Eight Super Easy Holiday Landscaping Ideas

Christmas lights in the park night viewOutdoor decorating for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to go overboard, like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. In fact, there are lots of relatively simple – and very elegant – ways to compliment the natural beauty of your yard and create a festive mood. Here are eight of our favorite (and easy) holiday landscaping ideas:

Fill those planting pots. Take all those summer planting pots and fill them up with winter bouquets made of evergreen boughs, dried branches, ribbon and berries. Utilize any natural elements from your own yard, like pine branches or needles, pine cones, boxwoods, dried hydrangea flowers or leftover seedpods. Place larger pots alone, or cluster varied sizes together to highlight your walkway, door or patio.

Add mood lighting. Illuminate some of your existing elements in the yard by adding spotlights with colored lights. Or wrap branches or trunks with strands of lights or garland, and add waterproof tubed lighting to sidewalks, under porches, or on other structures in your outdoor space.

Don’t forget the door. Doorways are perfect canvases for holiday spirit. Purchase a couple of smaller trees (like a Frasier fir or Alberta spruce), set them in containers and cover the edges with decorative garland or pine needles. Place them on either side of the entry or front porch (and when you’re ready to take down decorations, plant your new trees in a special place in your yard). Additionally, embellish fresh, pre-made evergreen wreaths with ornaments, ribbons or natural elements like pine cones or dried flowers. Frame the doorway with garland and twinkling lights.

Highlight your mailbox. Wrap garland or tie swags of pine in layers with wire around your mailbox to set a warm or whimsical tone. Add ornaments, ribbons or other items available from your local craft store.

Take it to the next level. If you already have boxwoods, smaller potted arrangements or evergreens in your yard, add seasonal elements that can be changed from fall to winter. Pheasant or peacock feathers, gourds, corn stalks and tree branches are perfect for late fall. Switch to holly, winterberry and velvet ribbons for December. And then add glitter sprays, shiny objects or sprinkle waterproof confetti to bring in the New Year.

Dress up outdoor seating. Benches or built-in seating areas are perfect places to add clusters of holiday greenery, gazing balls, wooden signs or baskets of pine cones. Cruise the aisles of your local nursery or home improvement store to find interesting items that will add color to outdoor tables and chairs.

Switch it up. Look around your storage shelves for any interior design pieces that can be taken outdoors. Plastic fruit, for instance, can add color and warmth to outdoor bushes, trees or containers. Or maybe you have a plastic bin full of old, dried flowers that are begging for attention. Add them to some of your outdoor decorations for color and texture.

 Recycle and create new masterpieces. Take your family on a treasure hunt to a nearby Goodwill and rescue wooden signs or frames, old sleds, baskets or other decorative elements that can be embellished and used outdoors. Even a pair of worn boots or ski poles can be the foundation for unique holiday creations. Make it a family event and enjoy the process.

You don’t have to spend a fortune or blow the fuses to show your holiday spirit. But if you are ready for larger landscaping projects, or you want to give the gift of a new patio, fire pit or pergola to your loved ones for the holidays, give us a call at (317) 259-9222. We can help you with that.

Ready for a backyard fire pit? We’ve got you covered

Some of the most often-asked questions we get from homeowners as cooler weather approaches tend to revolve around outdoor fire pits:fire pit what type or style is best, which kind would work with our back yard, and are they safe?

Backyard fire pits have become increasingly popular over the years, as property owners realize how the element of fire can enhance outdoor living spaces, provide added ambiance, and serve as a natural gathering place for friends and family. In fact, fire pits serve to extend the use of your outdoor area beyond spring and summer, and well into fall and winter.

The bonus? Because outdoor fire pits vary so much in styles, sizes and structure, you can find one to fit almost any budget. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what type of fire pit you want:

Play by the rules

Check to make sure you understand your local ordinances regarding open fires on personal property. Some municipalities ban open burning of any kind.

Consider your budget

Fire pits can cost anywhere from under $100 to upwards of $10,000 (or more), and everywhere in between. Basically, the sky is the limit, depending on your vision and budget. You can dig and build your own or have one built as part of your landscaping design.

Think ahead

As you envision your fire pit, think about if you want it to be permanent or portable. Do you want a built-in structure that can also serve as a focal point for your yard? Or would you rather have a portable, lightweight option that you can move according to where you are gathering? Or do you want both?

If you decide on a permanent fire pit, there are lots of options, including DIY kits or basic designs that can be made with supplies from your local big box store. Professional, custom-built fire pits come in limitless designs, and can include built-in seating for as many or few as you want. Custom designs can also incorporate materials that compliment your home and existing design elements.

No matter which type of fire pit you choose, make sure you use appropriate stones and materials, while also choosing a style that is proportional to the size and shape of your yard. And while custom-built fire pits are more expensive, when installed by a professional, they will last longer and require less maintenance or repair.

Choose your fuel

Do you want the smells and sounds of wood as your fire pit fuel of choice, or do you prefer the ease of gas? Obviously, wood requires some effort to keep those flames burning – and to make sure they don’t escape. You’ll also need a healthy stock of firewood.

You might prefer the use of gas or propane for an instant fire, (sometimes even including a remote control starter), even if it’s not as hot as a wood fire. Some designs can actually incorporate both, if the added cost isn’t a concern.

Choose your location

Remember when we mentioned the importance of knowing your local fire ordinances? Most communities require fire pits to be a minimum distance from your house and neighbors’ yards. Some don’t require a permit if the fire pit fit is smaller than a specific size, while others might require a site inspection from local fire officials to make sure your proposed location is safe (away from structures, fences, overhanging branches, etc.). And, some communities have outright bans on open fires. Remember to check with local officials before you do anything.

Give us a call

Outdoor fire pits can be just the thing to compliment your outdoor living area and bring together your friends and family for endless hours of fun. We would love to help bring your landscaping vision to life. For a free quote or more information, give us a call at (317) 259-9222.