beautiful two color mulch pathway

How to Create an Inexpensive Stone & Mulch WalkwayHow to Create an Inexpensive Mulch and Stone Walkway

Spring is on its way and that means more rain. It’s also the time of year when the grass has been dormant and there is more exposed dirt and mud in your yard. Let’s be honest, everyone tends to have problem spots in their landscaping that end up looking like a mud pit. And if you have kids or pets running around, it won’t be long before that mud comes walking into your home.

mud

For those of us that live in the south, mud is not just wet dirt. It’s usually red clay! And unfortunately, it will stain everything you own and make housekeeping a nightmare. Time to come up with a fast and inexpensive solution to the mud problem.

landscaped backyard with mulch pathway

While searching Lowe’s for some ideas, I stumbled across this no-dig landscape edging. I was very excited to see that I wouldn’t have to dig a trench to bury half of it! Instead, it comes with pegs to nail into the ground. Suh-weet!

flexible edging material

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Gather all your materials near the path site. Layout your stones and walk on them to make sure they are spaced for a comfortable gait. (Do you see that stick in the above picture? That is my path width guide.)

stepping stone spacing

Use your path width template (aka stick) to keep your edging equal distance apart the entire length of your path. (You may need to put a weight on your edging or set a peg in halfway to hold the edging in place.)

set standard width

After the path and edging are laid out, step back and take a look. Make any tweaks to your pathway now.

set stones inside edging

To set the path, start from one end and insert a peg into one end of the edging.

Hold peg

Then hammer the peg into the ground…

hammer stakes into edging

…until it is flush with the earth.

peg set in edging

Continue setting a peg every 4-6 feet (and especially at the peak of any curves.)

one side path set

Repeat for the other side of your path.

layout stones inside edging

Open a bag of mulch and spread to the top of your stones and the edging. Use the back side of your garden rake to smooth the mulch and eliminate any high or low spots.

stones sitting in mulch

Repeat until you have filled your entire path. Then spread the second color mulch on the outside of your path.

beautiful two color mulch pathway

Don’t you just love the contrast between these two? The lighter colored mulch is cypress and the darker is hardwood mulch. Walk on your stones and put some dirt or sand underneath any that wobble. Now stand back and admire your finished path! I think my favorite stepping stone is the broken heart stone I made with two rocks.

Stone and mulch pathway

The entire path took me just over two hours. Not bad, and the bonus is that I didn’t need to go to the gym to workout that day!

Want to improve your curb appeal? Here are some tips and tricks to improve your landscaping in no time!

Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

using a grid to hang indoor plants

DIY living wall tutorialDIY Living Wall Planter Tutorial

For anyone who lives in a “not so sunny” place (and needs a quick pick me up from the dull grey skies), you’ll find this easy DIY Living Wall Planter Tutorial just what you’ve been craving. Even if you live in the sunshine state, bringing the outdoors inside may have a lot of benefits for your health.  According to the NASA clean air study (which was led by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America), certain indoor plants naturally remove toxins from your indoor air.

This project was inspired by our outdoor green wall. We thought it would be fun to create a wall planter for indoor use. Similar to an outdoor living wall, an indoor one gives a natural feel to any empty space in your home.

Diane and Dean's Outdoor Living Plant Wall

Do you have a blank wall that needs some decor?  Why not dress up this space with a mini living wall? This project is easy enough for the beginner do it yourself-er, so let’s get started.

DIY Living Wall Planter Tutorial Materials:

Optional: 

DIY Living Wall Planter Tutorial Instructions:

The wall grid we found in the organization aisle at Lowe’s Home Improvement store was under $6.00.  It measures 22 inches by 24 inches. The size was prefect, but I wasn’t crazy about the color.

organizer re-purposed as living wall planter

Spray paint the wall plant holder if you wish. You can use spray paint you have on hand or purchase the color of your choice.  (I almost chose a rustic bronze to match the bronze iron farmhouse bed but decided to paint it white.)  The great news is that you can always paint over it if you tire of the original paint or decide to move it to another room.  Obviously, you want to spray paint in a well ventilated area. Let the grid dry. (It should dry within 30 minutes or so.)

How to DIY a living wall

Step 1: Eyeball or measure a spot on the wall to hang your living wall.

Hold the wall plant holder up on the wall. Use a level to make sure your holder is level.

level to align wall grid

Hold up the Blecka hooks and mark the holes with a pencil. Drill the drywall anchor into the wall at these marks. (Alternatively, you can attach the hooks to wall studs.)  This wall grid is not extremely heavy, so securing the hooks to studs is optional.)

ikea blecka hook to hang wall grid

Step 2:  Hang the wall plant holder onto the Blecka hooks (make sure it is completely dry before hanging.)

How to DIY a living wall

Step 3:    Place your plants into the planters. You can leave them in the original plastic pots they came in and simply place them into the holder. (When you water the plants the water can actually drain down to the plastic holder. Periodically pour out any water that accumulates.)

ivy plants and Ikea plastic bins

Step 4:  Now, for the fun part! To finish off your living wall planter, slide the plastic containers onto the wall grid. Play around with the placement of the plants until it appeals to your eye.

ikea organizer used for living wall

(Note: the plastic bins from IKEA with the wide hook on the back are perfect for this project. If you purchase different bins, you might need to add your own hooks.)

Feel free to use your imagination with this project.  Use succulents, different color plants, flowers, or something totally different like office utensils if hanging in a home office.

DIY Living wall

My white living wall hanger is hung on a wall painted with Magnolia Homes Brand “Shiplap” paint. The greenery stand out on the light colored walls.  Imagine what you can do with copper sprayed grid on dark or light colored walls! You can also spray paint the Blecka hooks to blend into the wall. Go ahead and get spray paint happy with the white plastic plant holders. Bright colors could really bring this project to life!

Living wall planter

We thought a little greenery in our newly remodeled farmhouse guest bedroom would add the perfect natural element.  Have fun with this quick and easy mini living wall project that brings natural elements indoors.

DIY Living Wall Planter Tutorial

Use this App to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal today!!!Use this App to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

What would you say if I told you there’s an app that could help you improve your curb appeal? Would you believe me? What if I told you this app could also help you complete all those home maintenance and repair tasks you’ve been putting off? Still don’t believe me? I swear, it’s true! By downloading the DIYZ app, you can learn how to improve your home’s curb appeal and learn how to make your own repairs and upgrades. (This is a sponsored post for DIYZ, but stick around because I have found this app extremely helpful. In fact, you can read about how this app saved my butt last year!)

Why should you care about your home’s curb appeal?

Curb appeal is more than just caring about how your house looks from the street. If you are getting ready to sell your house, failing to keep up with exterior home maintenance can be a red flag to potential buyers who are looking for a well maintained home. Even if you don’t plan to sell your house anytime soon, not repairing deterioration and rot can create easy access for rodents, insects and water into your home. Before you think you have to call a handyman (or handywoman), I urge you to check out the DIYZ App for tutorials and help fixing up your home’s exterior. It’s best to make those repairs now and keep it in great shape whether you are planning on selling or staying.

Use this App to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal today!!!

One of the helpful features of the DIYZ App is a list of materials you’ll need to complete your project. Nothing is more frustrating than coming home from the home improvement store and starting your project only to realize you are missing something. The DIYZ app offers you the option to purchase the materials directly from Amazon. Hands up if you love the ease of Amazon ordering.

 

Use this App to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal today!!!

Repairs & Fixes to the Exterior:

You never have a second chance to make a first impression when buyers walk up to your front door. That’s why your curb appeal must be in tip top shape when you are listing your home for sale. I’ve collected a group of videos to help you increase your curb appeal and make a great first impression.

 

Once you’ve taken care of the maintenance and repairs on your home’s exterior, you can really amp up the curb appeal by trying one of these tutorials:

Now you have a host of ideas for how to use the DIYZ app to improve your home’s curb appeal! But, what happens if you get stuck or run into a problem?

The best thing about the DIYZ app is the ability to Talk to a Pro!

Use this App to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal today!!!

No matter where you are in the app, you can easily request a video or audio consultation with a professional tradesman who will help you complete your project. Here’s an actual video of one satisfied user of the DIYZ App!

 

What are you waiting for? Download the DIYZ app today for project ideas, tutorials and professional help on call. I have it on my phone, do you?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for DIYZ. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I am particular about the brands I represent and will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post.

Weave your vines through the fence trellis to create a living wall!

This fence trellis is easy to build, and will turn a dull fence into a living wall!DIY Fence Trellis

Hi, Pretty Handy Girl readers! I’m Vineta from The Handyman’s Daughter, and today I’m going to show you how to create this easy DIY fence trellis. Easily give a boring, flat fence visual interest in winter, and a place for vines to grow in the summer!

Our entire backyard is surrounded by a six-foot-high cedar fence, which gives us plenty of privacy but isn’t exactly pretty. The previous owner planted clematis vines along one side, but didn’t give it anything to grab onto. So it sits in a pile on the ground instead! This fence trellis will give the vines something to climb and fill in the plain background.

That mound of green at the bottom of the fence is a vine! With a new fence trellis, it can climb and thrive.

Materials for Fence Trellis

  • Cedar fence pickets (I ripped 6″ wide pickets into 1 ½” strips, but you can also use 1 x 2 boards.)
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Exterior wood stain (I used Behr’s waterproofing exterior stain in Coffee)
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • 1 ¼” brad nails
  • Level
  • Scrap of 1 x 4 board to use for spacer

How to Build a DIY Fence Trellis

Start by cutting four 6″ wide cedar pickets into 1 ½” wide strips lengthwise. If you don’t have a table saw, you can simply use 1 x 2 boards.

Cut cedar fence pickets into 1 1/2" strips to create this fence trellis.

Next, cut the strips down into shorter lengths. I made a few of each of these dimensions: 16″, 20″, 22″, 24″, 26″ and 30″.

Cut the pieces for your fence trellis out of inexpensive fence pickets.

Sand each piece, then give them all two coats of your preferred exterior wood stain.

Stain the cut pieces of your fence trellis before assembly.

Once the stain is dry, you can start assembly! Begin with the longest pieces. Hold them vertically against your fence, spacing them out along the fence evenly and nailing them directly to the fence.

Use a nail gun to attach the vertical pieces directly to the fence.

Next, select a few pieces to attach horizontally at the bottom. Nail one end to the vertical support, then use the level to make sure it’s even before nailing down the other end.

Use a level to make sure the bottom rows are straight.

Use the 1 x 4 spacer to keep the distance between horizontal pieces the same. Rest the spacer on top of the attached piece, then prop another piece on top and nail into place. This is much easier than using a tape measure!

Use a spacer between the slats of your fence trellis so the horizontal rows will be evenly spaced.

Work your way up the fence, randomly placing horizontal pieces. Make sure each one is attached to at least two vertical supports. Add more vertical supports as needed to bridge the gaps.

Fill in gaps with additional vertical supports, and mix up the various lengths.

Remember to step back and to view your overall design every once in a while. It should look random, but not TOO random! It’s easy to pull off pieces and move them around if you don’t like how it’s turning out. I went for an asymmetrical look, but you could make a simple grid if you prefer.

This fence trellis provides visual interest in winter, and a spot for climbing vines in the summer!

This fence trellis now draws attention to the shady part of the garden.

Weave the vines under the elevated pieces to help the plants find a spot to grip. Over time, the vines will find their own way up the DIY fence trellis. I can’t wait to see them blooming next spring!

Weave your vines through the fence trellis to create a living wall!

Give the vines a helping hand by weaving them through the slats of your fence trellis.

Want some more trellis ideas? You can get the free building plans for this angled garden trellis I created for another part of the fence at The Handyman’s Daughter!

There are so many ways to create your own fence trellis! You can find the plans for this one at The Handyman's Daughter.

Or create a lattice privacy wall trellis instead!

I’d love to hear what you would recommend planting under this DIY Fence Trellis. Until next time!

 ~ view more of Vineta’s projects ~

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you compost? Oh my gosh, if you don’t, why not?!!! It is easy, it’s great for the environment and it will result in amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store! Some of the additional benefits are that you will reduce the amount of trash you produce and keep things out of the landfill.

Keep reading to learn How to Compost and create your own magnificent garden soil!

Now, I totally understand if you are living in the big city in an apartment and really don’t have space for compost let alone potted plants (but if you do want to compost, read more about worm composting in a container.) However, f you have a yard, you really should be composting! It’s easy, it takes very little time, and my little wiggly BFFs (aka worms) do all the work for you.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s right, they eat up all your kitchen and yard waste and turn it into beautiful black soil. How do they do it? If I tell you, you have to promise that you won’t get grossed out. They poop it out. LOL. Yup, compost is decomposition and worm castings (a nicer word for worm poop.) Please don’t run away, find out how easy it is to create this magnificent garden soil.

Here’s the basics for how to compost and get top quality soil for your garden and landscaping for FREE!

How to Compost – Magnificent Garden Soil Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

  • Spading ForkHow to Compost
  • Sealed bucket or container to store kitchen scraps:

Attractive Compost Pails I wouldn't mind having in my kitchen!

Blue and White Floral CrockSea Blue Compost CrockGreen Stoneware Crock
 Copper Compost Bin  |  OXO Flip Lid Compost Container  |  Red Ceramic Crock
Green Metal Pail  | Bamboo Compost Pail  | Sprout Compost Container

 

What can be composted?

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Kitchen scraps
    • raw fruits
    • vegetables
    • egg shells
  • Coffee grounds and the filter
  • Newspapers, non-glossy cardboard, paper towels
  • Leaves (brown for carbon and green for nitrogen rich)
  • Grass clippings
  • Plant & flower clippings
  • Yard waste

What can’t be composted?

  • Meats
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Plastic
  • Man made substances
  • Metals

Okay, you get the picture. Only raw fruits and veggies (and egg shells), okay?

Location:

Your pile doesn’t have to be anything special. A simple a hole in the ground is fine. Find a partially shaded spot in your yard. A shady spot is ideal so the pile doesn’t get dried out in the hot sun. If you’ve had a dry spell for a while, go ahead and water the pile. If you have pets, put a little fencing around it to keep them from getting into the compost. (Eating decomposing food can make them sick.) Don’t worry too much about wild animals (unless you have a serious pest problem.) Animals will come sniffing around and may dig a scrap or two out of the pile, but they rarely take up residence in your yard. However, if you are concerned about pests, go ahead and purchase a closed bin for your yard.  Otherwise, save your money, a fancy tumbler or bin aren’t necessary for the compost to produce.

How to Compost:

Keep your compost bucket in your kitchen. (We keep our pail under the sink, but if you have a pretty container you can leave it on the countertop.)

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

After cutting veggies or fruit, toss the scraps in the bucket. Coffee grounds can get thrown in, filter and all! Egg shells are also great for your compost.

When the bucket is full, take your scraps outside to the compost pile. Clear a hole in your pile, dump the scraps and cover them over with dirt or soil (this will prevent attracting too much wildlife to your pile.)

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Occasionally throw in some torn up strips of newspaper to add some “carbon” source to the pile. The key to a healthy compost is to have a good mixture of green (nitrogen rich) vs. brown (carbon rich) materials. Don’t overload on grass clippings or yard waste.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip some fresh soil on top of the scraps and walk away! That’s it. What about my BFFs, the worms? If you start the pile, they will come. Trust me, they’ll find your pile. If you’re super antsy, you could buy some red wigglers from a fishing bait place, but honestly why bother? Soon you’ll have big fat overfed worms happily working for you for free. Go back in 2-3 weeks and check on the progress of your magnificent garden soil.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

I usually grab my magnificent soil from the bottom when I need it. But, you can split your pile in two. Use one side to add scraps to and let the other side “marinade” to perfection. Then switch sides. Frankly my little worm army works pretty fast. Within a month they have produced enough compost to fill some potted plants and more. I rarely buy soil anymore unless I need a huge amount.

What about composting in the winter? If you aren’t under a dumping of snow, your pile can still work in the winter. In fact, you’ll be surprised to see the warm steam rising from the pile when you dig into the center.

Compost Tea:

Now that you have a rockin’ compost pile you may want to learn how to make a compost tea to further nourish your plants and help them be healthier and heartier! I haven’t tried it yet, but you better believe I’ll be brewing some compost tea this year.

Share this article with your friends and do something environmentally friendly! Pin this graphic to refer to later:

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

Now that you have compost to use, learn how to create a rot resistant planter bed:

How to Build a Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

And maybe you want to dip your toes in the Square Foot Gardening craze!

PHGFancySign