How to Take Your Garden to the Next Level
Easy garden improvements can really make your outdoor space into something magical. Sometimes the change you need can be as simple as committing to a higher level of lawn and garden care than you were maintaining previously. Other times, rearranging beds and embracing your own sense of style, shape, and space can be just what your garden needed to shine. Whatever your garden space needs, there are bound to be a lot of ways to tackle getting there.
If you’re looking for some simple ways to make the most of your garden space, the answer may be as close as your local lawn and garden shop. Playing with shape, form, and color can really elevate a space and is a great low-cost way to make your mark on an area. There are also more time and money-intensive ways of making a space your own, such as installing a pond or fountain or constructing raised beds.
Taking your space to the next level with easy garden improvements can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and there’s a solution for everyone out there.
Here are a few easy garden improvements to help you take your garden to the next level.
Embrace the Minimal
It doesn’t take much to make a bold statement, especially if you’re working with small garden space. Place simple features like a stone sculpture or a specimen tree in visible, high-traffic areas to create a statement piece. Your local garden shop is a great place to hunt for ideas. Consider adding a clearly man-made object in a contrasting color to a highly visible area. This creates an intentional focal point and helps to break up space.
You might also consider this effect when planning out your garden before you even start planting. Where would be the best visual location for certain plants? Would that location give them everything they need to thrive, like proper sunlight? If yes, then place them there. If not, find the second-best location or adjust your overall design around where you need to place specific plants.
You don’t have to spend a lot or even have a complicated design to have a stunning garden space. Intentional minimalism can speak just as loudly, and sometimes more clearly than a space that ends up looking cluttered from all the plants and decorations you’ve tried to place in it. Sometimes less really is more when it comes to design.
Commit to Care
Lawn and garden care should be top of your list if you want to take your garden to the next level. Some easy garden improvements come in the form of simply recommitting to a higher level of lawn care. That may sound basic, but sometimes going back to the basics is exactly what we need.
If you find that you’ve been feeling stuck or bored with your garden, try recommitting to caring for your outdoor space before you commit to redesigning it. You may still want to change up the design in the end, but sometimes approaching something familiar with the mind and enthusiasm of a beginner can spark a lot of joy you thought had faded.
More than that, proper garden care is one of those easy garden improvements that doesn’t cost you anything but time and effort to accomplish. Even the most understated lawn can look stunning with the proper care.
Have Fun With Shapes
Shapes can work together to make things stand out or otherwise create interesting focal points. If you’re looking to change up the overall design of your garden, then consider planting in groupings that will create visual interest, such as a row of sculpted evergreens along the back wall. Consider new additions that have uniquely shaped flowers or offer a bright pop of color to your mostly green background.
The shape of the overall garden space can be changed up as well, depending on how much extra room you have in your yard. Raised beds, beds with layers, and beds in less-traditional shapes are all great options for anyone wanting to change up the energy of their outdoor space. Just be sure that you can still reach everything in the beds without straining, so you can water, weed, and otherwise take care of your garden effectively.
Having fun with the visual shape and texture of the space is one of those easy garden improvements that many people don’t consider when they’re first designing their space. Paying attention to this aspect of design can quickly elevate your space to the next level.
Protect Your Space
Protecting your space is a functional, practical way to elevate it. Good fences make for great design when carefully selected and used, but even a simple chain link fence can be enough to divide a space and keep unwanted critters out of your garden and keep you from calling wildlife removal services.
Chain link fences are a great, low-cost way to protect your garden from larger pests like squirrels, rabbits, and deer. Putting up a functional and aesthetically pleasing barrier will also save you a lot of headaches down the line that might have otherwise resulted in you having to call animal control.
Using fencing doesn’t have to be a strictly functional thing either. Decorative fences can be used to break up and section off certain areas of the garden or larger outdoor space to create a patchwork of different areas with different purposes. A well-designed and well-laid-out space using this technique instantly picks up points for functionality and aesthetics.
Easy garden improvements don’t have to include only plants to be effective in the space. There’s something about water that is almost universally calming to humans, especially when in the form of a running fountain or a peaceful koi pond. Water is a great way to elevate a space and can be incorporated into your garden and outdoor space in a variety of ways.
Larger spaces can handle more designing than smaller spaces in terms of which water features to include. If space or budget is a concern, then even a small amount of flowing water, like a tabletop waterfall, can make the space feel more tranquil.
Let your garden breathe a bit by incorporating some open green space and pathways into the final design. Many landscaping companies offer tree removal, so you can either work around the natural trees in your outdoor space or have them removed. This open area also gives your showier plants a place to be seen right near the edge of flat grass or concrete.
It’s best to incorporate some manner of a sprinkler system into your design, especially if you’re planning on having a lot of green space. Sprinkler systems can also be useful if you have a lot of space to water, or your garden beds are stacked in such a way that reaching them all is difficult.
Be Smart With Your Accessories
Instead of many small things competing for attention in a space, plan out how best to use a few larger pieces like urns or gazing balls to pull the aesthetic of the space together without it feeling cluttered or confused. You can space these pieces out along pathways or place them in low-lying garden beds for maximum effect.
If you’re feeling creative and are the quirky type, you can also use found items like tea kettles as planters for smaller plants like herbs. A shelf of them creates a whimsical vibe. Another option is to create a wine bottle tree or use an old bathtub as a raised garden bed. The possibilities really are endless here — it all comes down to how much space you have, what your budget is like, and what makes you smile.
Plant in Patchwork
Planting in drifts, or in organized sections, is often easier said than done, but the overall effect is well worth the work if you have the space for it. This is another one of those easy garden improvements that doesn’t take much in terms of initial outlay but has a big impact. Dedicating a large section of your garden space to a specific flower or plant works best if you have a decent amount of space to work with, but can easily be done with containers or in smaller gardens as well.
You can also plant in sections along the borders of pathways or garden beds to create a visual break from the rest of the garden. However, you decide to use this technique, planting in swathes of color and texture can really level up your garden space.
Have a Seat
A garden is lovely to look at and to work in, but having a seating area invites guests to slow down a moment and really take in the surrounding space. It can also make a great retreat for you during stressful times, or when you just want to step away and be somewhere quiet for a while.
A small table, a few chairs, and some well-manicured grass are all you really need to create an outdoor room, but you can also go more dramatic with it if you have space and the desire. Pavement and crushed stone are both good choices for setting the space apart from the rest of the yard, and the seating itself can be as simple as a table or as large as an outdoor couch depending on your available space. Go a step further and enclose a few sides with shrubs to create living walls and a more private section.
Make a Statement
If you’re looking to go big and bold with your garden, then this is your place to do it. This is especially effective if the rest of your garden design is understated and simple. Draw attention to certain areas or statement plants by setting them apart from the others. This is best done with large “garden peacock” style plants that grow large and have colorful blooms. These are your statement plants and as tempting as it may be to fill your space with them, it’s better for the overall design if you hold back a little and are strategic with their placement.
Garden in Layers
Gardening in layers creates visual interest and is one of those easy garden improvements that people often overlook. When setting up your layers, make sure to keep your color palette consistent and vary your visual textures for maximum effect.
For a simple layering exercise, try starting with a row of dark evergreens, then moving on to dense shrubbery or ornamental grass, and finally creating a line of plants with contrasting textures that require the same growing conditions such as Walker’s Low catmint or carpet roses.
These easy garden improvements will make a huge impact on your space with very little outlay in terms of time and money. Most are simple things you can do over the course of a day or a weekend. Most of it really comes down to using your space well and making sure that your garden gets the attention it deserves.
Make sure to take good care of your space, even if it’s not exactly set up how you want it. Good, quality care goes a long way toward making an outdoor space look great. From there, consider what you want from your new design and how best to implement these easy garden improvements. Many can be simply incorporated by creating some focal points with accessories and statement plants, as well as setting up your garden in layers or sections as your space allows.
In the end, your garden should be a reflection of you and what makes you happy in an outdoor space. It should feel calming and pleasant to work in and be inviting to your or anyone you may have over. These easy garden improvements will help you level up your garden while keeping it functional and uniquely yours.