Economical Landscaping Ideas

Facing a backyard that consists of nothing but dirt is daunting. Replacing a side yard that just didn't work as planned is a major project. Taming a front yard of a tangled mess of weeds and overgrown trash trees and bushes is discouraging--not to mention expensive. But it doesn't have to be, with clever and economical landscaping ideas.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees in 5-gallon containers and bushes in quart sizes are more economical than those in larger sizes, but can be a challenge to find at the local plant nursery and may have to be ordered online or through catalogs. Trees in 10-gallon and bushes in 1-gallon containers are more common and about half the price of the 15-gallon size and 5-gallon sizes respectively. After a year of growth it will be difficult to tell the difference between the ones that started out smaller. Smaller size containers don't require as large a hole for planting, which makes the work a little easier. No matter what the initial size, plant trees and shrubs the distance apart they will be when full grown. If a shrub grows to 5 feet wide, plant the bushes 5 feet apart.

Flower Borders

A beautiful flower border is the crowning glory of any landscape. But buying enough perennials, rose bushes and annuals can break the bank. Many perennials need to be divided in the fall. Gardeners sometimes throw the divisions away because they simply don't have the space for them. Friends and family may be willing to contribute the divisions for no charge. Other perennials are easily started as new plants in water or inserting a freshly clipped cutting in rooting hormone and then potting soil. Bare root roses are less expensive than container roses. By the end of the summer it will be difficult to tell which was which. Grocery stores and florists often sell miniature roses as gift items. These pots sometimes hold up to five individual plants. Cut the plants apart through the root system and plant each in its own new pot. In 2-3 months the plant will develop new roots and can be transplanted to the flower border. Fill in a sparse flower border with annual seeds. Petunias, marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnias all grow easily and quickly from seed.


A lush, full, dark green lawn sets off the colors of a flower border and provides an even surface for games, picnics or just relaxing. Putting in a lawn from sod is expensive. Seeding a lawn is less expensive. So is planting stollens, the runners of some varieties of grass. Another alternative is to choose a grass variety like Bermuda grass that sends out runners. Order half the amount of sod required for the lawn area. Cut the sod into 2-inch squares and plant 2 inches apart. The lawn will fill in by the end of 3-4 months.

Keywords: cost effective gardens, cheap garden ideas, economical gardens

About this Author

Dee Power holds an MBA. She is the co-author of "Attracting Capital from Angels," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "The Making of a Bestseller," the novel "Over Time," and several screenplays. She contributes to several Web sites and is a regular columnist for