Imagine walking into your backyard and feeling the luscious grass between your toes as you gaze out at all of your flower and vegetables. Your children are laughing as they climb up the jungle gym as you follow the pathway to your favorite shade tree to read as they play. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Or does it sound like a dream that is too hard to accomplish? Landscaping can seem daunting but there are a lot of inexpensive DIY projects you can do to landscape your backyard using our favorite: wood!
Wood is a great resource for landscaping. Besides the fact that it can be treated and designed to match any style, it is also a very appealing and universal resource used around the world. It is beautiful, natural and renewable. All of which are trendy qualities! Wood adds a great design element to landscaping. It presents your yard as warm, comfortable, inviting and even softens the look of a harsh blank space. Where do you start with landscaping?
Pick a Project
If you do not plan on using a landscaper, it is best to figure out what you want to accomplish. Do you want a deck, new fencing or playscape? Or are you wanting to add a garden to your current space? Once you know what you are wanting you can sketch out how you want it to look and start looking for DIY plans online. You may even want to do every single one of those projects, but remember, one step at a time. Start with the project that may mean the most to you or eventually become a focal point in the backyard. Once you complete that, then it is time to pick another one. It’s best to complete an entire project than start five and never finish. Once you settle on where to start, it’s time to gather the materials needed to make your landscaping dreams come true.
You’ll find that most people like to use cedar for landscaping projects. It is a durable product that resists rot, repels insects, and lasts a long time. We have a blog posts dedicated to all of the reasons we love cedar! Check it out!
Cedar is perfect for various projects, including: decks, fences, raised garden or flower beds, pergolas, benches, and retaining walls. You can also use it as borders around flower beds and walkways. This will bring a pop of color to your backyard along with all of the other benefits cedar provides. A lot of these projects are pretty basic, although they can be more elaborate if you are a DIY expert or using a landscaper. The only one that might need some extra work is the retaining wall. What is that, anyway? A retaining wall is built to support soil masses at two or more different levels. They help prevent erosion and mask the eyesores that unleveled ground can sometimes create.
One of our favorite landscaping ideas is adding a space for a fire pit. This creates a comfortable and fun atmosphere and a designated space for every to gather around for story telling, singing, or laughter. These spaces are perfect for winter evenings when you still want to be outside but stay warm. They are also perfect for summer when you want to dry off from swimming in your pool or roast marshmallows for the perfect dessert.
Another great idea, if you have children or grandchildren, is adding a playscape. Kids love spaces where there imaginations can run wild. Not only do they love them, but they need them. Playscapes, along with a landscaped backyard, are wonderful places for your tiny ones to explore and feel God’s creation beneath their feet. They need these opportunities to use all of their senses and to simply be kids. One way to keep your playscape safe, besides proper assembly, of course, is laying wood chips throughout the area of the playscape. This is a pure material that is certified and tested, easy to maintain and has great shock absorbency for all of those jumping and running feet! You will notice a lot of public playscapes are switching to wood chips versus rocks or rubber for these reasons.
Can you use wood in your garden and flower bed other than building a border or raised bed? Absolutely. Wood mulch is great for moisture retention, temperature moderation and weed control. We have a blog article that discusses this more in depth. Make sure you read it if you need more information on gardening with wood.
Last but not least, start planting. You’ll need to know what types of plants are best for your area. Is it mostly sunny or mostly shady? Would you prefer annual plants or perennial? Do you need more shade? These are all questions that will guide you to the right plants. Obviously, vegetable and herb gardens are going to depend on what grows best during that season and its current conditions, but flowers are different. You can find flowers that love being kissed by the sun all day long or ones that only want the coolness of shade. You can buy flowers that need to be replanted every year, annuals, or flowers that will stick around for a while, perennials. When it comes to needing more shade, the choices are simple. Pecan and oak trees grow the best in Texas, and happen to be our personal favorites. They will provide great shade and last a long time. Your local nursery should be able to guide you through all of these choices to make sure your landscaping project turns out perfect.
There are many other ways to use wood throughout your landscaping efforts. You could make planters or even build a chicken coop! Regardless of which projects you choose, they are sure to turn your backyard into a rustic oasis. It can be a Pinterest perfect space, complete with fairy lights and maybe even a pond, or a pool. You and your children can play within your cedar fences and maintain your garden as the sun sets and the earth finally cools off. Landscaping doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Just take it one DIY project at a time!