Creating your own lovely landscape may seem like a daunting task if you are a new homeowner or a beginning gardener, especially if you are on a budget. However, it's not difficult to create a striking front or back yard without breaking the bank (or your back). If you're a new homeowner, learn what the existing plants on your property are called and a bit of information about them. They may not look attractive to you now, but perhaps they flower in spring or summer; don't tear out anything until you know what it is.
Consider Lawn Alternatives
Children and dogs need an area to run around and play, so a lawn is a common choice for many homeowners. However, easy alternatives exist---plants such as creeping mint, creeping thyme and Roman chamomile make carefree groundcovers that you never need to mow. They also release a fragrant scent when you walk on them. These plants grow low to the ground, are evergreen and thrive on neglect.
Grow Wildflowers and Other Natives
Choose wildflowers, native trees and other plants that are indigenous to the region where you live. Plants that grow in their native habitats are perfectly suited to the soil conditions, climate and other factors that help them grow strong, with little need for you to fertilize or otherwise fret over them. Wildflowers form seeds that drop to the ground and often grow into more plants the following season, leaving you with little to do but sit back and enjoy them.
Grow Edible Plants
Depending on the amount of space you have at your disposal, you may consider planting an apple tree, a small vegetable garden or even hanging planters with lettuce, cucumbers and other edible plants cascading down their sides. Potted plants and hanging baskets make attractive additions to decks and patios, and growing your own food not only saves money, but also provides you and your family with fresh, healthy food.
Favor compost, fish emulsion, natural insect controls, mulch and other natural techniques over chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. You'll save money if you use products such as insecticidal soap to control aphids and other bothersome insects, and natural fertilizers, such as compost, worm castings and fish emulsion are good choices if you're concerned about the environment.