Three Easy Ways To Brighten Your Backyard

Dated: 04/28/2017

Views: 304

For me, Spring means more time spent in the yard enjoying the sun. Sure, Nashville has been a little heavy on the rain and light on sunshine lately, but what's that saying? Something about April showers and May flowers?


Sadly, my backyard is looking drab. Stuck somewhere between the brown deck, brown privacy fence, and trying-not-to-be-brown grass, I'm at a loss for the vibrant tonesthat usually define my Spring. How can I inject some life into my yard without spending all Spring working?


To solve my problem – and maybe yours - here are three easy ways to brighten your backyard for the season.


Get Creative with Your Fence Line


When I lived up north, it was chain-link as far as the eye could see. Thankfully, Nashville and its surrounding cities tend to prefer a tall, wooden privacy fence. While I'm not fond of staring at my neighbor's barbeque, I will say the weather-beaten wood leaves something to be desired.

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Without resorting to painting the whole thing, what simple things can you add for interest? In these photos, we have inexpensive wooden crates, painted, hung and converted to hold plants. This method is super simple, and can be adapted with a number of elements - coffee can planters, mason jars with tea-lights, or any colorful hanging art. Even taking some worn out garden tools and giving them a quick dip in some bright paint makes for an easy hanging decoration.


If you have cinderblock left over from a project (and if you don't, it's cheap on Craigslist), you can paint them to create a stacked garden in spots along the bottom of the fence. The holes in the block make for an easy way to display plants. If you don’t have blocks, brick or any smooth stone makes a good substitute, and a small dose of bright paint goes


You can accomplish a similar effect with less mess by using vibrant pots and urns - just add easy to care for plants and you're off.


One note - don't feel like you have to cover everything. If you have a large yard, you're better off putting together one or two "destinations" than trying to cover the entire fence line.


Carve Your Own Path


Speaking of "destinations," if you're going to have a place worth going to, you might as well have a way to get there.


Maybe it’s it's a small garden area, features along the fence, or a bench nestled under a tree. Perhaps you just want to better define where your lawn furniture and cook-out areas are. Whatever the case, a path is an easy way to add interest and color.

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If we sub out the traditional rough-cut stone for more colorful options - say patterned ceramic or stones with glass imbedded in the surface - we get an instant pop of color that’s hard to miss.


Placing the stones isn't difficult - just pay attention to how you're carving up your yard, and don't be afraid to meander a bit. The hardest part about a path is often the things you add afterwards - plants, mulch, and other accessories tucked in along the edges.


Again, you don’t have to go all out – and if you have a playful pooch using your yard as a race track, you probably shouldn’t – but a few bright stepping stones and trimmed grass goes a long way.


Let There Be Light


There are few joys in home ownership greater than reclining in your backyard in the warm Spring air and watching the sun fade away. There's something magical about evenings like that, and that's no reason they have to end early.

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Trimming your deck in rope light or more decorative options is a fun way to add an ambient glow when you're enjoying the night sky. It won't overwhelm you when the grill, candles, or a fire pit it supposed to the centerpiece, but it will keep you from stubbing toes on your way in.


If you have a smaller yard, consider running lights from your roof - either the corner or above the door - to the edge of the fence for a canopy effect.Just make such the option you choose with withstand the sun, rain, and wind so your easy upgrade doesn’t become a constant chore.


Last but not least, considering bringing some light to the edge of the yard. This is especially handy if you plan to throw parties where people may be hanging out or playing games all over, and need a little more than a cell phone to see what they’re doing.


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