Did you know that, within the past year, about 164 million Americans have tried their hands at gardening and landscaping? Many people are increasingly interested in going outdoors more as a way to reconnect with the world, having become familiar with the feeling of “wasting away” life in front of a television or computer. Others are simply trying their hand at growing produce, as part of a larger effort to provide more wholesome nutrition for their families.

Regardless of why you’re outside more, it’s likely that you would enjoy to relax there in a more scenic and comfortable environment. If you want a backyard that will impress your neighbors, your landscaping designs will need to involve more than just putting down some gravel and a couple of chairs. How can you incorporate unique landscaping ideas into your outdoor area? Here are three suggestions.

  1. Use Quality Mulch and Soil While there are companies out there advertising the benefits of “recycled” mulch — typically partially composed of rubber from shredded tires — you’re better off going for high quality, biologically active mulch composed from organic materials. Mulch helps to fertilize soil and provide nitrogen for plant roots. Similarly, make sure you start your garden off with a decent soil mix. If soil feels too compacted, for example, it likely has a high sand composition — this can make it difficult for plants to breathe.
  2. Use Unique Details to Add Interest to Your Yard Everyone has patio chairs and a table — this isn’t really going to make your outdoor area stand out. Depending on your landscaping design, there are many ways you can make a space really “pop.” A smaller yard might already have a wooden fence for privacy — what about adding a bright red wall in front of it to help encapsulate the feeling of an intimate space? A triangle shaped garden shade can add an eye-catching geometric look to outdoor space, while also providing cooling shade.
  3. Create Pathways and More With Landscaping Stones Many regions of the U.S. are now experiencing drought, or near-drought conditions. For this reason, it makes sense that many people are re-thinking their landscaping plans and looking for ways to create a lawn that looks great, but doesn’t require as much water. Landscaping stones can add color and texture to any landscape. Small stones can be used for pathways, and large boulders can be used in place of shrubs. People can also look for native plants to incorporate into their yard — these will require less watering than plants coming from more rain-heavy regions.

Do you have tips for better landscaping designs? Let us know in the comments.