Asked on Sep 12, 2014

Cabin/northwoods ideas for decor on a tight budget

by Brooke
I used this site once before and appreciated all the feedback and comments so I thought I would try again as you all were very helpful ;)
I'm no good at painting so I was thinking I could leave the fence plain and work on landscaping the front with Cedar trees and such but they keep dying.. The soil is VERY sandy. I will be taking out the rocks and putting landscape timbers 2 high or making rectangle flower boxes on each side of the door.
q backyard ideas cabin budget affordable suggestions, fences, landscape, outdoor living, This is how the fence looks wet
This is how the fence looks wet
q backyard ideas cabin budget affordable suggestions, fences, landscape, outdoor living
The left is how is looks as it dried.. Looks to washed out and sun bleached to me.. I'll be testing an area with Linseed oil first and if that doesn't work for the wet look I'm trying to achieve I'll go with the cedar tinted stain .
q backyard ideas cabin budget affordable suggestions, fences, landscape, outdoor living, Would look great for sides of gate
Would look great for sides of gate ;)
Would rather have solar powered lights to be energy efficient but may not find any
q backyard ideas cabin budget affordable suggestions, fences, landscape, outdoor living, Before after look yuck
Before & after look.. yuck!
  8 answers
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Sep 13, 2014
    @Brooke hi from mt pleasant tn a easy way to get the wet look is to get a pump type bug sprayer you know the kind that have a green tank and use it to spray deck stain on your fence...and if you type solar lights into the search box at the top you will find tons of ideas on here to make your own.... for landscaping i would go to a nursery or lowes or home depot and ask what is the best thing to grow for your type of soil they are usually very helpful good luck xx

  • Carole Carole on Sep 14, 2014
    If your soil is very sandy, either research for what does well in sandy soil or amend your soil (not cheap) or build raised beds or mounded beds to plant this area out. I learned from bitter experience that planting stuff in poor soil or on hard rocky ground with thin layer of poor, sandy soil is only going to lead to a lot of money spent on plants that die - money down the drain. Hope you find something suitable - good luck!

    • Brooke Brooke on Sep 18, 2014
      @Carole ty for your response! I think I will indeed build raised beds!

  • 169756 169756 on Sep 15, 2014
    I agree with Carole above. I would put in raised beds of some sort. If you are already putting in landscape timbers in front of the fence, perhaps go one or two higher and then add a good soil to them. If it's deep enough (2+feet) you should be able to put just about any plant in it, other than something very large, and it should do very well. I have some small little leafy type cedars (the cousin It type) I got last year at Walmart for $1.75 each !!! last year.They just wanted them gone, obviously. I bought 5. I put 3 in the ground in front of the house and left 2 in large pots. All have flourished and plan to add the last two to the ground this fall. They will get as large as I let them. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. Good luck. The fence will be a great backdrop for whatever you choose.

  • Sheri Ketarkus Sheri Ketarkus on Sep 15, 2014
    I agree with the above answers. I would add that u should continue to amend your beds with compost and mulch. Also mulch around the beds. Eventually u will improve your soil and be able to do lower plantings in front of the raised beds. As for the raised beds, maybe use large rocks instead of landscape timbers. That won't rot and look more natural. And as u expand your beds will look more natural. Good luck.

  • CK CK on Sep 15, 2014
    You're wanting the fence to look cedar? Or is it cedar? Either way there's cedar colored exterior stain on the market. I'd find it and use that. But then, am I correct in reading that you've already stained or painted? If it's painted you can't stain now until you take off the paint. Not a great option to think about :-( If it's painted and you don't like it you could repaint (more money...dang) But remember as your plantings grow taller, they'll cover up a lot of the fence and you won't see it so much....that is if you're wanting to hide it a little. Have you tried a wall hugging vine? Something that grows in your soil and planting zone? In our area (lots of clay soil/Zone 3) we can grow woodbine like crazy. It'll cover a fence line in a summer or two. Check with a nursery to see about something like that. Good luck. The fence looks nice and with some landscaping you'll be happier :-)

    • Brooke Brooke on Sep 18, 2014
      @CK - the stain was simply power washed and nothing has been mother suggested i try linseed oil on the back in a test area to see if it makes it "give the wet look" as in not so dry :) thank you for takign the time to respond..Very helpful feedback :)

  • Tru Tru on Sep 15, 2014
    For the lights, you could do something similar to these, but with wildlife decals instead of the etching.

  • Christine Christine on Sep 16, 2014
    Long blade grasses there are a variety of textures and colors great to camo such locations. personally I like the weathered look. Hang some bird houses on the fence or mount them on short poles add a bird bath and feeders then let the fun begin

  • Laurie Powell Laurie Powell on Sep 16, 2014
    If your heart is set on those 'moose' lights, I'd try taking the metal & glass pieces out & trun them upside down & put it back together. Now turn the whole light upside down & put a solar light in it! Problem solved. I have added solar lights to tons of different things in my yard. If you need to hold it in place use some outdoor caulking.