No matter if your budget is thousands of dollars or hundreds, each landscape project has the potential to transform a space for the better. Take into account your interests and hobbies, and embark on a project that reflects one of those. Or start an adventure by creating an area that will support a new goal. Keep in mind all the seasons where you live, and use those to your advantage when considering designs.
Patios with elaborate outdoor kitchen setups are all the rage, but so too are simple fire pits where homeowners and guests can enjoy flame warmth and traditional food comforts like s'mores and hot dogs. First consult your fire department about codes pertaining to residential fire pits to see if they are allowable in your neighborhood, how far away they must be located to structures and if there are other restrictions. Purchase a pit kit from a landscaping supply company or build your own using bricks, stones or concrete pieces. Sink the pit into the ground or construct an aboveground hearth. Build a flat seating area around the pit for chair lounging and safety; uneven ground around a fire pit isn't wise. Ensure the type of materials you use will blend in with your home's decor.
Only experienced gardeners should take on the demands of a cottage garden, which is labor intensive. These gardens are free-form and flowing, with many types of plants growing at different height, and in different forms, shapes and colors. Flowers such as spiky, showy delphinium and fragrant roses are often cultivated to enhance a home's exterior and draw visitors in rather than be overwhelming. Create a cottage garden along walkways and front porches where they will be enjoyed by the most passersby.
Homeowners who don't live near a body of water but want to feel like they do can use their landscapes to help create the illusion. Create a nautical theme with ornamental grasses that mimic native plants that grow on beach dunes, or tropical plants, such as hibiscus, that can still be grown as annuals in northern climates to lend a touch of the Caribbean. Collect old oars, netting, an anchor, pilings and other nautical treasures at yard sales and flea markets, and place those amidst the vegetation. Tuck seashells, sea biscuits and starfish near plants. Cultivate plants that flower in blue and white to recall the ocean and sand.