Landscaping can involve a tremendous amount of physical labor, especially when it comes to digging with hand tools, installing masonry edging, or building retaining walls for planting beds. The hard work pays off in having a great looking property, but there are some easier ways to use landscaping to make your yard look better. Here are five examples of easy to do landscaping projects.
Install Low-Voltage LED Landscape Lighting
The easiest route to a great illuminated look to your yard is to use solar LED landscape lights, but they do not stay illuminated throughout the night. They may not work at all during the winter months. If you have an outdoor electrical outlet already installed, low-voltage landscape lighting is easy to install. All you need to do is place the lights where you want them, and use a shovel to slice a narrow trench in the soil to bury the cable. Use a flat shovel or spade to slice at an angle into the soil. Lever with the handle to open a narrow trench just big enough to bury the low-voltage wire, and then step on the trench to close it.
Add a Propane Fire Pit
Traditional fire pits should be constructed of fireproof materials on the bare ground with a sand or gravel base. The ring of the pit needs to be made of a material that will not crack or explode when superheated by the fire. Propane-fired fire pits or fire tables are prebuilt and easy to install. Choose one with a feature that hides the propane tank. Some propane fire pit kits are just a fire ring, connection hose and maybe some lava rock. You have to build the enclosure. Others are self-contained and set up in minutes. You can have a cozy fire in the evenings with no need for fire wood or ash cleanup, and there are no embers to extinguish when you shut them off.
Plant Bulbs for Spring Blooms
You can pretty much plant tulips and daffodils anywhere in your yard, even right where the grass grows. You can get them to pop up in mulched areas where there is no weed fabric barrier preventing their growth too. You can plant them in bunches or rows. They can go in areas of your regular planting beds where you will not dig or otherwise disturb them when managing your perennials or planting annuals. They will pop up every spring with practically no care whatsoever. Tulips and daffodils are the first signs of spring color your planting beds will see, and you can easily plant hundreds of them using a bulb planter tool.
Edge and Mulch
You can opt to do all the digging, placing and aligning of masonry edging, or you could try to wrangle the black plastic edging that requires a narrow channel in the dirt. Both are quite labor intensive. On the other hand, you could install edging that lays on the surface between the spaces you are trying to separate. You can wrap it around trees or make a curvy line. The edging is angled at the bottom to receive stakes to hold it in place. You place your mulch, gravel or other fill inside the edged space over top the angled bottom. No digging is needed. Trees and other parts of your landscape will look much more visually appealing when edged and mulched.
Add a Self-Contained Water Feature
You can spend thousands to have landscapers come in and dig out a spot for a water feature, or you can buy one in a box and put it up. There are self-contained and kit water features of all shapes and sizes. You can find pond kits that install above ground on a level surface to nicely sized waterfall type fountains that can be placed on the lawn, in the garden, or on a deck or patio. There are too many brands and designs to cover in this article, but keep in mind to look for self-contained water features that require no digging or special tools to install. If you have a nearby GFCI outlet where you want to put your water feature, that is pretty much all you need.
Not all landscaping projects require a team of strong workers who have specialized tools and can dig for hours in the hot sun. You can improve the look of your landscape in a weekend with a modest budget, a DIY attitude and a simple idea.