Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Life

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life kids playingOnce while in the backyard with my kids running amok around me, I realized I needed some simple landscaping ideas so my yard would be more than just a patch of grass that we slap a trampoline on and let the kids have at it!

With little kids to care for and having just moved into our current location. Plus all the distractions that go along with schools, holidays, family events, etc, it got pushed so far to the back of the priority list, that I literally forgot that decorating it was even an option! Ha!

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life decorate yardPersonally, decorating a space is usually not something I have to be reminded to do. So now I was in a pickle.

I had found a new space to decorate, but landscaping is quite different from interior design, due to the nature of nature.

I knew that once I understood some of the basic concepts of landscaping I would feel much more confident working with what I had available. This was to both keep costs down and avoid a cookie-cutter copy and paste of the examples online. A lot of the details of landscaping tend to be based on the preferences of the one designing it.

With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite simple landscaping ideas! These will help with large or small gardens, potted or in-ground plants, and will work on both patios or balconies! I will let you know how my yard landscaping project goes!

Define the Frame

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life frameProbably the biggest component, in my opinion, is deciding where your frame will be. Wait… I thought a frame was something you put around a picture?

Well, yes, but in the same concept of framing a picture on the wall, your garden space will have its own frame, and unlike the ones on the wall, it is invisible. The frame is the space you’d like to fill with whatever type of landscaping you are working with.

For example, a patio or balconyFairy Gardens are Perfect for Small Garden Landscaping balcony frame is actually the best way to visualize the frame, because in most cases, you have pre-existing borders. Obviously, the ground/floor is going to be the bottom of your frame (with few exceptions, but we will address those later).

The ceiling/roof/awning will be the top of your frame, and the walls/pillars/end of the structure will be the sides.

Once you feel comfortable with landscape design, there are ways to extend the frame beyond what the patio/balcony but for the purposes of our explanation, we will stay within the bounds of the physical barriers provided by the structure. (Side note: things like fences, corners, and pre-existing plants like trees or shrubbery can also be considered “structures”.)

Fairy Gardens are Perfect for Small Garden Landscaping planter frameOne thing to note as well is that a planter provides it’s own frame, make sure to take into account the space behind the planter to make sure you are incorporating everything that will visually be within the frame.

Have an idea of where the beginning and end are to the space you want to design, that way you don’t just end up heavy on one position or the other without something to balance it. Don’t worry, we will get to balance too!

Understand the Frame

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life balance frameWhen the area you are landscaping is against a fence, you usually use the top of the fence as the top of the frame.

A lattice can also be added. Planting next to the actual fence itself is not recommended for any long term garden plants. This is due to the fact that plants can and often do end up warping or shifting fences.

This could create a need to replace the fence, and often pruning back more of the plant than you want to in order to get to the fence to fix it.

A Fairy Garden with Plants Tub ContainerYou don’t have to stick with the standard gardening supplies to fill in upper portion of the frame.

Pull in elements of outdoor living, like an umbrella or tiki torch. Or even get whimsical with it and go for something like an old-fashioned lamp post, or an antique farm tool, or even a discarded bathtub!

A tree or shrubbery line can also act as a frame for you. The bottom of the foliage of the tree can act as the top of your frame, as well as the top of the line of shrubbery.

You can also make the vertical height of the frame be considerably lower than the area of the frame like in this example. The small shrubbery create a physical frame for the flowers inside!

Fill the Frame

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life balance framesNow that the frame is defined, it is time to fill the frame.

Most importantly, you want your frame to be balanced. That doesn’t mean an equal amount of stuff here as there, but rather that your space is balanced.

For example lets say if you have a corner of the balcony that will have a couple pots, one with climbing vines, and one with draping greenery both in the same corner. Then you need something to balance the other corners, and maybe the opposite upper corner of the frame.

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life negative spaceA couple lawn chairs in the middle of the balcony, and a small table on the opposite side of the balcony with a lamp, outdoor fan, or other taller feature that will allow you to visually balance the frame you have to work with.

As with all forms of art, you can absolutely use negative space as a balance, its used quite frequently in landscaping! Don’t worry if your frame only takes up the bottom 20% of the larger frame. (The side of the house or fence line etc.)

As long as your plants and ornaments fill the frame in a balanced manner, you will end up with a captivating and beautiful landscape.

Once you’ve determined your frame and understand how to balance that frame, look to the details you want to highlight within the frame. After you have decided on the details, you can fill in your plants!

Choose Your Overall “Look”

Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Life overall lookWhen you have figured out the basics of how you want the space to look design-wise, you can really hone in on the “look” that you want! Do you want a large amount of color?

Do you feel like the color isn’t as important as the varying textures? Are you looking for a perennial or an annual garden? Is the coverage of the space more important?

Consider the plants types and the location of your space in regard to the amount of sun, drainage, and windbreaks. For more details on how to go about putting together a new garden space, you can find those here.

Once you have the look and function of your space, there is one more detail… the details. As with most things, it’s the details that distinguish the basic from the brilliant!

One of The Best Simple Landscaping Ideas? Consider Luring a Fairy to Your Newly Designed Landscape!

A Fairy Garden with Plants OutdoorsNo matter the culture or the location, the fairy folk are a part of legend and lore all over the world!

What is one of my favorite things to bring that little something special? Making my garden seem like its own tiny hidden world!

Adding fairy houses, tools, or even simple walkways can say so much and lend a sense of mystery! You can even purchase kits that will provide you all you need for whatever theme you are looking to convey.

fairy gardens ornaments buttonsThere’s everything from vegetable garden fairy kits with tiny fairy baskets and tiny tools, to tiny kitchen tables and flatware! You have endless possibilities with fairy gardens!

We have more tips on how to create your very own fairy garden here.

No matter what you choose to do with your space, I truly hope these landscaping ideas have helped! Do you have any questions or ideas? Please feel free to comment and share your gardening and landscaping journey with us below!



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16 thoughts on “Simple Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Life

  1. Looks like there are lots of things to consider when you decorate your space. Everything is so new to me here. I like the way you break the things down. What books about gardening will you recommend?

    1. The one I started with was Gardening for Dummies. It goes over a lot of the basics and I like the format of being more of a reference book with light/almost no narrative.

  2. You gave me some great ideas with this post. Thanks for sharing. I like your approach. First define, understand, and then fill in the frame. Great idea!

    1. Thank you! I am so glad I was able to help inspire you! Sometimes the best way to stimulate the imagination is to just gather knowledge about the subject. Happy Gardening!

  3. Being a garden lover my entire life your article has motivated me and excited me to start thinking of how I am going to add to my garden this year, I always visualize my garden in my mind before ever planting my first plant.

    Do you have any garden resources where I could get a plant guide for the state of Pennsylvania the best plants to grow outdoors, I find many of the plants I buy don’t make it through our winters here and every year I have to start over again.


    1. I like to go with local, long-established organizations if possible. I took some time to research your particular section of the country and found the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association. They actually have an article and a list of trees, shrubs and vines that should work well for you! Let me know what you decide to put in! I’d love to see before and after pictures. ?

  4. Hi Randi,

    Your site looks amazing. Thanks for giving out great ideas for free. I really feel your passion for gardening in the way that you write and it translates directly to us readers!

    – Jonas

  5. Hi there and thanks for these great ideas!
    I’m loving being in our new garden with my kids so I’ll certainly be coming back to your site for ideas about how to make our garden amazing!

    1. I am so glad you enjoy the site! We are going to be starting our kid’s garden soon and I will share the planning/process! Please post a picture of your new garden and any fun kid’s activities y’all do in your garden so we can grow as a community! Happy Gardening!

  6. I so needed this perspective. I’ve been frustrated for the last two years about what to do with our back yard. I’ve been looking at it as a whole yet have ideas for two of our yard’s areas. I had never thought of seeing it as three separate areas, each in their own photo frame. Now I have a whole new perspective. With spring coming up I’ll be able to get outside and see it in a completely new way. We have one area that will look completely different after we take care of a drainage issue as our yard is downhill from two others and we get quite the puddle when it rains. I have one space mapped out for a small vegetable garden but can’t figure out how to keep it from feeding the wildlife so I can do some home canning. Thanks for the new perspective. It opens more possibilities.

    1. This makes my heart happy! ❤
      I am so glad to have been of assistance. Drainage issues can be a real headache. I’m actually working on a vegetable garden article right now and pest and wildlife issues are major issues. I would love to see before and after pictures when you end up getting your drainage issue fixed and garden areas set up! Good luck and Happy Gardening!

  7. We are redecorating our garden and are planning to put some new and inviting details. We want to use some of our old personal items and one of them is an old bathtub.

    I saw that you also put it in your post as a way to make your garden more appealing. There are many other ideas we will try to implement and I will make sure I follow your advice here.


    1. How fun and exciting! I would love to see how you implement that bathtub. Please feel free to share and update your status and pictures of your new garden adventure!

  8. I will have to look for those fairy kits with little knick knacks for when I’m ready to spruce up my own garden. That concept is just really cool. It’s a coincidence reading your articles reminds me of how much my grandmother loves fairies and has a strong green thumb. I’ll show her some of these ideas for her own garden.

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the idea! I hope both you and your grandmother enjoy the site. If you end up sprucing up your gardens this season, please feel free to share!

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