At last springtime is quickly approaching. The prime gardening season is about a month away and many St. Louis gardeners are licking their lips over the time of year when plants and flowers begin to grow like mad. Some may have already purchased seeds and potted plants in preparation for their landscape masterpieces.

But what about the anti-gardener? For the people who can't even get weeds to grow, there are ways to make a yard look great without getting down in the dirt. All it takes is a little creativity and sense of style.

The first step to giving a yard a chlorophyll-free makeover is to figure out the reason for doing so. In general, more baby boomers are retiring and spending more time at home. People aren't moving as much as before.

Types of exterior accents for a home should depend on whether or not the yard will be for looks or for play. For anyone who wants to do nothing more than dress (their yard) to impress, one way to start is with H2O.

A lot of people are purchasing more fountains and starting to enjoy more water features. Waterfalls are very popular. Some people build them themselves with stones. Adding statuary is also an easy and traditional way to liven up yard or garden. The nautical theme is pretty popular with sea turtles, frogs and pelicans selling pretty well.

Another option for cosmetic renovation outdoors is a decorative arbor acting as a gateway from one area of a yard to another. When you walk through it, it creates an ambience.

Another way to brighten things up is with pottery. Talavera is very eye-catching pottery. With the onslaught of container gardening, we now carry an incredible assortment of pottery at Greenscape Gardens. We have all sorts of colorful pots. Of course, the pots don't necessarily need plants inside them to serve as décor.

Curb appeal

Purchasing statues or pottery as quick fixes may not be the best option if your home has exterior "blemishes" that could be corrected. Look at your mailbox and address plaque to add some additional ambiance. You can replace those with decorative ones, and really dress up your curb appeal.

Even a personalized doormat can make a big improvement to a drab exterior. Rocks, although dull by themselves, can serve as practical ornamentation for a front or back yard. Curb appeal can be achieved by selecting larger stones and small rocks to dress up the beds and it's really low-maintenance."

A well-placed boulder here and there is a good idea. They also make nice benches. Some minor "eyesores," can be disguised with large stones.

Home 'extension'

Another way to spice things up outside is to make a back yard guest-friendly. Home entertaining isn't limited to the living room any longer, especially when there's a decent climate involved. As people spend more time outside, they want more things to do.

A huge trend is outdoor living. You can turn your backyard into an extension of your house.
Outdoor living trends are extending to outdoor living and kitchen areas. To create an outdoor room, all you really need is power. The kitchens can be very weather-proof. Outdoor TVs are becoming more common in modern homes and are perfect for the football fan who loves to grill out.

There are less-expensive ways to entertain outside, too. In recent years, fire pits have become a popular item for families and friends to gather around. Fire pit that converts into a cooler for use during the hotter months are another new possibility.

Fire is the most noticeable change that can be made to outdoor ambience. Instead of spending $3,000 to $4,000 on patio furniture, buy a fire pit and tiki torches for ambience. People won't notice your furniture, but it's amazing what fire can do.

Individual taste

Whether placing a few garden gnomes here and there or completely redoing the backyard, making everything come together depends on one's personal preference. Anything overdone doesn't appear pleasing to the eye, but everyone has their own individual taste.

Combining your taste with the practicality of outdoor accessories can lead to the perfect exterior design. It's about image vs. functionality. If you can mix the two, you can really go somewhere.