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DIY Landscaping Ideas: 21 Projects for Your Yard

Want to upgrade your home’s landscaping design? Consider a DIY landscaping project! Whether you want to add a walkway through your backyard or improve your curb appeal before selling your home, these 21 simple DIY landscape ideas can make your home look beautiful!

Play with Layers When Planting

When planting flowers and shrubs around your home, don’t be afraid to play with levels! Staggering the heights of your landscaping can add visual depth to your yard. Need ideas for plants to help differentiate the layers in your yard? Try peonies, boxwood shrubs, and hostas, all of which can provide a fuller look! Contrast and mix with sparser plants like coneflowers, Russian sage, or salvia to add texture to your garden.

Make Your Own Mulch

A bucket of mulch. Photo by @yankeehomespun

Photo via @yankeehomespun

Need new mulch for your tree edges or flower beds? Fortunately, it’s not difficult to make your own mulch! Save time and money by making DIY mulch from materials you already have around your yard, such as lawn clippings, tree branches, and compost. While adding mulch to your landscape may not be an adventure, it’s essential for keeping plants healthy by retaining moisture, regulating soil temperature, suppressing weed growth, and adding nutrients back into the soil.

Build a DIY Retaining Wall

If you’re struggling with soil erosion in your yard, a DIY retaining wall can help! Retaining walls give soil a firm foundation to rest on and can prevent your yard from thinning down from heavy rain. When building a retaining wall, use interlocking blocks—this keeps your wall sturdy! If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online resources to guide you on how to build a retaining wall.

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Design a Welcoming Walkway

Paver walkway. Photo by @lowcountry_paver

Photo via @lowcountry_paver

Add style and structure to your home’s landscape with a DIY walkway! Design an eye-catching walkway with pavers or use gravel to make a simple, budget-friendly path. You can also repurpose brick, stone, and other materials for a DIY traditional walkway.

Create a Contemporary House Number Sign

White house with a bright, blue door. Photo by @hillarygaskins

Photo via @hillarygaskins

Looking to add a small yet modern touch to your home? DIY a house number sign to create an upgraded look and unique style for your home. With many options for house number sign ideas, choose materials and styles that complement your home’s aesthetic—such as a wooden or metal sign, neutral or brightly-colored sign, or one with a herringbone pattern.

Build Window Boxes

Window boxes for plants. Photo by @leahs_renewell

Photo via @leahs_renewell

Window flower boxes offer a range of aesthetic and practical benefits. Because plants are natural air purifiers, a DIY window box can not only improve air quality but can also add to curb appeal. This gives you extra space for flowers and adds depth and scale to the first impression of your home.

Create Privacy with Greenery

Looking for fencing alternatives for your yard? You can get more privacy in your backyard by planting large evergreen trees like Italian Cypress and Japanese Yew or even tall shrubs around the borders of your landscape! There are even options like artificial hedges that require less-intensive DIY installation and upkeep!

Set Up a DIY Water Fountain

Self-contained fountains, disappearing fountains, spouting fountains—there are so many different ways you can add a water fountain to your landscape! Have old flower pots or ceramic bowls you’re not using? You can easily repurpose these items to create a DIY fountain in a pot or assemble one of the many outdoor fountain kits available for purchase!

Install a Backyard Waterfall

If you love a bit of a challenge when it comes to backyard projects and love the sound of flowing water, consider creating a DIY backyard waterfall with a stream! All you need is gravel, stones, and a heavy-duty pump. Best of all, you can make the feature as intricate or as simple as you want!

Incorporate a Pond

Garden pond. Photo by @downtoearthdigs

Photo via @downtoearthdigs

You can design a DIY pond built into other DIY water features or one that stands alone in your yard! Like the backyard waterfall, this landscape project can be as small or as big as you desire. Dig a good-sized hole for your koi pond or garden pond, and be sure to use ground liners, rocks, and pumps to keep water flowing!

Design a Dry Stream

Garden plants with dry stream. Photo by @susancohan

Photo via @susancohan

Stop excess water from collecting in your yard by designing a dry stream! This simple DIY landscape idea makes it look as though there was once a stream running through your yard. Building a dry stream is simple as digging a trench, lining it with landscape fabric, and filling it with gravel, rocks, or stones!

Light Up Your Landscape

Outdoor steps lighting. Photo by @integrallighting

Photo via @integrallighting

Don’t forget about landscape lighting! There are tons of ways you can add DIY outdoor lights to your yard. Some backyard lighting ideas for ground lighting include line lanterns and garden lamps. Opt for hanging lights like string lights, lanterns, or flush lighting on pergolas or gazebos. Incorporate recessed LED riser lights for stairs or elegant footpath lighting. Highlight trees, flowers, or shrubs with front-facing solar spotlights. Or utilize underwater lighting in your water features to really make them stand out!

Opt for a Rock Garden

Rock gardens with different shapes and sizes of rocks. Photo by @my_suburbanfarm

Photo via @my_suburbanfarm

If you want a landscape requiring little to no maintenance, a rock garden is a simple DIY landscaping project for your yard that won’t break the budget! Use a variety of rocks—such as large boulders, small stones, riverbed stones, and flat stones—to mix up the texture, color, and form of your rock garden. This a great way to divert water to sections of grass that need it, especially if you incorporate different angular stone shapes and sizes.

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Install a Pergola

Transform your outdoor living area into a tranquil haven by installing a DIY pergola. With a backyard pergola, you can get a striking architectural feature in your backyard to help protect you from harsh elements—not to mention you get to dress up the structure with hanging planters, vines, or string lights. Depending on the time of day, a pergola will provide varying levels of shade, but for more consistent shade, install a pergola shade cover.

Build Simple Outdoor Furniture

You can DIY outdoor furniture pieces that are useful, modern, and customized to your household with just a few simple tools and materials. Design a DIY porch swing and add a touch of your own style, or opt for simple outdoor furniture like pallet chairs, Adirondack chairs, or garden benches to add homey touches to your outdoor space.

Get Creative with Trellis Panels

A simple landscaping idea for gardens—especially for those who grow their own vegetables at home—is trellis panels! Not only do these panels help plants grow in a healthy, vertical way, but they can also help provide privacy barriers for your yard. Utilize DIY trellis materials like cedar wood, bamboo, or copper pipes!

Plant Perennials

Bring lasting beauty and joy to your outdoor space by planting perennials like clematis, English lavender, and Balloon flower. Perennial gardens are low maintenance, help retain soil, prevent erosion, and give your backyard landscape visual interest! By planting them yourself, you’ll have full control over the colors, texture, and overall look of your landscaping and how it complements your other outdoor features. Plus, they’ll come back year after year!

Build a Berm

A berm landscape design. Photo by @premierelandsvs

Photo via @premierelandsvs

Adding a berm (a rounded mound of soil in landscaping) is a great way to add height to a flat or dull area in your outdoor space. It can even help trees retain water around their roots! If you’re looking to incorporate a DIY berm into your landscape design, use materials like plant debris, sand, or soil to build the mound. Then you can cover it with mulch or rock to finish the look!

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Experiment with Edges

Have a tree or bush you don’t know what to do with? Use stone, brick, or rock to lay edge. Creating a bordered edge around a plant or garden keeps lines crisp and visually appealing, which helps direct the eye to certain areas of your landscape. Benefits to laying tree or bush edges include an aesthetically-pleasing outline of your flower beds, natural container for landscaping mulch, and elegance to your home!

Save Water with Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is the perfect DIY yard idea for low-maintenance landscape projects! While this is a more common landscaping technique in the Southwest, it can be a great addition to your landscape—particularly since it reduces water usage by up to 80%! You only need drought-resistant plants like succulents, pampas grass, or wildflowers to plug into your rock gardens.

Design a Fire Pit

Create the perfect backyard hangout space with a DIY fire pit! This homey feature provides an area for families and friends to create warm memories. Simply dig a small pit, fill it with gravel, and then stack stone, brick, or pavers around it to finish the look of your outdoor space. Don’t forget to add lawn chairs around your landscaped fire pit, so you have a comfy place to sit. Additionally, there are plenty of backyard fire pit ideas to choose from to match your home.


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