Keeping a well-maintained lawn can be expensive and time-consuming. While a lawn seems like a cheap alternative compared to the price of other landscaping materials, keeping the lawn green and manicured is a labor-intensive process that comes with a hefty price tag. For a good-looking landscape that doesn't inflate your budget, you can decrease the grassy area of your lawn and implement some low-maintenance landscaping ideas.
The materials that go into a "hardscape" can often be found for free. The owners of these stones are often happy to have them hauled off for free, rather than having to pay someone to dispose of them. Old bricks from homes that have burned or fallen, as well as fireplace flagstone, can be turned into patio pavers, pathways, rock walls, edging or rocks for waterfalls. Never assume, though, that bricks or rocks are free just because they are lying in a pile in the middle of nowhere. Always track down the owner and ask for the rock before taking it.
Instead of filling your green space with grass, consider a low-growing ground cover such as vinca or clover. Landscaping materials like pea gravel or wood chips can also create a maintenance-free ground cover when placed over a weed barrier that blocks grass from growing between the mulch. These mulches can be purchased directly from quarries or sawmills. Purchasing them in bulk saves money over the cost of purchasing them by the bagful from a garden center.
Discount Landscaping Plants
If you have the ability to nurse a plant back to health, buy plants that have been marked down because they are leggy or almost out of season. Garden centers often mark down perennial plants at the end of their growing season in order to make room for new stock. Plant these so you have some showy color the next year. This may not be the best way to save money if you don't have the talent to nurse plants back to health. Plants that suffer from root damage or heat stress may take several seasons to recover, which can cost you more in the long run.