Have you ever heard the term “make this house a home” when moving into a sparkling clean, but desolate new space? These backyard ideas need to feel enveloped by surroundings that are not only functional but comfortable and cozy as well. A backyard that is spacious, calming, and properly fostered can give us the soothing energy we need to further nourish our busy lives. Gardening is a “zen” activity that promotes healthy brain function, concentration, centeredness, and creativity. Speaking of creativity, caring for your yard can be more than pure labor – it can be an expression of yourself, a never ending art project even. You can embrace new trends to spice up the furniture in your yard. You can get imaginative with household items to create decorative and pragmatic additions to the porch. You can even build homes for the critters that grace your yard with daily visits. The best thing is, we can reuse and recycle to completely re-think the backyard. Let’s get started.
Discover Shabby Chic!
Shabby Chic is a trend I’ve found is easy on the eyes, easy to achieve, and practical because it recycles old furniture and accessories. Shabby Chic means worn-out with a hint of undestated luxury. Those slightly dilapidated baby pink dressers we often admire in antique stores happen to be very current in fashion. How can you get this look? You can get into the “do it yourself” mentality to start sanding and painting old! All of the timeworn furniture in the home can be re-used, re-painted, and re-designed to fit the old cottage mold. Crumbling furniture can be painted light, feminine shades to give off a quaint, comfortable feel. Old, heavy books can be stacked on porch steps to emanate nostalgia. Beautiful roses can be planted inside of old dressers. Wreaths can be created by tying together strips of colorful fabric. Excited yet? There are tons of online tutorials to successfully achieve this look.
Get Creative With Mason Jars
Mason jars can be purchased at home improvement stores, fabric stores, grocery stores, or online in bulk. They are very readily available because of their abundant uses. You can actually make mini-gardens inside of mason jars to place on window sills. This method comes in handy for those who live in apartments or condos, but crave outdoor projects. Fresh soil and seeds can be placed inside the jars without need for mulch.
Sand can also be placed inside, with shells and pearls as decorations for themed garden parties. They can be painted with flat, opaque paint to become elegant vases for big, white roses on patio tables. Spices like oregano and cilantro can be grown inside of mason jars and mounted on the walls of a shed. What’s my favorite Mason jar use? Mason Jars can be used as lanterns to light stone pathways or front-lawns. This particular usage is my favorite because the lights can easily be solar powered!
Plant Sunflower Seeds
All you need is a single ruler, a handful of seeds, and water to plant a bed of sunflowers in your garden. Sunflowers are attractive, easy to care for, and can bring a lot of color to the yard. To get those huge sunflowers we see in artsy films, you’ll need at least one foot of space and soil. Your sunflowers should be planted 1-6 inches apart so they’ll have room to grow without shading each other. Mulch and draining is recommended for this particular endeavor, to ensure they grow as expected. You can place leaves or lettuce around the base of the flowers (once they’ve started growing) to nurture the seeds. Sunflowers can grow up to 20 feet tall, and they look like sunny, beautiful beings guarding your home.
Build a Bird-Housebird
Making friends with the critters who love your yard can bring you serenity and a sense of good karma to come. Birdhouses are generally built out of wood, and can be painted with environmentally safe paint. However, you can get fairly creative with this project to boost the imagination and absorb down-time. Bright, patterned fabric can be glued to the wood for a softer and cushier bird home. You can revisit memory lane by using pencil colored Popsicle sticks to stack into a birdhouse or use classic children’s books as walls. Even paper and cardboard can be reused to attract beautiful wild birds. This can be a great way to get the family together for a scheduled arts and crafts day. The children can take turns choosing what types of food to use, what method to create the birdhouse, and what colors to utilize.
Hang Crystals on Trees
Nothing creates the “fairy garden” image like a handful of shiny and decorative crystals. Crystals can be hung on tree branches with Monofilament fishing lines. They can be hung one on each branch or strung together to create a Christmas tree-like effect. They can even be arranged just as one would string white lights along bushes or trees. This also works for smaller trees that are used as center pieces, or on porches. Wire wrapping is a technique used to make necklaces out of crystals, stones, and minerals. This same technique can be used to decorate trees. Imagine the look on your guests’ faces when the sun glitters against the crystalline stones, giving your trees or that one special tree, a brand new look. This tree-makeover is also thought by new age theorists to bring calming effects to the backyard. Crystals can be purchased at small new age shops, or big home improvement / crafting stores. It can be an ongoing project that never ceases to depress your creativity!
Let it Grow! With Eco Friendly Products, of Course
Obsessing over yard work is easy to do. We cringe at the thought of seeing our grass become yellowed by the sun, or our flowers ceasing to grow. It is perfectly normal for some of us to spend too much time and energy on the “paving” processes to keep our yard neat. I say, why not let it grow? Why not let those bushes grow in whatever direction they please, and release our worries about whether or not certain projects will look perfect. By letting go of our tight grips and giving up control, we allow nature to take its course in whatever way it needs to. Our garden will thank us for this if we continue to use eco-friendly gardening products to nurture it. Chemical-free flora, herbs instead of pesticides, and other alternatives to chemicals will keep things running smoothly. Trust in these products and in nature itself!