Here are a few quick tips to help you think about your landscape:
- Always Plan Before You Make Purchases – It is always a good idea to map out your lawn and include notes about possible additions before beginning to purchase materials. Be as specific as possible. For example, it may not be enough to simply draw a stream through your yard if you are considering one. What will be the source of the water? Will there be a rock bed or would you prefer it to be surrounded by plants?
- Make a Decision About What Design You Would Like – If you make too many sacrifices to save money on your landscaping project, you might find the result unsatisfactory. Be cost conscious but don’t be cost prohibitive.
- Consult With A Professional – Even if you cannot afford to have a professional handle your landscaping project, doing a quick 30 minute to 1 hour consultation session about your plans and goals can be very valuable. A landscaping professional can assist you in setting reasonable goals and defining a reasonable budget. Spending the money for a short consultation can save you from many costly mistakes later.
- Be Prepared to Work in Phases – If you have some ambitious goals but a budget that does not justify them, do not be afraid to buy supplies over an extended period of time. For example, you might buy mulch and flowers one month, add stone steps the next and cap off your garden with a fountain during the final month. Buying in phases can also help you determine whether your new lawn will require too much maintenance once it is completed.
- Do Not Make the Mistake of Thinking That Cheaper is Always Better – You may want to save a great deal of money on new shrubs for your lawn. However, if the shrubs are too low of quality, you might not get exactly what you expected. Although the prices at specialty landscaping stores might be higher than superstores, the specialty stores often have a much better selection to help you make better landscaping decisions.
- Do Not Make the Mistake of Thinking That Cheaper is Always Poorer – However, if you find a great deal on landscaping supplies, do not be afraid to take advantage of it. For stoic supplies like stone and tools, you can easily get away with making the purchase at a mass supplier rather than going to a specialty store. You can also trust larger suppliers to handle common plants and flowers like annuals and perennials.
- Make Seasonal Purchases to Save Money – Lumber, for example, is often much cheaper during the colder months of Winter. You can then store it in a shed or garage until the weather permits your landscaping project. In addition, you can save a great deal of money on shrubs, plants and soil late in the planting season. These items will often be much more expensive at the beginning of spring because the demand for them is high but the supply is low.
- Don’t Forget About the Internet – Shopping online can quickly increase the selection of ideas and images to which you have access while planning your project.
- Brainstorm With Neighbors – You might find that a neighbor is also considering the same sort of project as yourself. If this is the case, you might be able to convince them to split the cost of heavy equipment and materials . As these fees can quickly add up, sharing the cost with someone else can help you save a great deal of money.
- Make Sure that You Estimate Materials Properly – The amount of soil or mulch that you need depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your project and the depth at which the soil or mulch will extend. For example, remember that a metric ton of soil only fills about a cubic yard of space.
- Always consider the environment! Plant deciduous shade trees to shade your home in the summer and let the sunlight through in the winter. Use the fallen leaves to mulch your existing beds. Create rain gardens and dry creek beds to help prevent storm water runoff. Use plants that produce food. Hang a clothes line in the summer. Start a compost bin, this will help reduce waste and mitigate artificial fertilizers.