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Sometimes there just isn’t the money in the budget for a major landscape upgrade or renovation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do some landscape improvements that take more time than money; but will definitely improve the appearance of your private outdoor space. People sometimes need big improvements without a big hit to their budget. Lets talk about some easy projects that you can do yourself. Create an appealing Entrance: Look at your main entrance with a fresh eye. Is it attractive and welcoming for visitors or people passing by? Paint your front door a new colour: either an eye-popping, bold shade or classic, subtle hue. Make sure there is an attractive doormat that reinforces your colour choice. Add an urn or a planter nearby and renew it seasonally. The Garage Entry: Please, please remember to close those garage doors! Nobody needs to see inside that space unless they are getting in or out of your car; because I am pretty sure it is not the nicest looking part of your house! And while you are closing that door, look at it and see if it needs to be replaced. If the paint is peeling, if there are hockey stick dings and dents, if it doesn’t have a window that lets additional light into that garage: get a new one! And make sure the paint colour compliments that of your new door. Upgrade your patio or deck: This is not the major undertaking it could be. Refresh your deck or patio with powerwashing for a clean look. Restain or repaint those tired looking deckboards and railings. Clear out the unused, uncomfortable or worn pieces of patio furniture and replace with new and current styles. Add bright and colourful outdoor cushions and pillows. Find a snazzy area rug for the seating area. Perhaps you need a fire table or a feature lantern; or a kerosene heater that will extend the outdoor living season. A new Focal point: While you are sitting on your revitalized patio, look off into the distant points of your backyard. Let your eye settle on the least exciting spot, and plan something new to catch your eye. It could be a colourful tree or a flowering shrub bed, or a trellis added to a fence and planted with a climbing rose. It could be some funky garden art or some architectural salvage that adds interest and excitement to that formerly drab area. One of the great thing about these projects (besides that fact that they aren’t costly), is that most of them will not be wasted after you save up and do the big landscape renovation! You can relocate and reuse all the individual pieces and add them into your new look. Enjoy some weekend projects! Post written by: Christine Gracey, OALA, CSLA