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Rubber Mulch - Creative Backyard Design Using Mulch

March 02, 2016

One of rubber mulch’s lesser known benefits is that it can become a tool for outdoor creativity. It is, after all, made to provide alternative landscaping infill. But because it comes in a myriad of colors, rubber mulch also paves the way (pun intended) for the most beautiful backyard designs you can do on your own! Here are a few ideas you may want to turn into a DIY project in time for the new year.

Whimsical wonderland

checkerboard mulch landscape


You can get inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s amazing account of one young girl’s adventures after tumbling down a rabbit hole. Simply take your favorite elements from the story: a checkerboard field, giant chessboard pieces, flamingo croquet “hammers”, rose shrubs, etc., and work with rubber mulch to help turn your own backyard into a Wonderland.

For instance, one of the easiest Wonderland ideas to execute would be a checkerboard pattern. Alternate 32 square stone pavers in a grid with squares of colored rubber mulch. You can choose green, red, black, or any color to represent a giant chess or checkers game. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can have wooden or stone chess pieces made to stand on the squares!

Rustic relaxation

rustic landscaping

Even in a highly urbanized area, you can summon the look and feel of a cabin retreat in the mountains just by using rubber mulch. Earth-colored mulch surrounding irregularly shaped flagstones forming a path through the “woods” can make you feel removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. With trees, rocks, and other rustic elements in place, simply stepping outside can make it seem like you’re on a vacation.

Zen zone

zen garden

Fancy the minimalist appeal of a Japanese rock garden? With slate-colored rubber mulch, you can have your own Zen-inspired corner in no time. A few boulders, some tōrō (Japanese stone lantern), and maybe a koi pond added to your backyard, and you will feel transported to a meditative and serene time and place.

Fantastic fire pit

fire pit

If for some reason grass doesn’t thrive in your backyard, you can transform it into a beach style patio complete with a fire pit instead. Red rubber mulch surrounding a stone fireplace can turn your outdoors into a cozy gathering place especially during cold days. With this set-up, you can watch the sunset, have impromptu singing sessions, and roast marshmallows and s’mores without having to take a long trip away from home.