Landscaping your property is rarely a cheap prospect. According to MSN Realestate, homeowners traditionally spend up to 15 percent of their home's value on landscaping. Doing as much of the work yourself as possible and taking the time to find cheap sources for the materials you need can greatly reduce your expenses.
Landscaping's biggest expense is often the materials. Cheap or even free hardscape materials are not too difficult to find. Demolition sites often throw away materials that could be reused. Get the permission of a demolition site operator to scavenge for brick, stone and other construction materials to use in patios, walls, raised planters and other outdoor projects. If you can't find free stone, get it for cheap at a local building reuse center. Find pots, barrels and other containers for plants at thrift stores and yard sales.
According to MSN Realestate, many areas offer free trees, compost or mulch to encourage citizens to make their home more green. See what your city or town has available. Some local businesses also make compost available. Coffee shops may give you their coffee grounds or vegetarian restaurants may give away food scraps for you to use in your compost pile. Get trees and other plants for cheap by buying them late in the season when nurseries are selling them at a reduced price.
Save money by building outdoor structures out of cob. According to Humboldt State University, cob requires sand, earth, clay, straw, and water. If your soil contains clay, you can get most of what you require from your own tap and backyard. You may only need to buy straw and possibly sand to make the cob. Cob is strong and durable, and it can be shaped into benches, tables, outdoor buildings and nearly any other structure. Pour a concrete foundation beneath the cob to increase its strength and prevent water damage.