We know that the last thing you want to spend a tonne of money on is the landscaping of a yard, so here are a few budget-friendly tips when you are about to tackle this big job. Jessica chats about some money savers that she used when she was developing her yard from scratch.
- Plan your yard prior to buying anything. A perfect analogy for this is when you go to the grocery store without a list: you forget what you need and you go way over budget. Knowing what types of trees and plants grow in specific conditions and what their function is (i.e. shade, privacy, ground cover) will save you money in the long run so you don’t have to rip things up later. Also, knowing where your hardscape will be like your patio, play structures, and decks will also assist in your planning to avoid future moving. We recommend hiring a professional to help you layout your yard and design a space that is functional for you and your family for future years to come.
- Shop around and buy later in the season. Go to a couple of garden centers and greenhouses before committing on purchasing and also look into their warranty. We were about to pick up 14 Swedish Aspens at $30/pop until we saw the exact same sized tree at Costco for $12/each! Often you can get great deals towards the end of the season on trees, shrubs, mulch, paving stones, decking supplies, and patio furniture.
- Divide and conquer. If you have a lot of space to fill, I would recommend using bright and colorful perennials (plants that come back every year). They tend to grow big in a hurry and you can further divide and transplant elsewhere in your yard. I started out with four perennials and now easily have 12, filling in the necessary gaps of my garden beds simply by transplanting perennials when they were ready to be thinned out.
- Buy trees and shrubs small. Mature trees and shrubs are significantly more money. If you plan to be in your home for
awhile, I would suggest to buy them on the smaller side to take advantage of the savings. In four years, everything in my yard has achieved the height and width we were optimally looking for at the fraction of the price.
- When in doubt, ask around. You never know who is thinning out their flower beds or making a huge change in their yard, clearing out trees, furniture, pavers, rocks, etc.
Neighbours, friends, and family are always a go-to when landscaping! Just this year, my neighbourdecided to re-do their yard to put in a fire pit. We took advantage of an opportunity to transplant a fully mature 8-foot tree that they were discarding which would have easily cost us well over $200.
- Refurbish what you got. Give old things a new life when sprucing up your yard. Spray paint an old bistro table or flower pots, sand and re-stain your existing deck, create a decorative feature piece with old wooden pallets. The ideas are endless. You can find some great ideas on Pinterest!