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Gardening can get pretty expensive. There are the seeds you have to buy, not to mention plants from the nursery, gardening tools, and soil. And, those are just the basics.

Once your garden is in full swing, other additions would be fun to add like seating areas, art, stuff for the birds, and other beneficial creatures. It can all start to add up.

So, have a look at these OGP articles that guide you in beautifying and upgrading your garden and yard using recycled, natural, and upcycled materials.

1. DIY Tiki Torch Fuel

Fiery tiki torches add to the atmosphere of our backyard soirees, all the while helping to keep irksome insects at bay. They are commonplace these days, and most of us have some stowed in the garage or storage. However cool and useful they may be, they typically get used a couple of times and then are largely forgotten. One of the problems with tiki torches is that they require tiki fuel to burn. To get us all using our tiki torches again and doing so with a more ecological and healthful mindset, here’s a bit on how to make tiki torch fuel at home with cleaner ingredients. Check this article for making DIY Tiki Torch Fuel: A Cleaner Alternative.

2. Bat Houses

Different species of bats supply different benefits to the ecosystem. Insectivorous bats are incredibly voracious, and they eat loads of insects every night. This keeps the populations in check, which helps out agricultural systems as well as natural ecosystems. Some bats are pollinators, much like bees and butterflies, and certain plants rely on their pollination for survival. In short, bats in the garden mean that insect problems will be less, both for the vegetables and people. Certain plants will be pollinated, seeds will be spread afar, and the surrounding environment and wildlife will be healthier for having them around. Learn more about How to Get Bats to Visit Your Garden and Why You Want Them There.

3. Birdbaths

Birdbaths are nothing new in the home garden, and we are all familiar with those basic concrete basin designs that have been around for years. However, for the creative types, the DIY-ers of the world, and the upcyclers out there, there are many cool and creative designs for those interested in adding one to their yard. These are designs that don’t require a lot of tools or skill, but they make fine birdbaths nonetheless. Check out these 5 Ways to Make Your Own Birdbath for the Garden (From Upcycled Materials).

4. Backyard Fire Pit

As nice as congregating around a fire can be, a firepit can be much more than that. It can be a great place to have a quiet evening cocktail or to have a party. It can be a wonderful catalyst for exploring new culinary skills or getting a nice garden started. In other words, after building that backyard firepit, it’s important to use it. Before citing and constructing a firepit, it’s a good idea to think about the ways it might be used. This can help with positioning, adding additional features like a grill or patio, and getting family and friends fired up to join in on the fun. Take a look at this list of Tips for Making and Using a Backyard Fire Pit.

5. Bird Feeders

While it’s easy to go out and buy a bird feeder at the local big box, there are many ways to make one right at home. A DIY birdfeeder can help with saving a few bucks, add a touch of homeowner personality, and make valuable use of what otherwise might find its way to the landfill. There are plenty of options for the crafty homeowner, and even some simple constructs, that the kids could do. Take a look at these great ideas for 5 DIY Bird Feeders for the Home and Garden.

6. Whimsy and Art

As well as filling garden spaces with gorgeous flowers, trees, shrubs, and veggies, lots of people also like to put their stamp on the area by adding ornaments, statues, flags, and even the odd garden gnome. Bring some creativity to your garden using natural materials or items found in nature. This way, your creation can go back to the earth once you have finished with it. Some creations can act as a piece of artwork whilst having practical use, as well. Take a look at these 4 Ways to Add Whimsy to Your Garden Using Natural Materials, bringing personality and flair to your yard using natural materials that celebrate the outdoors.

7. Birdseed Ornaments

You might already have a super duper bird table or feeder that many bird friends are already familiar with, but if you don’t have the space or desire for a permanent bird table, there are some really sweet little birdseed ornaments that you can make at home. What’s more, anything remaining can be simply composted at the end of the season. Get the kids involved and start making a bunch of birdseed ornaments this winter using very simple ingredients and materials. Here are some Quick and Easy DIY Birdseed Ornaments for the Garden.

8. Old Terracotta Pots

Non-glazed terracotta pots are perfect for a classic, rustic, no-fuss look for your plants. These pots are made from fired natural clay, making them ideal for many pot plants as the porous clay allows for water drainage. Terracotta pots, by nature, are pretty fragile, and many gardeners find themselves with broken pots that can’t be recycled. Though they are a natural material, their fired state means they will not biodegrade. If you have terracotta pots, either broken or intact, that just don’t cut it for your plant babies anymore, here are 3 Ways to Upcycle Your Old Terracotta Pots.

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