We have one rather uninspired corner of our backyard. Behind the swing set, is the dark corner where grass doesn't want to grow because of kids and dogs running and a total lack of sunshine for the better part of the day. This part of the yard would be easy enough to ignore if the swing set and porch weren't situated in just such a way that we have no choice but to stare at it.
I have made many attempts to reinvent this space. Some shade-loving plants would surely brighten up this space. But nothing could thrive in the poorly-drained, North Carolina clay when constantly being trampled by the kids and the dogs. I thought some brightly colored chairs would fit the space nicely and allow us to sit where the kids were playing. But the space was always rather muddy and buggy. Even the kids seemed to always run through the space, never interested enough to stay and play in the dirt that was exposed there unlike other more manicured parts of the yard.
The fence in this corner of the yard was warped and leaning, probably due to the moisture that lingered there and due to the large mature trees growing into the space from the other side. The fence became key to reclaiming this space; what was an eyesore became our canvas.
We mixed 1cup of water with 3tbsp. cornstarch and several drops of food coloring. With sponges, spray bottles, and squirt guns, we painted that dark corner of the yard (and each other). The old, wet wood of the fence absorbed much of the color and is shielded by the tall trees from direct rainfall, so our masterpiece has lasted almost a week. The corner of our yard is still dark, wet, and buggy, but it is no longer an ugly eyesore to stare at. And the boys had so much fun painting the yard!