Polly put the kettle on…but not for tea. Boiled water is an excellent asset in your garden and around your landscape. Did you know that when you use commercial pesticides and herbicides, you expose yourself, your family, and your pets to dangerous and even deadly chemicals? Why not go a safer route with something you drink every day – water? Let’s take a closer look at how to use plain ol’ hot water to end weeds and ants for good.
Are you tired of your outdoor living space? Are you ready for something new but don’t have a massive budget to blow? No worries, there are many easy and inexpensive ways that you can breathe new life into your landscape. Transformation is just a few dollars away. With these ideas, you can create a brand new, inviting outdoor oasis!
Lay down a rug
Rugs are not just for indoor living; they add immediate color, warmth, and personality to any outdoor space. Cover up your cracking patio or your sun-worn deck with an outdoor rug that will create a whole new vibe. Add complimenting pillows to your furniture to tie it all together.
Add some water
Nothing says, “come and relax” better than a water feature. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a store-bought water feature when you can create your very own fountain in a matter of hours. You can even get adventurous and add a water garden made from half of a whiskey barrel. These water features allow you to incorporate beautiful water plants and moving water all in one!
Mulch is your friend
Adding a fresh new layer of mulch to garden beds is an easy and effective way to breathe new life into your landscape. Choose a new and exciting type or color of mulch to change it up.
Utilizing vertical space, whether it be on your patio, fence, wall, or another surface, helps create interesting focal points in your outdoor living space. Hanging pots, patio rail boxes, and wall gardens are just a few ways that you can vertically display your favorite plants.
Light it up
A little outdoor lighting helps soften your outdoor space and brings romance and coziness to any space. Hang lights, light up pathways, or use outdoor battery-operated candles to set the mood!
If spicing up your garden borders is something you have always wanted to do, here are a few great suggestions that don’t cost a fortune.
- Large stone or rocks – Rock edging is fantastic for those with easy access to rocks. They add interest to any landscape.
- Bricks – Brick edging adds inviting formality to garden beds. For a shabby chic look, paint bricks white.
- Bottles – Do you love wine? Do your friends love wine? Using wine bottles for edging is a fantastic way to repurpose bottles. Clean bottles, strip off the labels and insert them into the ground around garden beds or use as pathway edging.
- Logs – For a perfect complement to a rustic landscape, use cut log pieces as edging. Cut all pieces the same size or mix them up for additional visual interest.
- Dinner plates – If you are after an eclectic vintage look, a dinner plate border is a perfect option. Use plates from your own collection or visit your local thrift store for some great finds. Dig a shallow trench, place plates in the soil, and backfill to hold them in place.
Door dining table
A trip to your local thrift store or a community yard sale may give you exactly what you need to create an uplifting dining table without spending a fortune. Look for a solid wood door that you can transform. Remove the hardware, sand the door down and paint a bright white or your favorite color. Cut a hole in the middle for an umbrella, set the door on two painted workhorses, and add benches or chairs for a fun and practical dining space.
Washing machine drum fire pit
Creating a fire pit from a washing machine drum is a fantastic upcycling project that will wow your friends. Stainless steel holds up well against heat, and the slotted design allows oxygen to freely flow, keeping the fire burning bright. Head out to your local used appliance store, where you can usually snag a washing machine drum for under $10. You will need an angle grinder and grinder attachments along with a cup wire brush, cut-off wheel, and flap wheel sanding disc to transform the washing machine drum to a fire pit. Don’t forget your protective gear. The first step is to remove the plastic ring and base. Use a grinder to cut off the wheel and take out the center spindle – making room for firewood. Grind down the metal pipe and smooth rough edges. Use a wire brush to clean away all soap scum. Finish the drum with a coat of black high-heat spray paint and weld some legs at the base.
Add some outdoor games
Nothing transforms an outdoor space from boring to fun faster than the addition of a few outdoor games. If you have room, set up cornhole boards, croquet, horseshoes, badminton, or even lawn bowling. If turf is an issue, consider installing a small section of fake grass for a game area.
Of course, these are just some of the many ways that you can make your outdoor living space pop without breaking the bank. Think outside of the box about upcycling and repurposing things you already have or can find for cheap at thrift stores, flea markets, or garage sales. Put your own creative spin on your space, and you will be amazed at how great it can look!
–Susan Patterson, CBHC and Master Gardener
Extending your indoor living space into the great outdoors is not only healthy but also fun. There is nothing quite so cozy as sitting with your favorite book on your outdoor sofa listening to the birds chirping. Or, what about entertaining under the starry sky? Either way, an outdoor living room takes personal space and entertaining to a whole new level.
Spring gardens often thrive due to April showers. The same can’t always be said for later season gardens that often lack the blessing of rainfall. If you live in an area that is particularly dry during the hot summer months, you know how much time and expense is required to keep plants well-watered. Luckily, there is one thing that you can do at the beginning of the season that will save time and a great deal of money by slashing your garden’s water consumption by up to 60%.
Container gardening is so much fun! Not only do containers make gardening a possibility for everyone, even those with little space, but they also make great conversation pieces. This is especially true when you use recycled, free or cheap containers. Most garden plants are happy in any container as long as there is great organic soil with excellent drainage.
Wood chips are a versatile material that you can often get for free. They have many uses for your yard and garden, from the aesthetic to the practical. Read on for some creative ways to use wood chips to improve your property.
Apartment and condo living is becoming increasingly attractive to persons of all ages. Living small is becoming the new living large as people downsize to accommodate busy lifestyles and a desire to have more freedom. Creating an inviting outdoor space on your balcony or patio is one of the great ways you can increase your living space, especially if you enjoy being outside. Here are some easy and fun ways to own your outdoor space, no matter where you live.
Now that your garden is going gangbusters and you have a bit of a reprieve from your planting, it’s a good time to engage in some super fun garden upcycling projects. You will be amazed at what you can make to decorate your garden with items you have lying around. Below you will find a few of my favorite garden recycle projects. Have fun!
Picture yourself in a relaxing oasis with the calming sounds of running water, birds singing, and a breeze blowing in the treetops. The only thing better than relaxing indoors on a beautiful sunny day is to do all that outside, surrounded by nature. But first, you must make your outdoor area look and feel inviting, relaxing and pleasant not just for you but also for your guests and anyone who might want to join you.
Did you know there are hundreds of gallons of usable water going to waste in your home every day? With a little know-how, you can save much of this wasted water and use it for your garden. Many of these water-wise gardening strategies serve more than one purpose, reducing water usage, improving garden soil, protecting plants, and saving money on your utility bill, too. Here are the best ways to repurpose water that would otherwise go to waste and water your thirsty plants.
Many novice (and experienced) gardeners are intimidated by the idea of a greenhouse. Its time to stop putting it off and tackle this essential, practical garden staple once and for all. While you are still working from home, or have a little extra time due to canceled social engagements, use this opportunity to accomplish these small greenhouse projects and make your yard space even more valuable and usable.