DIY Landscaping Without Spending a Fortune

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Hi Taylor - I’ve got high hopes for fixing up my yard this summer, but I’m starting to worry I don’t have the money to make these dreams come true. Do you have any advice for a DIY landscaper who wants things to look good without spending a fortune? - Jared

Hey Jared - This sounds like a worthy goal and I’d love to help. I wouldn’t describe myself as a green thumb, but I have some ideas about how you can spruce things up in a cost-effective way.

1. Use what you have. It sounds like you’re ready to put in some time and effort, and laziness is usually what causes people to overspend on these types of projects. It’s really easy to drop $300 on the materials needed to make a fancy flower bed, whereas it takes a little more time to find old household items that can be deconstructed and repurposed. However, if you waterproof shelves from old desks or place the bars of an old bed frame in the right place, you can create some neat visuals without even going to the store. Think about creating clear, defined areas using whatever materials you have around and then getting affordable plants to make everything look a little nicer.

2. Add some lighting. I’m constantly impressed by what you can do with well placed Christmas lights. There’s no reason your yard can’t look good at night as well as during the day, and using a strand of cheap lights to either line a walkway or decorate some shrubs can go a long way. You don’t have to leave them plugged in and wasting power throughout the day. These small lights are also a great way to fight frost when the temperature starts dropping below 30 and hurting some of your vegetation.

3. Get water-conscious plants. If you buy exotic flowers and things that need daily watering, you can’t avoid paying that utility. These fancy plants often cost more than some of the heartier options as well. Look into succulents and cactuses and some of the ferns that can get by with just a little bit of hydration. You’ll still be able to keep your yard green and lush looking without providing the same amount of water that jungle plants expect. You can also use nice rocks and other non-living decorations to avoid increasing your water bill.

If you get creative and put in the effort, I’m sure you can design a lovely landscape that doesn’t break the bank. If you have any luck with the options above, please let me know!

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