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12 Simple Landscaping Ideas You Can Explore Over the Weekend

Have a productive weekend transforming your outdoor space (without getting too over your head) with one of these simple landscaping ideas.
Photo of a landscaped front yard of a residential home

Your home’s outside appearance is equally as important as how it looks on the inside. Aside from the obvious benefit of increasing your home’s resale value by 15-20%, landscaping projects can help you beautify your home for your enjoyment as well.

If your landscaping is in need of some TLC, a yard makeover may be just what you need. But sprucing up your outdoor space doesn’t always require a complete overhaul.

By following one or more of the 12 simple landscaping ideas below, you can transform your yard from drab to fab in no time at all. Keep reading to discover more.

1. Create a Colorful Flower Bed

A vibrant flower bed is a great way to add a pop of color to your outdoor space. Flowers beds are easy and simple landscaping ideas that are ideal for weekend projects. They can be made in any size or shape to accommodate large and small yards alike.

Choose an area that has good soil drainage. It is also recommended that you select an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Examine how your flower bed can fit in with the existing landscape area to complement it further, such as stones, bricks, or decorative wood.

Clear the area of rocks, roots, and weeds. Prep the area with nutrient-rich soil and mulch for water retention. Plant a mixture of different annuals and perennial blooms for variety. 

2. Install a Simple Gravel Pathway

Gravel pathways are also simple landscaping ideas that make for quick weekend projects. A grave pathway adds visual interest to your yard features.

It’s well-suited for DIY landscaping because it uses minimal materials but it can add structure and functionality to your front or backyard. You can also use materials like stones and bricks for a more formal look.

Start by choosing the area where your pathway will go. Using a hose or rope will allow you to measure out your pathway. This will allow you to determine the shape of your pathway as well. 

Dig a trench within your pathway outline. Lay down landscaping fabric to suppress weed growth in this area. Then, simply stack or pour your paving materials into the trench for a mini yard makeover.

3. Add Solar-Powered Landscaping Lights

Looking for some more bright and simple landscaping ideas? Let solar power light the way. Solar-powered landscaping lights aren’t just beneficial for home safety, they’re also beneficial to the planet.

Data from the Solar Energy Industries Association found that every installed solar panel can help offset around 178 tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years. To put this into a different perspective, that’s like planting 10 football fields with trees.

Solar stake lights are easy to place into the ground in areas where you need more light. You can also mount motion-activated lights around the front of your property for peace of mind. Best of all, there’s no tricky wiring required to achieve effortless landscape lighting

4. Design a Rock Garden

If you want low-maintenance landscaping with a natural vibe, why not use what Mother Nature already provides to your advantage? Rock gardens are simple landscaping ideas for those who want an earthy aesthetic. 

Vary the size and shape of your rocks to create visual appeal. You can incorporate rocks of different textures as well. Leave space between your rocks to plant some drought-friendly plants like succulents. 

If you want to pay homage to your Illinois abode, you can even utilize the new state rock called Dolostone in your garden.

5. Build a DIY Wooden Garden Bench

DIY wooden garden benches are simple landscaping ideas for those who enjoy undertaking woodworking weekend projects. With a little time and effort, it’s easy to craft a beautiful bench for your outdoor space.

You can find pre-cut wood pieces at your local hardware store for easy assembly. For homeowners who want sustainable materials, consider using repurposed wood or pallets to make your bench. 

For beginners, stick with a basic design. Intermediate and expert woodworkers can experiment with custom designs. Be sure to sand, seal, and stain the wood properly. 

6. Plant Low-Maintenance Shrubbery

Shrubs are sturdy and low-maintenance landscaping elements that can give your outdoor space some much-needed greenery along with colorful blooms and berries that can attract birds, bees, and other wildlife. These simple landscaping ideas can also provide you with privacy by creating a barrier around your home. You can plant shrubs easily in one day.

Choose shrubbery native to your area for best results. The types of shrubs you choose may also be dependent on the time of year you wish to plant them. Ideally, you’ll want to plant shrubs in the Fall before the first frost or early Spring. 

7. Incorporate a Water Feature

Water features are a soothing way to relax and unwind in your backyard. The sounds of running water can have a calming effect, especially when used in a meditative garden setup. You can utilize simple landscaping ideas like a decorative birdbath or go for something a little more elaborate like a pond or a fountain.

Consider installing a recirculating pump option to minimize maintenance over time and save on water usage costs. Check and maintain the water levels to ensure that the pump is functioning properly. You should also clean out your water feature regularly to prevent algae growth from building up.

8. Build Raised Garden Beds

If you’re looking for simple landscaping ideas for your weekend projects, look no further than a raised garden bed. Raised garden beds are perfect yard features that work with all types of yard sizes. They can be built on surfaces like grass or concrete, often in one afternoon.

Basic square or rectangular garden beds offer a clean and minimalistic style. They can be built from many different types of materials like composite, wood, and concrete blocks.

A raised garden bed gives you added accessibility since there’s less squatting and bending required. Raised garden beds also help keep pests from easily accessing your plants. They may even help reduce weed growth. 

9. Create an Herb Garden

Herb gardens are practical and simple landscaping ideas. Herb gardens offer a dual purpose because they give your outdoor space a charming appeal while also doubling as a place to access your own fresh herbs. This means you’ll always have the best herbs for your cooking needs close at hand.

Some herbs offer an aromatic and fragrant element that is also pleasing. Adding a variety of herbs like rosemary, basil, mint, thyme, and oregano will meet most seasoning and flavoring recipe requirements. 

Use a raised garden bed or individual containers. Ensure they are raised for protection and proper drainage as well as accessibility. 

10. Mulch and Edge Your Garden Beds

Simple landscaping ideas like mulching and edging also provide ways to achieve an impactful yet easy yard makeover. The process of mulching is one of the most tried and true DIY landscaping methods.

Mulching helps to reduce weeds which makes landscaping much easier to manage. Mulch like bark or wood chips can retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature better. 

Using bricks, stones, and other design materials for edging allows you to clearly define and separate your garden beds. Experiment with straight or curved designs to further enhance your outdoor space.

11. Plant a Shade Tree

Trees are multi-faceted objects with many benefits. Not only do trees provide us with oxygen, but they also offer comfortable shade when the weather is warm. Adding a shade tree can enhance your outdoor space and yard features. 

Again, you’ll want to go with tree options that are native to the area. This ensures that your tree will thrive even in harsh climates like the cold Illinois winters. Some examples include:

  • Red Maple
  • White Oak
  • Chestnut
  • Black Cherry
  • Ash
  • Birch

The type of tree you choose will also depend on the look you want to complement the aesthetic of your home and your surrounding landscape. Some species of trees also provide more low-maintenance landscaping options. 

12. Hang Up Outdoor Art

Simple landscaping ideas don’t always have to involve digging in the dirt. If you’re an artsy person, then you’ll love adding some outdoor art to your list of weekend projects. With outdoor art, you can go as conservative or as eclectic as you want depending on your unique decorating tastes. 

Sculptures can be used in both the front and the backyard areas to liven up a yard makeover. You can also add smaller elements like decorative windchimes for a peaceful aesthetic.

Don’t overlook your fences as a part of this aesthetic either. You can use fences to hang artwork like colorful mosaics, birdhouses, and other ornate art pieces. Or you can use your fences to paint artistic murals. 

Discover More Simple Landscaping Ideas with Arbeen Landscaping Illinois Today

There are so many great and simple landscaping ideas you can use for your yard makeover that won’t take up a lot of time. Use one or several of these ideas to revitalize your outdoor space in a snap.

Arbeen Landscaping in Illinois serves both residential and commercial properties in the west Chicago suburbs area including Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville, and more. We specialize in residential services like landscape lighting, drainage services, and outdoor living areas. We also offer commercial landscape design and snow removal services. 

If you’re ready to jumpstart your landscaping, contact Arbeen Landscaping today for your free quote!

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