It can be hard to find the time to put the effort into your backyard that it deserves. For many, even though the backyard is on the top of their priority list, it never quite feels polished or “together.” Sometimes it’s those oft-ignored backyard elements that actually make the biggest difference in your yard. Here are five modern upgrades for your LA yard that can make it feel sophisticated and you feel accomplished.

1. Fast-Growing Trees

Mature trees offer your yard a certain charm that can’t quite be replicated with other shady options like umbrellas and awnings. You can create shaded resting spots or partial light gardens under the shade offered by trees once they are mature, that is. So, adding a fast-growing tree is a smarter option. Some ideal tree species include:

  • Chinese Tallow Tree: They grow quickly to roughly 40 feet tall.
  • Dawn Redwood: A seriously tall tree at roughly 80 feet tall when mature.
  • Gum: Quite fast-growing, they can achieve two to three feet per year until mature.

2. Better Garden Edging

When you have had a garden for many years, the edges begin to move. Grass grows one may, mulch spills another, and the crisp edges your garden originally had are lost. You can really step up the look of your gardens by restoring those edges. While you might want to simply cut them and call it a day, adding stone or pavers as garden edging is more permanent and looks nicer too. They are a great way to add color and texture to your garden too.

3. Fire Features

The best fire pits are not simple round collections of stone with some gravel as the base. You can get elaborate fire pits with thoughtfully designed pavers or enchanting fire tables that you’ll love to entertain around. If you want to give your yard that higher-end feeling, then a professionally designed fire feature is an excellent option. Plus, it can increase your entertaining options.

4. Rocks or Mulch

Plain dirt isn’t a great look. In any garden, adding a base material around your favorite plants can make the whole space look more consistent and up-scale. Plus, depending on your type of garden, either material can be used to retain moisture in the soil and make your garden more drought resistant.

If you are growing a collection of cacti, succulents or other plants that look at home in the desert, then you should choose either rocks or sand as your base material. For more temperate plants or trees, mulch is a more thematic choice.

5. Cable Railing System

Does your deck look unfinished? Or does the current railing that you have on your deck look warped? A lack of a railing or a damaged railing can negatively impact the overall look of your yard. Choose a new cable railing system to make your deck look better, as well as to improve its safety and value. You can get a cable railing that will match the aesthetic of your deck and your yard, whether you want a rustic wooden option or something that is metal and modern.