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money saving landscaping

Updated on August 4, 2012
FIRST - Divide your place into four separate areas: public, private, service and production
FIRST - Divide your place into four separate areas: public, private, service and production
SECOND - In each area lay out the buildings, gardens, lawns as desired.
SECOND - In each area lay out the buildings, gardens, lawns as desired.
THIRD - Decide how each area should be planted to make boundaries for privacy, beauty and productivity.
THIRD - Decide how each area should be planted to make boundaries for privacy, beauty and productivity.

Did you know you can increase the value of your property up to 20% with simple landscaping? With a few simple steps you can improve the appearance of your home and its outdoor livability. The amazing fact is that with $25.00 of plants and seeds, a few hours of labor and you have increased the value by several hundred dollars. More importantly you make your place a bit more livable and more pleasing to the eye.

Next time you take a drive or are on your way somewhere, take a minute to look over the properties and homes you are passing. Notice that some appear cold, colorless and not really desirable. Still others seem more friendly and inviting, making you think of sitting outside in the yard, maybe having a few drinks with friends. You will also see some places that just have too much clutter to be homelike and comfortable. As you are looking you will see some very simple places that have for example fruit trees, rock gardens some bushes and maybe a shade tree or two that just jump out at you and say this is it, this is home.

So what can you do to make your place a bit more country and a lot more homelike? A five year plan. This will greatly increase the value of your land and at the same time, provide that home feeling for you, in the least expensive fashion for you. Here is our best suggestion:

In your first year, you need to become familiar with the basic landscaping methods that are the easiest for you to do and cost the least bit of money. You will need to make a pencil layout of your land showing a basic map with the layout of where your home is, any buildings or structures, gardens, driveways, existing hedges and the like. Then go back on your drawing and mark where you want to plant or construct your changes. Maybe a hedge line or a new shade tree, or a vegetable garden. Whatever the addition is, it should be clearly marked on your map. If you are looking to get tall trees started, you should consider for example a fast growing poplar tree or other hedge type plants that will grow up quickly and usually in one season. Planting perennials your first year is a great idea but remember to only plant as many as you will be able to manage comfortably. This first year should concentrate mainly on trees, vines and shrubs as they will take the longest to grow. Remember, if you don’t like to cut your grass, you can use the space to decorate and then you will be cutting a lot less grass each season.

Your second year you will be planting flowers and shrubbery you did not plant the first year. These will be things like peonies, iris or even hollyhocks as they take a bit more time than some of the other perennials to take root and get started good. You should remember to place any vines or climbing flowers or vegetables where they can either naturally attach themselves to structures you have in place or in places where you are able to build the required trellis for them to climb. This is a good time to decide where you want to add for example a garden seat or a love seat in an arbor or even a swing or hammock for relaxing times.

The development during the third year is going to be kind of as needed. You are ready now to build your arbor for your climbing roses or add the vine staffs for the grape you planted last year that is ready to be trained. Think about walkways or adding a fish pond or garden pool or adding a fence. Blueberry bushes are beautiful additions to a rock garden or along a pathway. You should be able to add finishing touches on plans you have for next year and don’t forget to maintain your plants and gardens. They should be looking good now and require regular maintenance to remain in good condition.

The fourth year should find your foundation plantings completed. You should be getting fruit from your fruit trees and berries from any berry bushes you have planted. You should be mostly completed as far as construction and modification of any flower beds or flower gardens you have planted. Try to make sure you have enough flowers planted so they are blooming continuously from the spring through the late fall. You should have strong borders along your walkways and paths as well by now if you choose to include them in your planning.

Finally, Year Five. Your plan should be for the most part complete. You of course will see places that need a bit of improvement or a slight modification. You should have a great variety of fruits, flowers, vegetables and some sturdy trees by now. See if you are able to find some unique and interesting additions of either plants or trees to add to your collection now. Consider ways to blend your colors and schemes together. Consider adding animals for example maybe a goat, ducks or geese if you have a pond or maybe a chicken or two. These are beautiful creatures that add a bit of spice to your landscaping efforts. By this time, your experience along with your hard work has paid off. You should now have your personal “home” place to relax and enjoy both the scenery as well as the fruits of your labor. Congratulations!

Be sure to make a few pictures of your project before you begin and take lots of pictures as you make progress and some final pictures to show off your handiwork.

There are a couple of final pointers for you to remember:

Always dig your holes before buying plants or trees

Transplant the newly purchased items immediately

Plan to buy bare root plants in the early spring before they must be balled and bagged to prevent drying. You will find it is cheaper then later in the summer or fall.

Look for clearance or reduced price products when purchasing plants, trees, shrubs or flowers. These items, carefully selected, are usually healthy just surplus and are usually a great buy.

If you learn enough about plants and trees, you can collect various wild flowers, plants and such from the woods. This task is a little bit more difficult for the less experienced.

Don’t buy more than you can plant in one day.

Now that you are ready to begin, let’s get started with the five year plan.


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    • amos316 profile image

      amos316 5 years ago

      Great idea! Hopefully they will have as much fun saving money as we did!

    • sammyp99 profile image

      sammyp99 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Awesome ideas. I'm going to take a look at doing a few of these for friends.