Low-Cost Nooks

5. Create Low-Cost Nooks


Often the best inexpensive backyard ideas are the simplest: Create zones or separate areas with a few shifts in furniture in order to delineate eating, relaxing, cooking, and more. It doesn't typically involve any furniture purchases; use rugs to shift traffic or styles of chairs to push people into nooks.

Add Vintage Hardscaping Elements

6. Add Vintage Hardscaping Elements


Many hardscaping elements, such as simple trellises or arbors, can be found either used or at flea markets. They're great for adding height, defining traffic flow, or indicating movement from front to back.

Build Color with Containers

7. Build Color with Containers


Annuals can be less expensive than perennials and shrubs, and they're a great way to add color and impact to a backyard, especially when arranged in containers. Here, matching vessels offer design cohesion, as does a similar color palette for the plants. Another tip: A stone slab on top of a lumber scrap makes for a casual side table.

Find Ways to Do It Yourself

8. Find Ways to Do It Yourself


There are creative ways to minimize costs and materials, as long as you're willing to invest time and effort. A slatted FENCE -- with the boards spaced a bit wider than normal -- helps to reduce wood costs. Big concrete pavers take the place of pricey stone for a patio, while building materials help create the containers and table base.

Choose an Inexpensive Paving Material

9. Choose an Inexpensive Paving Material


Check out all your options for hardscaping, including less expensive crushed rock and gravel. Options such as those supply a more casual surface underfoot for seating nooks and dining areas. If you do use traditional pavers, consider unusual placement -- large stones interspersed with wide swaths of grass, for example -- to cut down on the total material needed.

Crowd Pleaser

10. Crowd Pleaser

Whether hosting a large or small group, this backyard is great for entertaining. A long dining table can seat eight comfortably. A smaller seating area next to the outdoor fireplace is a great spot for casual conversations.

This post was adapted from http://www.bhg.com.
  • Urban spaces or blank walls can benefit from the addition of vertical gardens. Use them for hardworking, pretty succulents or even low-growing vegetables. These simple boxes -- made with found wood -- hang from hooks and are big enough to serve as a focal point.
  • Choose a Simple Plant Palette

  • Choose a Simple Plant Palette

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