Simple Landscaping Makeover Ideas

Stone patio with orange chairs and table.
chuckcollier/E+/Getty Images

Are you convinced your yard needs a makeover? Would a few simple landscaping ideas be enough to point you in the right direction? Sometimes, that is all the do-it-yourselfer needs: specific, easy-to-implement recommendations to inspire action. Whether you need help with designing your front, back, or side yard or you'd like to start a flower or vegetable garden from scratch, a few professional tips are all you need to get started. 

  • 01 of 05
    Nice grass (image) is beautiful but a lot of work. The hydrangea backdrop adds to the scene.
    David Beaulieu

    The front yard is the most visible section of most properties. But it does more than just look pretty and add curb appeal. As the entrance to your landscape, the front yard also welcomes visitors and guides them to the front door of your home. With so much going on in this area, there are many opportunities for makeover strategies: 

    • Privacy
    • Fences and hedges
    • Driveways
    • Walkways
    • Front entries
    • Landscape design styles
    • Lawns
    • Injecting color into the yard with flowers
    • How to choose a tree
    • Designing with focal points
  • 02 of 05
    Four people on lounge chairs near swimming pool.
    Jupiterimages/Getty Images

    While front yards are part of the neighborhood, backyards are all about personal space. What do you want to include in yours?  

    • Children's play area
    • Outdoor residence for pets
    • Al fresco dining area or outdoor kitchen
    • Entertainment space for hosting barbecues and parties
    • A peaceful haven from the outside world
    • Sports or recreation area 
    • Garden for vegetables or flowers or for attracting hummingbirds or butterflies
  • 03 of 05
    Image: This arbor provides a transition in a vast side yard, defining for the viewer where the front yard ends and the back begins.
    David Beaulieu

    Most people have a pretty good idea of what they want their front yard and backyard to look like, while the side yard is more of an afterthought, or it tends to be neglected altogether. But there's no reason why your side yard can't be an asset to your landscape. 

    Any side yard that serves as a traffic path between the front and back yards should provide pleasant and convenient travel. Side yards with a little more space can also be great places for fragrant flowering perennials or lush vegetable gardens.  

  • 04 of 05
    Circular water garden with water lilies, shrubs and perennials.
    Jason Smalley/Getty Images

    Any portion of the yard can be home to a garden. Flower gardens are still more common in front yards than are vegetable gardens, but the latter are gaining in popularity even in this, the most visible area of the yard. Regardless of the type of garden or its location, beginners need some help learning how to open up a plot of land and establish a garden, including tips for removing sod to making astute plant selections.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    As photo shows, Fritillaria is a sensational lily. Crown Imperial Fritillaria has orange blooms.
    Fritillaria imperialis. David Beaulieu

    A simple landscaping idea that is easy to overlook but can yield huge dividends in terms of your enjoyment of any part of your yard is selecting truly fun plants to grow. When choosing something to buy at the garden center, do you think only in terms of how pretty a plant is? If so, you may be shortchanging yourself. Some plants, while they may not be drop-dead gorgeous, can offer exquisite joys to gardeners willing to appreciate them for having an unusual appearance or undergoing dramatic changes at specific times of the growing season.

    Of course, in some cases, they may also be stunningly lovely, as with the spring bulb plant Fritillaria imperialis.