Written by Danielle Hegedus
I love summer gardens. There’s nothing like heading into your own backyard to gather fresh, ripe vegetables to create delicious meals. Did you know that in addition to virtually-free access to delicious produce, gardening is actually really good for your physical and mental health, too? Just 30 minutes of gardening causes a marked decrease in your cortisol levels–the stress hormone, resulting in higher self-esteem, improved mood and memory. Within just 10 minutes of midday gardening, you get enough vitamin D to reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and various cancers.
Get creative and head to work to make your garden a space where you (and family and friends) want to hang out. Here are 5 low budget, DIY projects that can help transform your garden this summer. Don’t forget the sunblock!
Create Unexpected Planters
Via DIY and Crafts
Move beyond traditional garden beds and teracotta planters and infuse some personal style into your garden. Do you have an attic full of cherished items that never see the light of day? Convert a bird cage, well-worn (and well-loved) tea cups, an old chest of drawers, a typewriter, or a vintage suitcase into planters that make you smile, reminding you of fond memories every time you tend to your plants. If you’re style is a little funkier, try converting a mannequin head (yes, like a human chia pet), children’s toys (lego planters), or even an old pair of Doc Marten’s into planters that double as unique garden art. The best planters typically have at least 6 inches of space and holes for proper drainage.
Build a Garden Pathway Using Natural Elements
Forgo a traditional concrete pathway and keep your garden feeling as natural as possible. These wood pavers (pictured) will make you feel like you’re walking through a dense forest. Consider incorporating gravel or small stones, mulch, pine straw, or build a grass path cut with natural stone pavers. Add a comfortable bench and you’ll have a great spot to visit with friends while showing off your garden!
Add a Pop of Color With Stylish Garden Markers
Via Crafts by Amanda
Want to infuse some color into your vegetable garden? These garden markers are so simple to make and you can decorate them however you like. This is also a great craft project to involve young children in to get them interested in the garden. Simply purchase smooth stones, a variety of paints in your favorite colors, and a few paintbrushes. If you mess up, you can always paint over and start again.
Bring on the Butterflies
You can plant lavender, bee balm, mint, cornflower, and sage to attract butterflies to your garden. If you want them to stick around though, you need to provide water and places for them to sun. A butterfly feeder can help you attract butterflies, while also infusing some attractive decor into your garden. Butterfly feeders are simple to make and will help attract these beautiful and beneficial pollinators to your garden to help your plants thrive. Learn how to make your own butterfly feeder with this tutorial.
Keep Your Plants Lush and Conserve Water with a Rain Barrel
Rainwater is highly beneficial for your plants. It’s highly oxygenated and free of the fluoride found in tap water–making your plants more drought-tolerant, healthy, and strong. A rain barrel provides you with the ability to keep your garden well hydrated even during times of drought or when facing water restrictions. You’ll also reduce your water bill and have a great source of water for other chores like washing your car or giving your dog a bath. Rain barrels are relatively inexpensive, but you can also build your own by following the instructions in this tutorial.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out Modernize.com.