10 Ways to Refresh Your Landscape

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated February 8, 2022
Mulch gloves yard plant
Photo: Maria Sbytova / Adobe Stock

The grass really can be greener on your side of the fence

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After a long winter, your yard can look lackluster. Even planting new bulbs isn’t always enough to perk up the landscape. But refreshing landscapes is more than adding a new plant here and there, although that can certainly help. Follow one, all, or any number of the following tips for refreshing a landscape, and your lawn will be warm weather-ready in no time.

1. Plant a Tree

A tree is an instant focal point for a yard. While it’s more of an investment than planting some petunias in the garden, a tree offers many benefits. Flowering trees will bring beauty in the spring, fruit trees can provide you and your neighbors with juicy citrus or crisp apples and pears, and large trees will offer cool, shady spots to relax in the heat of summer. Just be sure to avoid planting invasive tree species to keep your local environment healthy.

2. Tidy Up

You know that feeling of calm after you finish spring cleaning the house? A deep clean can really transform a space, and that’s true for your yard, too. Rake up any dead leaves from fall, pick up fallen twigs, and toss out any litter that made it to your yard over the winter. If you have outdoor furniture, wipe down the surfaces and clean cushions.

3. Add New Mulch

Mulch is one of the top ways to refresh landscaping. A new layer of mulch around trees or in garden beds simply looks vibrant and clean, plus fresh mulch can help stifle pesky weeds. If you compost, add a layer of this black gold before pouring new mulch to give your plants more nutrients.

4. Get to Weeding

Speaking of weeds, you’ll want to take care of those to give your yard a cleaner appearance. Pull up weeds in garden beds and take the weed wacker around the yard to remove and cut back weeds around your property. To minimize weeds in the future, mulch helps reduce weed growth. To control and kill weeds, also consider home remedies like vinegar or boiling water.

5. Repair Hardscaping

Yard plants lawn gravel
Photo: Bespalyi / Getty Images

Hardscaping elements, like pavers or stones, can organize your yard and help tie everything together. But throughout the year, storms, heavy snow and rain, and general wear-and-tear can leave your hardscaping dirty, dull, and broken. Use a pressure washer to clean walkways, and take time to repair any broken stones or fill cracks in concrete.

6. Spruce Up the Lawn

The grass can be greener on your side with just a little TLC in time for spring. You know to mow and water your grass to help it look healthier, but there are other lawn maintenance tasks to keep up with.

  • Aerate: Aeration helps water, nutrients, and air get deep into the soil. Use an aerator tool or machine to aerate your lawn once per year.

  • Fertilize: After aerating, fertilize your lawn once or twice per year to give the soil a nutrient boost.

  • Edge: Edging is the secret to pristine lawns. Use an edger tool or trimmer to cut back unruly grass around walkways, garden beds, and driveways.

7. Trim Shrubs

Shrubs grow pretty quickly, and they can look messy if you don’t keep them pruned. But pruning isn’t just for visual benefits; this task is also important for keeping shrubs healthy. Trimmed shrubs are less likely to invite pests, and if your shrub is looking sparse, pruning it can actually help stimulate growth.

8. Install Water Features

Water features, like fountains or human-made ponds, add an interesting element to any landscape. The sound of trickling water may promote relaxation, turning your own backyard into a spa-like escape. Water will also attract birds and dragonflies, bringing life to your landscape. If you install a pond, you may add koi or other aquatic creatures to care for, which can become a new, screen-free hobby for you and your family.

9. Plant a Pollinator Garden

If you want your landscape to be as healthy as possible, you’ll want to invite pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Water features can help invite some pollinators, like birds, but colorful and fragrant flowering plants will invite a host of pollinators to your yard. Try planting tubular flowers, like cleomes and daylilies, to invite butterflies and hummingbirds. Bees love a variety of flowers, fruit trees, and vegetable plants.

10. Hire a Landscape Designer

If weeding, mulching, and adding new plants still don’t improve the overall look of your property, you could probably benefit from hiring a local landscape designer. These professionals know how to make the most of any space, so hanging out in your yard will feel like an escape rather than a chore.

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