Here are a collection of handy tips for the beginner landscape designer, as well as several money saving tips!
• Sketch it out first.
Don’t just start plopping plants in the ground. Come up with simple sketch of your yard (graph paper works great if you wish to be precise) and just plan out your plants, using rings. This way you know how many of each plant you need to buy (no repeat trips to the store because you forgot something) and you’ll have a survey of what you’re planning, which will help you build your dream yard with precision.
• Take it in steps.
You don’t need to have a huge overhaul of your lawn in one morning – you might not have enough hours in a day, and you might not want to use all of your funding at once. It’s OK, just take it in phases. Work on your mission as you can, and over time it will get done. The sketched overview is incredibly helpful for planning phases of your project.
• Consult a pro.
Maybe you would like to do some of the landscape design yourself, but it’s almost always worth it to talk to a landscaping specialist. They’ll give you useful insight about your exact situation, and help you see problems that you might miss. You can hire a pro to speak with you, do part of your project, or to completely fulfill your concept, depending on what your goals are.
• Check out web-based resources.
There are hundreds and hundreds of forums, blogs, and websites with thousands of people who are enthusiastic and willing to help you along with instruction and insight with your project. If your predicament is tricky to explain, simply snap a photograph or two and ask for help. You’ll be surprised at the free, useful advice that you’ll get!
Composting doesn’t have to be time intensive and hard, and it can give a much-needed nutritional boost to your plants. Just build yourself a modest compost box in the corner of the lawn – Pallets work well for this, and you can occasionally get them for free from your local appliance company.
• Get bulk supplies.
Don’t purchase pre-bagged landscape supplies like wood chips without checking to find out if you can get them bulk. Often a neighborhood landscaping company will offer supplies by the truckload for cheaper than purchasing them by the package, or your city give away wood chips for free, perhaps at your local recycling drop-off point. Checking into these options might save you some good money!
• Have fun!
This is your landscape. Whether you do it all yourself or hire a professional designer, understand that planning your yard is an exciting process. Don’t take on so much that it makes your life miserable. Work on it when you can, and grow towards the lawn of your dreams.
Now for few money-saving tips:
• Need bricks, gravel, etc? Find a site where they’re destroying a building, and they will most likely let you take some of their waste materials away to use as decorative boarders, walkways and such for free.
• Try to get plants late in the season, when greenhouses sell them off on the cheap to keep from having to toss them out. Just make sure the plants are in good shape enough that you can still use them!
• Make great savings on air conditioning. Have you heard planting a tree or a bush to shade your air conditioning unit can bring you 10% money saved on your cooling bill? Well, now you know!