Don’t let the harshness of this past winter get you down. We’re warming it up with some incredible outdoor inspiration!
There’s no way around it: this past winter was rough… like, really rough. Between the extreme cold, ice, and snow, it not only caused challenges for us and our neighbors, but also our landscaping – and, in some cases even outdoor furniture or structures. We’ve all been asking the same questions: “Should we replant what died?” “How do we find new trees?” “Do we have time to remove the dead stuff?” “Should we totally redo the entire yard?” These are big questions and we’re here to provide you with some inspiration that might help you answer them!
Almost every day of the week, there is a Twist Tours photographer out capturing real estate photos, videos, and more in the Austin and San Antonio areas; and you better believe we’ve been taking notes. We think you’ll enjoy some of these outdoor enhancements that keep us coming back for more and inspire our own home improvements!
Gather Around The Fire
When temperatures dropped a few months ago, you may have lost a bed filled with flowers or plants, which is a shame. Growing a successful garden is something that takes a ton of time, effort, and creativity so seeing it fade due to the weather is never a plus. The good thing is, we like to look at the positives at Twist Tours and believe this is an amazing opportunity to create a new space that can bring a ton of happiness and entertainment to your backyard; put in a fire pit! The average cost to build a fire pit is $700, depending on the materials that you choose to build it with. A fire pit comes with many advantages, including:
- It provides a great area for family time.
- A fire pit can be used as a tool for preparing food (Roasted hot dogs or s’mores, anyone?)
- Having a fire pit creates a new, cozy outdoor area
- Sitting around a fire can be very relaxing
The national cost for a landscape installation is $3,428 so it is possible to save money by installing a fire pit while adding a new fun space to your property!
Light it Up
Since this past winter’s storms brought heavy ice, snow and wind, it is possible that you lost a tree in your backyard and now it is feeling empty. Even though this may seem like a problem, it definitely isn’t because we found the perfect way to make it feel full and vibrant; add in string lights! Whether you choose to hang them vertically or horizontally, string lights add a refreshing ambiance to any space. Most string lights run in the $20-$30 dollar range. Since we first began snapping photos, many years ago, we’ve seen this trend explode and we don’t see any signs of it slowing down!
Outdoor Movie Theater? Yes, Please!
Typically, when we see a patio boasting a large wall, we see tall trees or bushes covering the bottom half to add some life to the yard. Even though that is the “usual,” this homeowner embraced the wall on its own and we thought this creative use was so cool! Since we can enjoy more comfortable temperatures at night in Texas, an outdoor movie theater is an awesome idea. All you’ll have to do is invest in a projector and some portable speakers, neither of which need to be over-the-top expensive. Just set them up in an area that is comfortable for viewing, grab some blankets or lawn chairs and you enjoy some of your favorite films under the stars with family and friends!
Rock Yards Rock
Yard replacement can be tricky and costly – especially if you’re trying to keep a yard of new grass alive. If you lost your grass in this winter’s freeze and want to start totally fresh in an innovative way, consider a rock yard. Rock yards are easy to maintain and will help the environment! Create a tranquil, relaxing space that looks gorgeous 365 days of the year and pairs flawlessly with peaceful water features such as small ponds or waterfalls. Depending on the material you select to construct your space, expect to pay $20 to $100 per cubic yard of landscape stone. From an environmental perspective, having a rock yard will allow you to conserve more water and eliminate the need for chemicals that are typically used on lawns! If a full rock yard feels a little too out-there, consider Zeroscaping! It uses less gravel material, but still helps with resource conservation.
Embrace Native Foliage
Even though native plants are often overlooked, we have a special place in our hearts for them. They are aesthetically pleasing, easier to keep alive (in most cases), and are fantastic for local wildlife & the environment. If you lost some more exotic plants over the past few months and are debating if you want to replant them, consider going with this cost-effective and environmentally beneficial option:
- Lower maintenance
- Capable of saving water
- Wonderful for creating an animal habitat
- Perfect for adding a unique natural character to a property
Hang it Up
Not in the mood to do any replanting? Consider hanging plants! They can easily be added to the outside of any structure and add a unique flair. For people with a smaller yard, add in some colorful hanging plants to liven up the area and make it feel larger! If you don’t have the space to hang anything from an awning or patio, shepherd’s hooks or even lower tree branches make charming alternative options. Mixed in with twinkle lights, it gives a really whimsical, Austin vibe.
Growing a successful garden is something that takes a ton of time, effort, research and creativity and losing it all to the elements is not only disheartening, but stressful. But at Twist Tours we like to look at the positives and several of us are using the opportunity to create new spaces we’ve been putting off.