Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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A Garden for a Magazine Cover: Tips to Beautify Your Front or Back Yard

The front and back yards are a point of pride for every homeowner. The front yard is the part of our property that represents us to the outside world, and the backyard is the inner sanctuary where we entertain guests and create the most memorable moments.

If your yard is looking drab and boring, and you’re looking for ways to create more interest and inspire awe without taking out a second mortgage, this is the article for you.

House number

Have you ever tried to drop one of your kids off at a friend’s house, only to find out their house number is obscured by shrubbery? Your navigation says you’ve arrived, but you’re not really sure. This is not only an aesthetic issue, it’s also a functional one.

One of the easiest and cheapest upgrades you can do to your front yard is to make sure your house number is prominently displayed and clear. It is the first thing your visitors will notice about your home – why not make it both beautiful and truly useful?

The mailbox

Another excellent way to quickly improve the looks and functionality of your yard is to upgrade your mailbox.

If you find that your bills and other important letters often fly off into the sunset, the hinge on your mailbox definitely needs replacing.

Other than that, a mailbox is an excellent way to reinforce your front yard aesthetic – if you’re going for a minimalist, clean look – a simple, geometrically shaped mailbox is the ticket. If you’re going for a colonial feel, there are mailboxes that fit that look too.

Replacing your mailbox is a fast improvement that will certainly increase your property’s curb appeal.

The pathway

You don’t want people cutting through the lawn? You better have a good pathway for them to walk on. 

Check if the concrete is cracked. Check if there are some loose pavers. Check whether the grass is moving in on the pathway, creating bushels of danger for people to trip on.

The pathway is one of the most important landscaping elements in your yard. Make sure it is spick and span. Even if your lawn is messy, but your pathway is clean and maintained – you can pass the chaos off as an aesthetic choice.

The doors 

No, not the ‘Light My Fire’ doors. The actual doors of your house and your garage. People entering your home will most certainly notice them – they need to walk through.

Make sure your door is painted, the hinges are well greased, and the knob doesn’t feel loose. From an aesthetic standpoint, doors are one of the most important pieces of trim. They draw the eyes in, so making them tastefully contrasted to the rest of your yard is an easy way to take your yard design to the next level.

Just make sure the redesign of your door is in line with the homeowner’s association’s guidelines. They may impose certain standards, and these standards have a tendency to change often.

The same things that apply to your home door apply to your garage door. If it’s a creaky, unseemly piece of wood – fixing it can improve your yard’s look instantly.

The lawn

Of course, the lawn is the most obvious metric of a well maintained yard. Here are a few tips on lawn care that will make things much easier for you.

  • Weed control

Weeds are unwanted plants that invade and damage your lawn. Birds, pets, and other animals carry seeds, and voila – your lawn is infested.

The most immediate solution is to pick out the weeds, roots, and all. This can be time consuming if the weeds are high in number, in which case you can use low toxicity herbicide.

  • Drainage

Poor drainage is the enemy of a good lawn. It can wet, mushy patches, spawn moss and create a whole host of other problems.

Drains that guide the water away from the yard are the best solution, in addition to aerating your lawn. Aeration essentially means creating small holes in the soil using the proper tools.

You can make more crafty solutions by planting waterheavy plants in the troubled areas of your yard.

  • Mowing

Of course, mowing your lawn is the most obvious step you can take to have a nice lawn.

A general rule of thumb is to mow one third of the length of the blades of grass. You also need to trim the edges and borders carefully – this part is an important ingredient in making your lawn look clean and crisp.

Fire pit

A fire pit for your backyard – this is maybe the most expensive tip on this list. But it’s a game changer.

However, there’s nothing quite like making a meal for your friends on an open flame in the privacy of your backyard.

It may seem like an intimidating project, but the process is really simple. Dig a pit around three feet in diameter and eight inches deep. Pour a concrete base. Once the concrete has dried overnight, build the inner walls of the pit with stronger, refractory brick and cement. The outer layers can be built with less resistant materials, as they won’t be subjected to such high heat. And voila – you’ve got yourself a fire pit!

Of course, if the process is beyond your constructive expertise, you can always enlist a professional landscaper to do the job.

If there’s one thing worth splurging on in your yard – it’s the fire pit!


There are many more ways you can elevate your yard game – a garden, an above ground pool, art pieces, fountains… These all cost a lot of money, though.

The good news is most of what you can do to improve your property’s curb appeal is free and easy, albeit tedious. Keep it tidy, keep it organized, keep your lawn weed free and neat, and keep your pavers set firmly. Essential maintenance is the best thing you can do.

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