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Free Landscape Design Ideas!

And easy to do backyard tips

Looking for a few free landscape design ideas you can implement quickly and easily for maximum impact? Or, at least ideas that could save you lots of money in the long run? Of course you do!

Easy things, like creating a focal point, adding a bit more color, low voltage or solar lighting, smart design and other ideas could make a huge difference! Your landscaping could be the envy of your neighborhood with just a few simple plans!

Incorporate Water Features
The tranquil sound of trickling water adds instant appeal to any backyard and makes it a pleasant space where you’ll definitely want to spend more time. Some of the free landscape design tips here may even get you thinking that, while you can build elaborate pools, ponds and waterfalls, it isn’t necessary to invest a huge amount of money, time or energy to get a similar effect. Invest in a simple self-contained water fountain and feature it where it’ll be heard the best, too.

You can even make it the center of attention and do the rest of your landscaping around it. Place it against a house wall, a back fence, or right in the middle of the yard, depending on the type and size of the water feature. Want to put it where electricity might be a challenge? Get a solar model (they’re so 21st century) and place it anywhere there’s lots of sunlight.

Depending on the amount of work you want to do, you could even have a small Koi pond with a waterfall for less than a hundred dollars. The drawing is meant to be humorous, but it shows the simplicity of the concept; the pump makes the water go up, gravity brings the water back down. For a much more in-depth look at a waterfall designed landscape plan, see Landscape Architect Nancy Dransfield’s expert advice on waterfalls!

Plant For Serenity
With a fountain or other as your focal point, you can blend in landscaping elements that will lend an air of serenity. Use earth-friendly spray paint to “draw” shapes around your water feature to be your landscape guide. For a formal look, use a symmetrical shape, such as a square, circle, or oval.

For a more natural look, draw random curves to create a soft, fluid free-form design.

Create a border around the landscaped area using patio stones, concrete blocks, or even just random shaped large rocks.

Here’s an idea: Find a farmer or developer with rocks on their property and they may let you help yourself. Free landscape. Design may be a little easier now as well.

Always be thinking “free” landscape design elements. And don’t be afraid to ask. You’d be surprised what you can get for free just by asking! Looking for ideas that inspire curb appeal? Visit our friends at HGTV Curb Appeal.

Consult with a knowledgeable local gardening center to select plants that are well suited to your free landscape design ideas and growing zone based on your area’s climate. Always find out how large the plant or tree will grow and how fast, in both height and width. Look for drought resistant slow growing plants. And don’t worry if your plants seem small for the space at first. Remember: plants grow. For instance, low growing leafy Hostas (right) are beautiful and are virtually maintenance free. Landscape design, as with all your planting ideas, should allow plants room to grow.

Even a free landscape design should include laying down weed barrier materials (black plastic trash bags, cut and spread open, is an acceptable choice) and rocks, stones, or other free landscape design elements; building the height of the area up if you want it to be a raised bed; or bringing in more suitable soil for the plants you will use.

Once you know what kind of plants you are looking for, talk to friends and relatives. They, or someone they know, may be thinning out their plantings and would be willing to share their excess with you. Totally free landscape design materials. Many plants can be split when planted, thus multiplying them quickly and easily. For example, if one friend gives you a single Hosta—or similar—plant from her yard, you can split it into four that will all grow to full size after just a season or two.

Light It Up
Add lighting to highlight the new additions to your backyard. Small, solar-powered or low voltage path and walkway lights are perfect forshowcasing your smart and free landscape design ideas. Solar lights are inexpensive and easy to install, by just pushing them into the ground wherever you want. Low voltage lights are nearly as easy, too. You can also purchase a couple of solar spotlights to aim at the fountain to highlight it more prominently after dusk. Solar powered yard lights today are definitely the way to go.

To see what’s available in solar powered garden lighting, check out Solar Power Garden Lights. Here you’ll find free landscape design ideas and expert advice on ways to give your garden or backyard a new look with free lighting!

Make It Look Natural
While some people prefer formal designs, most prefer more informal landscape ideas for their backyards, as they seem more natural. Just as using a free-form shape for your feature area creates a more casual look, planting in seemingly “random” configurations also makes for a more interesting, natural style. In other words, don’t plant everything in neat and tidy rows unless, of course, you like that look.

Add Color and Interest
You can also add a wonderful pop of color to your backyard with potted annuals. Especially when your landscaping is fresh and new, and the plants haven’t matured to their full-grown size, you may feel like something is missing. It may just look a little too sparse. This is the perfect time to bring in potted flowers in various colors to add interest and fill in the gaps. You can even set some of the pots on stones to elevate them, or simply use different sized pots, arranged randomly, to create a multi-dimensional effect and very close to free. Landscape design utilizing a small bench, a few birdhouses, or some statuary or art to your backyard oasis adds personality and focus.

Small Yard? Keep It Simple
If you have a small yard, just keep the landscaped area in proportion. The smaller the area you’ve designated for your landscaping project, the fewer the items you probably need. Remember, its easier to get complex—by adding and adding things—than to get simple. Search small yard landscapingfree landscape design orlandscape back yard using the Google Custom Search Box (upper right).

Happy landscaping!!

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Updated: September 23, 2013 — 6:05 am

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