Easy & Budget-friendly DIY Landscaping Ideas

diy landscaping

Landscaping doesn’t always mean digging up the entire yard. There are many simple ways to revamp your outdoor space without spending a lot of time or money. Below we have compiled a list of seven DIY landscaping ideas that even a total beginner could do. Moreover, these budget-friendly ideas will help you refresh your outdoor space just in time for spring.

Not Sure Where To Start?

If you’re starting with a blank slate, it can be hard to decide what exactly you want. First, choose a specific area to focus on. Trying to figure out your entire backyard or front yard at once can be overwhelming. Next, visualize what you want this space to look like. Take a moment to draw out your current outdoor space and where you want things to go. We recommend keeping in mind how natural light will affect your design. For example, you won’t want to make a garden bed in an area that doesn’t get sufficient sunlight.

Will this area be a place for entertaining or gardening? Are you looking for something more functional or aesthetic? These are a few questions you can ask yourself when planning your DIY landscaping project. Looking up design inspiration online will also be a great way to decide where to begin.

diy landscaping

Raised Garden Bed

With the weather warming up, many people will want to get back into gardening. Raised garden beds are great for keeping out pests and neatly dividing the garden. Choose whether you want to plant herbs, vegetables, or flowers. By doing so, you will have a better idea as to how big you want the garden bed.

Give yourself half a day, and you too can build your own custom raised garden bed. There are plenty of preassembled raised garden beds to choose from for those who want to get right into gardening.

DIY Stepping Stone

Why not spruce up your garden with a one-of-a-kind stepping stone? Even if you aren’t the most artistically inclined, this is a great DIY landscaping project even kids can do. To make your own stepping stone, you’ll need:

  • Quick Setting Concrete
  • Non-stick Spray
  • Mould
  • Bucket
  • Paint Mixer
  • Newspaper
  • Decorative Items (Seashells, Dried Flowers, Marbles, Sea Glass, Sparkles, etc.)

First, line the moulds with non-stick spray. Next, mix the concrete and pour it into a mould. Add your chosen decorative items. Lastly, let the concrete dry for 24 to 48 hours, and you’re done!

If you don’t want to purchase concrete, DIY stepping stone kits are also available to purchase.

diy landscaping

Paint A Mural

Use your fence as your canvas! In other words, if you’re tired of looking at your mundane fence all the time, now is the time to change it up. This is another way to add a personal touch to your outdoor space.

Plant Hanger

Is there a wooden ladder sitting unused at the back of your shed? If so, dust it off and convert it into a plant hanger. This is a great way to showcase all your plant babies in a compact and visually pleasing way. Consider how many and which plants you want to add. Next, purchase some basic plywood to make shelves. If desired, paint the ladder to help match your surroundings.

For a single pole ladder, you can even attach it to your shed or fence. Add desired hanging planters, and you’re finished!

Add Or Replace Landscape Edging

Landscape edging helps define a walkway, a patio, or outline garden space. Landscape edging is a great way to keep grass out of a garden bed and can boost curb appeal. Lawn edging materials typically come in stone, brick, concrete, metal, or plastic.

First, measure out the area you want to define. This way, you’ll know exactly how much material you’ll need. Next, dig a trench around the area you want to define. For plastic edging, dig roughly six inches deep. For stones, dig depending on how large each one is. Place the edging into the trench. Use a connector on the plastic edging so that the ends are attached. Once you fill the soil back, place a stake every 5 feet along the edging. After that, you should slightly angle the stake to ensure the edging stays put.

Mood Lighting

We know just how important lighting can be for an outdoor space. Why not elevate the time you spend outside with some mood lighting? String lights and solar-powered lights are easy to incorporate and help change the tone. The fun thing about outdoor lights is how many choices you have. There are plenty of sizes, shapes, and colours to choose from to help maximize customization. Add these to your patio, around your home, or in your garden. In addition, landscape lighting also helps boost curb appeal and security.

Hardscaping

Last but not least, let’s talk about hardscaping. If you’re tired of the amount of time spent mowing the lawn, consider adding hardscaping. Hardscape means using material like wood, stone, or metal and adding it to the landscape. For example, this includes pathways or sitting areas made of stone or gravel. This idea might sound a bit more ambitious than the others. However, you could finish a small walking pathway within a day. If you’re imagining a large stone pathway in your yard, it’s best to contact a professional landscaper.

We hope these budget-friendly DIY landscaping ideas inspire you to plan your own projects. These projects can help revitalize your outdoor space for spring. However, you don’t need to make all projects DIY. For bigger projects like custom stonework, retaining walls, or custom irrigation, let professional landscapers handle it. Furthermore, these tasks will take longer, but you’ll get the exact desired result.

For your next landscaping project, contact us at Landscape 360 to request an estimate. We specialize in all things landscaping and offer high-quality service to Calgary and the surrounding areas. 

Improving Curb Appeal With Landscaping

curb appeal

 Homeowners take great pride in the interior of their home, but what about the exterior? There are many ways landscaping services can benefit you. Today we are focusing on curb appeal. What is it, and why is it important? What are easy ways to improve curb appeal? As a homeowner, these are great questions to have. First, we will go over what it is, then provide five simple landscaping ideas to help raise curb appeal.   

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is a term often used by realtors. It refers to the outer attractiveness of a house or property, and you can raise or lower curb appeal based on things like structural upkeep or landscaping.  

Why Should I Be Thinking Of Curb Appeal?

If you plan on selling your home, curb appeal makes a tremendous difference. Homebuyers today will often start their search online. In other words, photos of the exterior will either draw them in or steer them away. When a potential buyer comes to see your house, the first thing they will notice is the exterior. High curb appeal not only gives a better first impression but also helps raise the overall value.  

 

Now you might think, ‘if I’m not selling my home, why does curb appeal matter’? Similar to how you care for the inside of your home, don’t you want to do the same for the outside? Even if you’re not selling your home, many people walk by and see it every day. Simple landscaping can help give a fresh look to your home.  

curb appeal

Landscaping To Improve Curb Appeal

Landscaping can be as simple or big of a project as you want. Whether you hire a professional or make it a DIY weekend activity, here are five ideas to get you started.  

Adding Greenery

Adding greenery seems like one of the easiest things to do. However, many forget to keep the seasons in mind when planning. Living in Alberta, it can be tricky to find the right plants that will last through the harsh conditions. In winter, we lose a lot of colours, and homes can look dull and uninviting. This is where winter season plants will come in. Consider incorporating plants like red osier dogwood or evergreen shrubs.

 

Getting a head start on spring and planting perennials is another easy way to add some colour. A professional landscaper will have expert knowledge on which plants are best for our climate. With planters or outdoor decor, colourful ones will add a personal touch to your property.  

Custom Pathway

The pathway to your front door is something many people will notice. Having a unique pathway will draw attention to the home. Stone or brick pathways come in many colours and shapes, giving you a lot of options. There are plenty of pathway designs and ideas online. If you are working with a professional landscaper, they can provide great advice as well.  

curb appeal

Lighting

Lighting not only increases safety but is also a great way to boost that curb appeal. Are you looking for a place to sit down and relax after a long day? Need a certain area lit up for security reasons? You’ll have many options to choose from, depending on what you want to use the lights for. The angle at which you position the lights will also give off different moods.  

 

Use uplights to highlight the best features of your home or surrounding landscape. On the contrary, downlights help create a beautiful moonlight effect when installed on higher trees.  

 

Light fixtures and light bulbs come in many different styles and sizes. Lastly, get inspired by looking up what options and lighting ideas are out there. It will help give you a better idea of what works for your space.  

Woodwork

There are plenty of woodworking projects to incorporate. Some areas include the deck, plant boxes, or even adding a garden bench. While these may take more time, they will be worth the effort. When done right, custom woodwork can be the highlight of your outdoor area.  

Consider Symmetry

Using symmetry will surely please the eye. For example, place the same plant or shrub on either side of the lawn. Humans are naturally drawn to symmetry, and simply swapping or moving things around can achieve this. Symmetrical landscapes help bring out uniformity and balance to your space. If you are using outdoor décor or furniture, keep overall balance, size, and colour in mind too.  

Final Thoughts

Lastly, curb appeal isn’t just about what other people are looking at. Don’t forget about yourself! Enhancing your exterior should bring joy and personality to your surroundings and help you fall in love with your home again. The great thing about winter is that you can plan everything now so that when the days get warmer, you can take full advantage of your outdoor space.  

 

By considering greenery, pathways, lighting, woodwork, and symmetry, we hope you have a better idea of how to improve curb appeal with landscaping. 

Not sure where to start or how to get the landscaping job done? Landscape 360 is here for you. From custom stonework to custom irrigation, we offer high-quality landscaping services to bring your vision to life. Contact us today to work with our experienced team.   

Build A Deck In 7 Steps

building a deck

Whether you’re tearing down your old deck or installing one for the first time, there are multiple steps to keep in mind throughout the process. At first, the project may seem daunting, but with these steps, you’ll be lounging on your new deck in no time.

Below we will outline the tools you will need, what material you can choose from and seven steps to building your dream deck.

First Pick The Right Materials

When building a deck, you need to think about the materials you want to use. Should you go with wood? Vinyl? Composite? Each has its benefits and potential drawbacks. Only you can really decide the best deck material for your project.

Here’s a list of a few commonly used decking materials:

Pressure-treated lumber: Popular for its affordability and durability, this decking material is ideal for those who want a wood look without paying the price for natural wood. Pressure-treated lumber is also easy to work with, unlike natural wood.

Composite: Generally, a slightly more expensive option to pressure-treated lumber. This material is made out of natural wood fibres and durable resin. Composite decking is known for its durability, and you won’t have to worry about maintenance. With many colours and styles to choose from, you won’t need to spend time sanding or staining. Keep in mind that composite decking can get extremely hot in direct sunlight and can become slippery when wet.

Cedar: This option is resistant to insect damage and decay. Popular for its texture and look, cedar is lighter and easier to work with than pressure-treated wood, but it is also more expensive.

Tools You Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Impact Driver
  • Level & Post Level
  • Shovel

Materials You Will Need

  • Concrete Forming Tube
  • Batter Boards
  • String
  • Post-Hold Concrete
  • Joist Hanger
  • Deck Crews
  • Posts
  • Joists
  • Deck Railing & Boards
  • Deck Stair Stringer
building a deck

The 7 Steps To Your New Deck

Plan Out Your Deck:

Draw out what you envision. Think about how big you want it to be, and where you want to build it. What kind of furniture pieces do you want to add? Take a walk around your neighbourhood to get inspiration or save images you find online that speak to you. Lastly, always be sure to call Alberta One Call to have an inspector identify and mark any underground utility lines. Also, make sure to check if you need any permits from your local municipality before you begin any work.

Build The Framework:

First, you will need batter boards and string to measure out from your house to the farthest post’s outside edge. This will act as a blueprint to measure how the frame will look and where the deck’s corners will be.

Ensure you measure the strings with a line level, as they should be stretched out tightly. Next, get a tape measure and either spray paint or flag to mark out where the post holes will go. Depending on where the frost line is, dig the holes for the footings and cut a level line on each form to the appropriate length, leaving a few inches above the ground. Once you have levelled the concrete tubing forms, backfill the dirt.

Prepare The Post Anchors:

Following the concrete mix instructions, pour cement into the footings and insert the post anchor bolts into the footer’s center, approximately 1-inch above the surface. Note that you will need to leave sufficient time for the concrete to harden fully. Once it has set, attach the post anchors.

building a deck

Setting Beam Height:

Measure the distance from the house to the ground, then subtract an inch off the far post to determine the height. This 1-inch difference is to allow for proper water flow. Next, place the beams and use brackets to secure the posts to the post anchors with nails.

This is a good time to double-check that the beams are square before securing them to the post. The joists should be placed every 16-inches. Using a measuring tape, mark off each spot before nailing down the joists. Using a power drill, attach the rim joists to the beams’ ends, and then the joist hangers to the beam faces.

Installing The Deck Boards:

At this point, your deck will look like it has a solid structure. Now it is time to install the boards. Line up the edge of the first length of the decking board with the beam’s outside edge. For every board, drill two screws every 16-inches into the joists. Depending on the material you’re working with, allow for a sufficient gap between each board. Again, double-check every few boards to ensure they are straight.

Adding The Railings:

Check with your inspector what railing height is allowed. Space out each post evenly before drilling them down. When working with wood, you will need to measure and cut each piece.

If you bought a pre-assembled railing kit, you still have to space them out and drill it in place.

Time For Stairs:

We’re almost done! If you want stairs coming off your deck, you will need to pour a concrete landing pad for the bottom step. Measure the height in inches, then divide the measurement by 7 – which is the ideal height for each step – to calculate how many steps you will need. For example, 63 ÷ 7 = 9, which means you will have nine risers. Cut the stair stringers, then nail down the deck boards the same way as step 5.

Congratulations! You have finished building your deck. You can add the final touches with accessories, furniture pieces, or a barbeque. Once you’ve customized it to your liking, you can now kick back and relax on your beautiful new deck.

 

Do you want to add a more personal touch to your outdoor living space? Contact Landscape 360 today to request an estimate. 

Landscape Construction Versus Landscape Design

landscape design

As summer comes to an end, you might be thinking of redesigning your yard for next year. Fall is a great time to consider getting your landscape design done as it gets chillier, and you’re using your green space less. Before the first snowfall of the year, you might be able to get some landscape construction done, and install some new pathways or even a fountain!

Is Landscape Construction Or Design Right For Me?

Landscape construction and design are two things that go hand in hand. You really cannot achieve one without the other, and they work together to create a beautiful yard. Landscape design deals with the planning and aesthetic nature of your project, whereas landscape construction is the physical act of making your plan happen. Most landscape designers can complete simple landscape construction projects themselves, or work closely with qualified landscape construction companies.

What's A Hardscape & Softscape?

When discussing landscaping, there are two broad categories to describe aspects of landscape construction and design: hardscapes and softscapes. Hardscapes refer to materials that go into a landscape, such as wood, stone, plastics and metals. Softscapes refer to the plants and organic matter that go into landscaping projects, such as trees, bushes, and flowers.

landscape design

Your landscaping design will likely involve both hardscapes and softscapes to create an alluring finished product. It’s essential to have a plan ahead of time and know exactly what you want to see in your yard before you talk to a professional! Knowing what elements you want to see within your landscape design will help your landscapers understand your vision and execute it.

Design Tips For Landscaping

With so many options, choosing what to add to your yard can be a little overwhelming. Creating a wishlist of what you want to see in your greenspace can help your landscape designer create a more coherent idea that incorporates these aspects. However, keep in mind some top design tips if you choose to create the design and finish it yourself.

Gardenista has a list of the top 10 design tips for landscaping, and we’ve compiled our favourite tips here! When designing your new space, you should:

  • Clearly Understand The Purpose Of Your Garden/Yard
  • Get To Know Your Yard’s Microclimates & Topography
  • Choose Plants That Are Right For Your Location
  • Plant Trees Based On Their Future Growth

Before getting ahead of yourself, you should consider these four tips. Knowing exactly how you hope to use your yard will vastly change how you design it. For example, if you have kids and want them to be able to play in the yard, ripping it out to replace all the grass with rocks and a huge fountain likely isn’t the best choice!

landscape design rocks

Understanding your space’s microclimates and topography is part of understanding the distinct features of your yard. You want to design around the unique characteristics of your space. If you have nice sunny patches, you might want to create a lovely little garden space. Knowing what your yard is like will also help you avoid making mistakes. For example, placing elements on areas that can’t support it and having them washed out during the next storm.

You wouldn’t want to plant a whole bunch of greenery and then realize that it cannot grow in your climate! Picking plants that will thrive in your local area is vital. Better Homes & Gardens has an excellent resource for finding the best plants for your area. For example, Calgary sits in a zone 4a, so implementing vegetation that suits our climate will result in better gardening success. It’s essential to research so you find plants that will thrive and be happy in your backyard.

Lastly, when adding trees to your yard, you must consider how large they can grow, not just the current size. It may fit nicely in the spot you’ve put it in right now. But, what will it look like in 5 or 10 years? Depending on the type of tree you’ve selected, it can grow to be quite large. Remeber you have to account for how this will affect your yard design.

Popular Elements Of Landscaping

There are popular elements in landscape design that are seen as relatively timeless. If you’re struggling to decide what you want in your yard, our Calgary landscaping company can help!

Popular hardscape features include:

  • Fountains, These Can Be Statement Pieces Or Simple & Minimalistic
  • Bird Baths, For All You Bird Enthusiasts
  • Stone Or Brick Pathways
  • Stone, Brick Or Wooden Stairs

Top softscape features are:

  • Trees
  • Flowers
  • Shrubbery & Hedges
  • Grass
landscape design hardscape

No matter what you want in your yard, there is a landscaper out there that can help you design and construct it to your vision. If you plan to design and build your yard yourself, make sure to do your research thoroughly. Many hardscape elements require expertise and knowledge to install correctly, so it might be better to contact a professional for that portion of the job.

Finding A Landscape Designer

When you’re searching for a professional to help you get the job done, make sure to look into their reviews and credentials. You can also take a look at their portfolio and see if the work they’ve done in the past is similar to the aesthetic you’re trying to recreate. Most landscapers can help you bring your dream to life if you have an idea of what you want. Even knowing the hard or softscape you wish to add will allow them to help you design something. But hiring a specialist in landscape design is also a route you can pursue.

The most important part of landscape design and finding the right professional for the job is making space work for you! Your yard should be a space you feel happy in and serves its purpose.

 

Are you looking to redesign your outdoor space? Contact our experienced team at Landscape 360 today for more information on how we can make your vision come to life!

Gardening Versus Landscaping

landscape vs gardening

As summer begins and everything starts to grow and get nice and lush, it’s a great time to start thinking about your yard. There are many ways to improve the outdoor space for your family. When considering how to improve your home’s green space, you might be wondering whether gardening or landscaping is the right option for you.

 

Gardening Versus Landscaping

So what’s the difference between gardening and landscaping? At first glance, they seem incredibly similar, and both involve creating and maintaining outdoor green spaces. The line between landscaping and gardening can be blurry. Typically gardening deals mostly with plants within an area, whereas landscaping involves various elements. Landscaping deals with different botanical components, such as trees, bushes, shrubs, and hardscapes like pathing, furniture, and fences to create a seamless and elevated space.

Many consider gardening to be a fulfilling personal hobby. Gardening gets you outside and working on your yard during the warm summer months. Starting a garden can help you elevate the look of your yard by adding flowers. This can take many different forms, whether you’re more interested in tending flowers or growing herbs and vegetables instead!

 

gardening pots on table

 

Gardening & Getting Started

There are many resources online to help you get your garden started. Resources can also help troubleshoot any problems that might come up. Calgary Horticultural Society has a great page that addresses local gardeners’ frequently asked questions! The City of Calgary has a guide to help you plan the layout of your yard and garden.

If you’re looking to get into gardening and aren’t sure where to start, it can be helpful to look up what plants flourish best in your area. The City of Calgary’s YardSmart guide outlines a list of perennial and annual water-wise plants. Water-wise plants are drought tolerant and offer advantages such as being great at sponging up rainwater runoff.

 

Perennials, Annuals & Vegetables

It’s important to consider what grows best in your local area. Because of this you might want to consider the benefits of planting perennial instead of annual. Perennials grow back every year, reducing the amount of work you need to do in your yard yearly. Some perennials mentioned in the guide that would be a beautiful addition to any garden are:

 

  • Alpine Asters
  • Bearded Irises
  • Blanket Flowers
  • Daylilies
  • False-Sunflowers
  • Peonies

 

peonies in garden

Gardening is an affordable hobby. If you choose to grow herbs and vegetables, it might save you money in the long run! Additionally, having a herb and vegetable garden has many different benefits, such as:

 

  • Always Having Fresh Herbs & Vegetables On Hand.
  • The Added Health Benefits That Come From Eating Fresh Produce.
  • Elevates Your Cooking By Allowing You To Add Fresh Herbs To Any Dish!
  • Gardening Can Be A Great Form Of Exercise, & It Can Be Extremely Fulfilling To Learn A New Skill!
  • It Can Add Visual Appeal To Your Yard & Gives Your Guests Something To Talk About When They Visit Your Home!
  • You Could Eventually Have Lots Of Herbs & Vegetables To Share With Your Loved Ones.

 

growing vegetables in a garden

 

Professional Landscaping

Landscaping is not typically a hobby that people try and pick up. Generally landscaping is left to the professionals, because it requires knowledge of horticulture, artistic design, construction and installation. Reworking and landscaping your yard is challenging and requires knowledge about lots of different elements.

You might have a vision for your yard that cannot be accomplished without custom stone and woodwork. This can become a massive project very quickly. Also, landscaping can include elements such as the creation of ponds, sculptures, and fun foliage like topiaries. Once all the planning and work on your yard is done, your yard still might not look how you envisioned it.

If you’re looking to change your yard’s look thoroughly, you should contact a landscaping contractor. Landscaping contractors know all about local botanicals, along with having experience with what will work best in your yard’s terrain.

 

professionally landscaped yard

 

Best Choice For Your Home

So what’s the best choice for your home? It really depends on your needs and what exactly you’re trying to change about your yard. Gardening is a great way to add greenery. By gardening you start a relatively low cost and fun activity for the entire family.

Gardening promotes spending time outside and in your backyard. It can become a fulfilling skill to learn for the future. Further, gardening improves the overall look of your yard. However, gardening involves lots of maintenance and work to keep your yard from looking overgrown.

If you’re looking to make more significant changes, it might be better to contact a professional landscape contractor. Ponds, pathways, and more significant botanical elements are more challenging to install and can become quite costly.

Materials can be extremely expensive. If you don’t already have the existing skill-set to make this project a reality, it becomes a huge risk to try and install it yourself. With these more extensive projects, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. Landscaping adds a unique design element to your home and is custom fit to your yard to suit your needs. Landscaping works to elevate your yard by adding features to make your yard more accessible and beautiful. These yards can be designed to suit any lifestyle and designed to be low or high maintenance.

If you have any questions about landscaping, give us a call. Our staff is more than willing to answer questions and help you update your yard for the summer.