Anyone can spend a fortune on landscaping, but it takes someone creative to do it on a budget. Taking the time to develop your landscape can be rewarding as you watch your small investment literally grow all around you. Decide which new plants and items you need or want to add first. Creating your landscape can done in many different stages, allowing you time to come up with the money. Using plants you already have or ones that are native to your specific area will save you money and ensure less overall maintenance in the long run.
Budget Flower Beds
Take advantage of things you already have, such as compost from your own yard, to create new flowerbeds. Make the beds from items you can get from neighboring sources. Local builders or demolition businesses are great places to obtain lumber, rocks or bricks from. Often, you can get these for free or very inexpensively, since the businesses need to get rid of these items anyway.
Use the items to create the flowerbeds and you can use the small rocks for mulch around flowers and trees. Find out if your city or extension office provides free or low-priced compost or mulch to residents, if you need more for your projects.
Low-Cost and Free Plants
Use plants, bushes and trees that you can easily get clippings and/or seeds from. Initially, buy only one or two plants, and then propagate them to get more plants. Using perennials instead of annuals will also save you money, since these plants come back each year and many reproduce. Thin out overcrowded spots and put the extra plants in another area. Use the seeds to seed other areas of your garden.
Contact local garden clubs, botanical centers and arboretums to find out about low-cost plants, trees and shrubs or about upcoming shows or sales. Some of these places may give you free plants (See Resources for free trees). These are also great places to ask questions and receive helpful tips on landscaping ideas. Ask your family, friends and nurseries for leftover or discarded plants.
Low Cost Hardscaping
Create fountains, construct walkways or make other decorations using rocks and other landscaping items. Often, you can get old or damaged items like birdbaths, ornaments, fences or benches that you can clean up or repair and used in your design. Spend time, instead of money, to fix up broken or worn items. Placing container plants on your deck, patio or walkways is another idea for low cost hardscaping. Obtain old pots from different sources and decorate or paint them to give a uniform look.