The last time I wrote on this blog about landscaping on a budget, it was 2013 (now updated). Since then that post has been one of my most popular, both on the website and Pinterest. I am a people pleaser so I am back to give you what you want: MORE ways to landscape your yard without spending a fortune.
Landscaping on A Budget (5 More Tips)
- Simplify Your Materials... not your dreams. You see this amazing patio on Houzz or Pinterest. After doing a little research you realize that a tumbled bluestone patio is just not in your budget. That's ok. Look for a good substitute, like a paver that mimics stone. Can't afford pavers right now? That's ok too. Compacted gravel or decomposed gravel will do the trick. Don't give up on a patio or walkway just because stone doesn't work for your bank account. And while stone requires a good amount of skill to lay properly, pavers and gravel can be mastered by anyone willing to do a little reading and a lot of heavy lifting.
- Start Small... with your plants. Many grasses and ground cover are available as flats of 4" size plants. Even at a retail nursery these will be 1/3 the price of a 1 gallon plant. And guess what, the plants mature to exactly the same size.
- Damaged Plants. Many nurseries have a dark corner where they stash plants that have been damaged. They might have a broken branch, be sun burned, or actually almost dead. These are often priced at 50% less than normal retail. In most cases these plants can be installed and expected to rebound into a very healthy plant. Here are 5 great Portland area nurseries.
- Be Frugal... not cheap. Sometimes the savings just isn't worth the long-term cost. Plastic edging may seem like a good idea. But when was the last time a cheap plastic anything was the real answer? Steel edging is just slightly more expensive (and take a truck to haul) but will last so much longer. And yes, you could build a fence out of pallets, but it probably won't look like it does on Pinterest.
- Use Placeholders. You have a barren corner of yard, a plant wish list, but no money to make it happen? Toss down some wildflower seed and let it wait a year. Just because you can't afford what you really want doesn't doom you to having nothing. The gravel patio suggestion above could be viewed the same way. A gravel patio would be a great placeholder while you save for the stone patio of your dreams.
The key to a great garden on a budget is patience. It takes time for small plants to grow, restraint to use a placeholder, persistence to find great deals on damaged plants- but it can be worth it.
What is your DIY landscaping secret weapon? Leave it in the comments below, I won't tell anyone.