Landscape Lighting and Holiday Decorating in the Spring

It may be early in the year but it’s never too early to think about decorating your landscape for the holidays, especially because of the sales. And, there is no better time to purchase your holiday decorations when the stores are selling them 50% off or more! So, consider planning your holiday décor now and you will be prepared and much richer come Christmas time.

You want to spice things up, maybe make your house the one on the block the kids both young and old would love to go see. So how do you accomplish this without being too “over-the-top” or over budget?

Choose a particular theme and design your lighting and décor around it.  Here are some ideas for themes:

  • Snowman
  • Candy Canes
  • Christmas Boxes
  • Santa & his Reindeer
  • Winter Wonderland
  • The Menorah

Whatever your delight, lighting will play an essential role in perfecting this holiday landscape. Start with an assortment of LED lights. These gems come in a wide variety of colors, fitting just about any theme, and the best part is that they are weather resistant. These lights are usually brighter, last longer and come in traditional shapes, even in the firefly type lights. Either way, LED Lighting is very versatile and cost effective.

If you are re-using your LED Lighting from last year, conduct a “light test” before you hang them.  The primary purpose for this test is your safety. You want to make sure the lighting is still operational. Second, a test will help you catch any burnt out lights you can replace before hanging.

Once you’ve selected your theme, choose the color lights that best fit that theme. For example, if you selected a “Winter Wonderland”, ICICLE LIGHTS hung around the house are a beautiful way to create that cold winter day feeling, while economically giving a subtle display of dancing ice.

If you want to “ramp up” your “Winter Wonderland” theme, icy blue colored lighting strung around a few of the bushes and trees will give a lovely sparkle to the overall ambiance.

And don’t forget about the windows. Hang little firefly lights around either the inside or outside of a window, and apply a touch of frost around the edges of the inside to give them a beautiful, snowy effect. Even if you live in a warm climate, this type of lighting will give your home a winter feel.

Once your lighting is set, place “Winter Wonderland” items strategically throughout the yard; i.e., styrofoam-shaped snowballs, sleds, fake snow on the grass, etc…

It’s a magical time of year and a wonderful opportunity to let your imagination fly by creating your landscape filled with holiday cheer. Just remember that a few lights go a long way. Don’t be afraid to brighten up your landscape. You only get one chance a year…so make it a memorable one—even if it is nine months early!

3 Ideas for Budget Landscaping

A budget landscape doesn’t necessarily equate to a less-than-average landscape. There are specific areas and methods where budget landscaping can work wonders for your wallet and leave your garden looking spruce and neat at the same time.

Idea 1: Budget Lawn

Consider a cheaper variety of grass. Starting a fresh lawn from seed is usually cheaper than having one transplanted on your property, so explore that option. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s the lowest price for the type of grass that will grow abundantly on the soil type found on your property.

A budget lawn can also mean leaving in some percentage of weeds in order to achieve a multi-cultured plant system on the lawn. Weeds become excessive when more are visible than your actual lawn. If this is a concern for you, don’t spend too much money on removing weeds – that can take a heavy toll on your budget.

Idea 2: Budget Hardscaping

Rather than buying expensive lawn ornaments or costly water fountains, make your own rock garden or water feature. The experience will be great and you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars. Modern pumps are highly efficient and reasonably priced, so a DIY job should be able to save you even more money.

Hardscape features like patio pavers on a sand base are easier to install than those that require concrete. Sand is cheaper than concrete and the project itself doesn’t require a great amount of experience or expertise.

Even flower-bed borders and other border definitions are pretty much DIY kind of projects that can be done neatly with a little bit of time and effort. The money you save will be considerable, and your garden will look tidy after you’re done.

Idea 3: Budget Lawn Furniture

Lawn furniture is great in more than one way: it can use up a lot of space you don’t want to leave bare, and it can be a very inexpensive shopping experience if you know where to go.

Home and garden care stores usually carry budget ranges of lawn furniture as well as expensive ones. Go to the right aisle and you’ll find an impressive choice of tables, chairs, umbrellas, area separators and everything else you need.

You can also cruise the curbs for some great free lawn furniture – just make sure it’s up for grabs and not part of their actual lawn! You can also check out the deliveries at recycling centers and strike a deal with the owner to pick up some lawn furniture that you can repair and repaint to look like new.

In conclusion, these great ideas for budget landscaping merely touch on the surface of what you can do to save money. There are lots of great ideas that will come to you once get your creative juices flowing. Budget landscape lighting, to give just one example, can be a cost-effective way to brighten up your garden at night. Low-cost, high-efficiency lighting is only a few mouse clicks away and can be installed very quickly and cheaply. Good lighting can make a huge difference in the way your space looks at night, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg if you plan properly and use a minimalist approach.

Good luck, and save all the money you can with these thrifty ideas for your personal paradise!


Whimsical Garden Ornament Ideas for Landscaping

Landscaping your garden can be a fun project, but if you have any experience with it, you’ll know that you can run out of ideas faster than you can say “garden gnome!” Although these lively characters can be a wonderful idea on their own, there’s more to garden ornaments than gnomes.

If you are someone who loves whimsical gardening themes, check out these great ideas for dressing up your own garden with ornaments that are interesting and may turn your neighbors’ heads. They are rated from mildly bizarre to a little crazy, but they will liven up any garden, and make for an engaging conversation piece.

Stone Plants

This one will definitely get you the blue ribbon at the local garden contest. Massive stone recreations of colorful American Pitcher plants, brilliantly-hued giant Venus Flytraps and breathtaking Sundews are all terrific ideas for your garden. You can even label them creatively to add some whimsy. This theme is sure to keep your visitors in uncontrollable fits of laughter even before they get past the front door.

Cartoon Characters

If large carnivorous plants are not your taste, you could opt for a cartoon theme. A great big Homer Simpson is sure to garner laughs from everyone from the mailman to the milkman. Or how about some colorful Disney characters, or even a Wile E. Coyote with dynamite in his hands and a silly smirk on his face? Go wild with this theme and remember that the sky’s the limit. Or at least the limit is what your neighbors can handle…

Ornaments in Weird Positions

Another theme that’s thoroughly entertaining – if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with Disney characters – is animals or objects in funny positions. A dog half-sunk into the ground looking like he’s searching for a lost bone; a sunken Spanish ship with just the bow sticking out; a lawn-surfing penguin being pulled by a polar bear; practically anything your imagination can come up with can be crafted in stone or ceramic. Just make sure you avoid offensive garden ornaments your neighbors would detest. After all, your goal is to improve the look of your property, not spoil it or turn people off.

Dragons and Lions

This one is sure to keep the local dogs off your grass! These ornaments can be beautifully sculpted, with great detail work and features. Intersperse them with Chinese guardian lions to offer an authentic oriental feel.

Yes, adding whimsy to your garden can be bizarre and creative at the same time, but fun nonetheless. Add your own touch of creativity now that the juices are flowing in the right direction. At the very least you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood and, who knows, you might still get the blue ribbon for best landscape.