You’re in the kitchen making breakfast and, while you’re waiting for the toast to pop, you gaze out the window only to find a very bland view of your yard. Luckily, even if your budget is minimal, there are solutions to fix your outlook and help make you love your garden again.
Establish your budget
Before you get started, you need to know what you’re working with financially. If you can’t afford to be blase with money, then you can’t afford to get carried away with your landscaping.
Start by figuring out how ample your space is. Your money will go further if you’re working with a courtyard, then it will on acreage. Then go about identifying the main issues. If you desperately need new grass, figure out how much of the budget this is going to use, before you consider buying fresh flowers. Do you need a fence repaired? What about a new deck? These are the potential staples of your yard and are also, typically, the most expensive jobs.
Once you’ve allocated your available cash to the big things, divide up the rest of your budget on the remaining features you’d like to revitalise or add, to your garden. Keep in mind that this will be the kind of job you’ll want to be done right. So, any extra cash for short term use that you might require may be worth it in the long run.
Create your vision
The process of budgeting goes hand in hand with establishing your vision for the yard.
If you could change three things, what would they be?
Sometimes, if you’re overwhelmed with where to begin, and are constrained by a budget, this is an excellent question. Whether this is to pull out an unattractive bush or to add some lighting along a pathway, identifying three things can be enough to make a change. The good thing about this approach is that you can change three things now and when your budget rebuilds you can pick another three things.
It is also worth considering the use of your back and front yard. Are you looking to create a place of meditation? Or a pet-safe and child-friendly environment? If your yard serves more aesthetic purposes, and you don’t consider yourself a green thumb, you’re going to want a lower maintenance garden. Consider your garden as an extension of yourself and your family.
Reuse what you can
You already have a yard and, presumably, some plants and objects filling it. So, when working on a budget, it may be smart not to rip out and throw away everything. Reusing items and enhancing the appearance of your existing greenery is the cheapest way to go.
Generally, you can rediscover life in your yard by merely cleaning things up. If you have some old pots, wash them and add some fresh dirt to them. A simple change but an improvement nonetheless. Tidying up your garden edging is another excellent way to create change. If this edging is brick and some of them have slipped out of formation, clean them up and realign them, rather than starting from scratch.
Materials and flora change with time. This doesn’t mean they become worthless. Consider what you’re throwing out and identify any potential new uses you could have for it. If you’re a handy person, you may even be able to create something completely fresh out of the old. Creativity is your asset on a budget constraint.
Hire some key equipment
Professional landscapers can be expensive, and you may find that you can hire the equipment and do it yourself for cheaper. Two great pieces of equipment for revitalising your garden that you can hire are a pressure washer and a hedge trimmer.
You won’t realise exactly how much dirt has built up on external surfaces until you use a pressure washer. Depending on its size and power, you can typically hire one for 24 hours for a starting price of around $50. Once you have hired it, go over your driveway, street guttering, any concrete or brick paths, even the sides of your house if you’d like. Pressure washing is a simple and effective way to hit the reset button on the exterior of your home.
Doing a bit of pruning is another great way to freshen up your garden’s appearance. Not only does pruning help the aesthetics, but in many cases, it is also great for promoting healthy plant regrowth. You can buy your own hedge trimmer for less than $200 that will make basic pruning easy and even allow for you to get a bit fancier and sculpt some of your greenery. There’s plenty of tips online about how to go about this if you’ve never created hedge art before.
Beyond this, however, there are plenty of other equipment pieces available to buy on amazon, or at Bunnings or other local hardware stores.
Mulch can do wonders
Ground coverings can potentially be a money pit when it comes to landscaping, especially if you’re trying to promote the survival of grass in a dry environment. Not only is laying grass expensive, so is the water it requires to thrive.
These days, there are plenty of alternatives to the standard grass lawn. From rock and mulch to ground covering plants and even moss, there are more cost-efficient ways to fill the space than a manicured grass lawn. If you do like the standard, grass and garden bed combination, then the best way to give your yard a more groomed appearance is with mulch. Mulch can come in so many different forms; it’s almost guaranteed that you will find one to compliment your vision.
Depending on the quality, mulch can range from cheap to quite expensive. When operating on a budget, it’s worth knowing that you can get approximately 40 litres for around ten dollars. This makes covering your garden beds relatively cheap. However, the drawback of mulch is that it will fade eventually and require redoing for that clean looking finish.
Add your personal touches
Once you’ve completed the above steps, it can be very worthwhile to personalise the space further. Whether it’s with some DIY refurbishing, or by adding some colour, personalising your yard can help you to enjoy it even more.
These are the final adjustments to your vision. Will your space need light for evening use? Do you want to wrap a tree in fairy lights, or light up a flower garden? What about an outdoor setting for yourself and your family to enjoy your new space?
If you are artistically inclined, you could paint a mural, or maybe a single feature wall. These personal touches can be cheap and basic, yet they still will count towards the vibe of the space. Whatever it is you fancy, if you can afford it, add it. Hopefully, it will help make your yard a great place to be, and promote a lovely view from the kitchen window.