landscape designWith careful planning, you can very well make the most of your landscaping budget, no matter how small it might seem. Start out by sketching out your yard, including your home’s contours, decks or patios, driveways, walkways, paths, retaining walls and flower beds. After this, start adding in the features that you want. Split the project into phases so you can complete a little at a time and minimize the amount of money you need to spend at once.


Landscaping Should Include Careful Planning

1.    Go with gravel, concrete pavers or poured concrete for the most inexpensive walkways and paths. If you are using gravel choose small pieces of angular gravel for the least amount of slippage; avoid pea gravel and other smooth stones. Remove any weeds when you see them start growing out.

2.    Finish your existing docks and patios with inexpensive tables and chairs. Look for them in big box stores, thrift stores and yard sales. Deals are very common at summers end. Dress up the area with cheap outdoor rug, plants in containers, and even a couple of garden-style wall art. Add post lights, candle lanterns, outdoor lamps and tiki torches for evening ambience.

3.    Add a do-it-yourself water feature. You can buy fountains, liners and pumps at your local home improvement store and easily add it to your deck, patio or yard. Create a retaining wall where you need one using textured concrete blocks. A trellis or arbor is another easy addition and can be enchanting while creating privacy.

4.    During summer, sharpen your lawn mower blades every six weeks so your lawn will remain healthy. Use thin layers of chopped-up grass clippings with some slow-release nitrogen to fertilize your lawn and keep it green. Consider planting fescue seeds, as they are drought resistant and will therefore not need a lot of fertilizers for it to flourish.

5.    Outline your flower beds with a garden hose so you can get those contemporary curved shapes, and install edging to define the beds and keep the lawn from encroaching. Properly enrich the soil with compost and other add-ins. Mulch with organic materials like pine needles or shredded leaves, and check with your locality if they will give you free mulch. You can out these over layers of newspaper for extra weed control.

6.    Use up most of your plant budget in trees, shrubs and flowers that are native to your area because they are almost guaranteed to flourish. Plant perennials and put in fewer than you think you need. You can divide them next year and fill the beds again. Start planting indoors from seeds, and buy trees and plants during late summer as they will most likely be on sale. Consider investing in big trees as they will grow slowly. Also, the bigger ones are bound to have more impact on a landscape. Carefully investigate, though, as smaller tree variants are set back less by transplanting than larger trees and will actually grow large faster.

Consult Your Landscape Architect For More Help

You might also want to schedule a consultation with a landscape architect and have her take a look at your sketch. You should be able to get good advice at a lesser price than you would spend if you get her to come up with your landscaping plans from scratch.