DIY Relaxing Backyard Transformations - Easy Do-It-Yourself Pet and Budget Friendly Yard Décor

Before Pictures of Backyard

The Backyard


The backyard is an important area for everyone, whether it be individuals, couples, or families. It is a place to gather with each other and have fun, or just a place to escape the world for some well needed relaxation. You can create a great backyard area without having to spend a ton of cash! It doesn't matter what size your yard is, but what does matter is the issues you want to resolve for example, privacy, planting, etc.

After Pictures of Backyard

Rhododendron and Lilac Bushes
Rhododendron and Lilac Bushes
Azelia type bush
Azelia type bush
Green Bean and Pepper Plants
Green Bean and Pepper Plants
Sunflowers transplanted into yard with protective lattice fencing.
Sunflowers transplanted into yard with protective lattice fencing.
Patriotic Flower Blend transplanted into railing pot.
Patriotic Flower Blend transplanted into railing pot.

Plants, Pets and Your Yard


Pets can be a reason why some people decide to stay away from planting, especially if they have male dogs who tend to lift their legs to anything above the ground. I know for us, we did not want to plant a garden for our dog to water. Finally we came up with a great idea. Thanks to the Topsy Turvy we were able to plant our tomatoes. By using this great invention our plants are high enough above our dog's reach!! We also planted green bean and pepper plants. For this we used a container that stood higher than the dog.

My fiancé got his garden, now I needed some flowers. I found two SUV tires that were no longer in usable condition. I stacked the two tires on top of each other and spray painted them with gold paint. Because of the shape of the inside of the tires we decided to place bricks inside the inner area of each tire. By doing this we lessened the amount of dirt needed to fill the two tires for planting. We filled the tires with dirt and potting soil. The dirt was mainly used to take up some space within the bottom of the tires, the potting soil was placed on top for the use of planting. For this unique pot we purchased a beautiful Rhododendron Bush which looks lovely next to our existing Lilac Bush.

Be careful with flowering bushes and other plants you use in your yard when you have pets and/or children. Some of the flowers can be poisonous. I found out after I purchased the Rhododendron Bush that is flowers may be deadly to dogs. Luckily my dogs do not eat flowers, but I am still cautious and pick up the flower petals that fall off into the grass.

We also planted another bush in the yard. I can not remember the name of it but it is similar to an Azalea Bush. It will have yellow blooms in the late spring, early summer. We are also growing Sunflowers. The kids and I started these from seeds with the hopes they would grow, and to our surprise they are growing fast. We purchased a kit from the local Dollar Store which included the pot, soil, and seeds. They started growing so well that we went and purchased another kit. We have nine Sunflowers growing and everyday you can see the difference in their height. I joke with the kids and tell them if you sit and stare at the Sunflower plants you would be able to see them grow, to me it is just amazing.

Another great kit from the Dollar Store was a the Patriotic Blend of Flowers Kit. This also came with the pot, soil, and seeds. Believe it, they also grew and bloomed this past Fourth of July weekend. So I guess it held true to it's name.

By adding the flowers, bushes, and vegetables it helped to create a pleasant background to the backyard. It is exciting for the children to see how fast everything is growing!!

If you decide to plant flowering bushes in your backyard you may consider waiting until the blooms and flowers are gone before purchasing them. The cost of the bushes decrease by almost 50% when they lose their colorful flowers. Don't worry, you will be able to enjoy the flowers next season.

Backyard Décor and Privacy


If you reside in a town like I do privacy may be hard to come by, especially when yards are right next to each other. Our yard is on the small side, so we had to be careful not to overdo our decorating. We looked at the main issues we needed to accomplish and went from there.

First we purchased a cement type slab to place our grill on. It was sitting to close to the house and this was the best way to place it safely in the yard. Next my fiancé redid an old bench we found. He sanded and stained the top, painted the bottom, and added a coat of polyurethane to help it shine and to also block out moisture. We place the bench legs on bricks so they did not get damaged from the wet ground. Two Tiki Torches were placed next to the bench creating a nice sitting area in the yard.

I also purchased solar lights to light up our walk way between the porch and the garage, and two decorative color sets that are placed underneath the Lilac Bush. The only problem we faced with the solar lights is that the plastic stakes would break from being bumped into. This can easily be fixed by placing metal posts into the ground and then placing the solar lights over the posts. In the evening the yard looks and feels very relaxing!!

Privacy was another big issue for us. A majority of the yards on my block are separated by chain link fencing. After browsing through our home improvement store a few times I discovered rolls of Reed Fencing and it is relatively inexpensive. The rolls came in 16ft pieces that are 6ft high. They are easily installed with zip ties to your existing chain link fence. We had to purchase three rolls to cover one side of our yard. It took my fiancé and I about 1 1/2 hours to put the whole fence up. You can also use Bamboo Fencing which is higher quality and more expensive. We added an outdoor blind to our back porch that allows us to have privacy while sitting outside. This was also relatively cheap and easy to install.

I have lived in my home for ten years and I have to say, this is the first year I have really enjoyed our backyard!! It feels completely different and very relaxing!!

If you decide to use an outdoor blind use zip ties to attach the bottom to your railing if you plan to leave it down, this will keep it from blowing on windy days and becoming damaged.


Budget Friendly


You can transform your backyard with any size budget. The total cost to transform our backyard was under $150. The most expensive item we purchased was the Reed Fencing which costs about $23.00 per 16 feet. We used recycled items which included; the bench, large pot, and tires. If you put your mind to it, you can create anything you wish to!!!

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Comments 6 comments

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 5 years ago from United States

I like the idea of recycling the old tires and transforming them into planters. Great idea! I have also considered the reed/bamboo fencing option to cover my chainlink fence; putting in a new fence right now is just not an option. Thanks for sharing your ideas! Voted up and useful. Enjoy your yard!


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

ThePracticalMommy - I would highly recommend that type of fence. It beats taking the old one down and digging holes for the new one. (plus it is a lot cheaper) I love the tire planter, at first my fiancé wasn't sure about it, but once it was painted and the bush was planted he changed his mind and now likes it too. Good luck with your yard!!!


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

Wonderful tips! Thank you.


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thank you Sinea Pies!!!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Wow! Love it! This fits in with my plans right now. We also have a very small backyard in a very tight city neighbourhood, and I have wondered what to do with it.

First of all, I love seeing that lattice again. And, the fence is really neat. I have never seen anything like that, and it inspires me to have a look for that kind of fencing. Great inspiration again; thanks!


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thank you prairieprincess - I have lived here for ten years and always hated the backyard, now I love it!! I never seen this type of fence before until that day walking around the garden center and new it would be perfect. You can do a lot with lattice and it is better than just throwing it away. Good luck with your yard!!!

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