Contributed by Rose Garland, Info Guru

A person’s front yard is the gateway to their home, and a front or back yard can be a statement about the personalities of the people in the home.

A lovely yard can be a place to relax or entertain, and bring joy not just to yourself and your family, but to your neighbors, houseguests and friends.

Updating a yard doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Stand outside and take a good, honest look at your yard. What does your yard say about the inhabitants of the house?

You can take your yard from ugly… to lovely with these top ten easy fixes for an ugly yard:

10. Fill in those holes

engraved stones from Rock- It Creations

Large bare spots in grass or in stone gravel can be an eyesore. To make an ugly yard beautiful, consider filling in those places that have been worn away. Add sod, or create a path that is accented with decorative engraved stones.

9. Plant perennials

Perennials are plants that come back year after year. Although annuals are a quick and easy way to make a yard look better, consider purchasing perennials to cut down on yearly yard maintenance. Although tulips, daisies, lilies and roses are well-known choices, consider planting summer bulb flowers and more exotic plants as well.

8. Install edging

Edging can be as expensive or inexpensive as a budget allows, and can bring zing to a yard. Edging garden areas and trees brings different focal points into focus. Yard and garden edging can be ornate iron fences or simple black rubber, and can not only simplify a design, but can also help keep plants where you want them to be.

7. Fix that fence

Pull a Huckleberry Finn and white-wash that old wood fence, or plant climbing vines to cover steel ones. If your fence is in disrepair, fixing or updating it to a new one can bring new life to a stale yard.

6. Cultivate ground cover

Not everyone knows about the beauty of ground cover, and ground covering plants. Although wood chips can be an instant and easy fix, planting ground cover that grows and spreads can cover a lot of ‘ground’ – so to speak. Choose a ground covering plant that flowers to bring a softer statement to an updated yard.

5. Attract birds with water features

fountains at 125 West

Fountains and ponds are instant attention grabbers, and can bring a surprisingly pleasing effect to an outdoor area. Where fountains and ponds aren’t practical, consider adding a simple birdbath. Not only will it bring local birds and wildlife joy, but it might just bring a little joy to guests too.

4. Tend to shrubs and bushes

Plant — and trim — shrubs or bushes under windows for privacy, or at driveway entrances to enhance a front or back yard. Purchase a good cordless power trimmer so that you can easily reach all of your hedges. Green shrubs and bushes can offer a more traditional statement, while flowering bushes such as Lilacs can improve a yard with lovely flowers and a light pleasant smell.

3. Build an arch or trellis

An ornate iron or wooden arbor arch with climbing vines may bring instant elegance, but trellises are a good choice too. Trellises range in size from the very small to the very tall. Build one, or buy it and install.

2. Add decorative elements

Statues, ornaments and patio lights are easy and often inexpensive ways to add personality to a yard. From a regal stone lion to fun patio lights, the ornaments and garden statues that a home-owner chooses makes a statement to those driving past or stopping in.

1. Don’t overdo it

Finally, it’s important not to overdo it. A garden gnome maybe a cute accent peering out from behind a tree, but an army of yard accessories offers friends and neighbors a message too. A yard crammed with ornaments, statues and flowers can make viewers claustrophobic.

To make an ugly yard into a lovely yard, consider implementing some of these suggestions. Since a yard is the gateway to a home, take the time to think about what you’d like your yard to say about you and your family – and make it happen.