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10 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Landscape on a Budget

Are you looking for low-cost ways to beautify your yard? When landscaping on a budget you do not need to settle for unattractive options. There are many ways to give your outdoor space the look and style you want and still save money. Adding plants, mulch, window boxes, water features, and many more creative choices can be accomplished on a budget. You can easily customize your designs to get the aesthetic you want while working with the natural landscape and existing features.

Fall is the most favorable time for landscaping due to the comfortable temperatures for you and your plants. Many plants establish well in Autumn, growing strong and healthy root systems so they can thrive the following summer. Now is the perfect time to start brainstorming some DIY landscaping ideas to transform your yard and show off your vision. The options are endless, but here are some ideas to help get you started.

Add Mulch Around Trees and Beds

applying-mulch-flower-bedMulch is a very cost-effective way to add curb appeal, making it a great option for DIY enthusiasts. It’s the perfect tool for beginners since it takes little effort to apply. There are several materials to choose from so you can get the color and texture that best fits your gardens. Adding mulch does more than add beauty to your landscaping efforts, it also gives everything a defined and finished look, cuts down on gardening maintenance by protecting soil from the sun and retaining water.

This popular landscaping material is inexpensive to buy, and can be available for free from resources like local tree trimmers. Depending on where you live, some cities have programs where tree trimmers can deliver their mulch to you.

Add Trees to Your Lawn

plant-a-tree-landscapingTrees are an integral and gorgeous part of landscaping. They are pleasing to look at, come in many varieties, and offer shade. It’s possible to purchase nearly any type of tree you are interested in adding to your yard. However, you can even get trees for free through careful cultivation! For example, snip off a branch on the underside of a weeping willow tree, plant and cultivate it at home. With the proper care, you can grow a healthy new tree from the branch. If you spot a tree you love, consider asking the homeowner if you can have a clipping, or if the tree is in a public place, consult a city official.

Another way to access free trees is through an Arbor Day Foundation. You can join them to get the latest news and find out what resources you have access to. Through these memberships, you can take home some free trees and volunteer your time with community efforts to plant trees in public spaces and forests.

Many organizations that promote environmental health give out free trees. You can check for a local tree planting organization by calling a city planning office to see what programs are available in your area. You can also look around your yard for any tree seedlings that may be growing. Carefully dig up the roots and replant them in a pot or section of your yard where they can grow and develop.

Create Flower Beds

creating-flower-bed-toolsFlowerbeds will help add colors and dimensions to your lawn. You can choose from a large number of bright blooms to get the desired effect, vintage or modern, simple or complex. Get started by determining where you want your flower beds; the most popular choices are around trees and the perimeters of your home, sidewalk, or driveway.

Select flowers that grow well in your climate. Pay attention to the amount of sunlight available where you wish to plant. This will affect the variety of plants you have to choose from. You can always seek out the advice of a professional if you need assistance.

If you don’t want to create in-ground flower beds, you can look for fun ways to repurpose items into unique flower arrangements. Potted plants are easy to rearrange and require less maintenance. You aren’t restricted to traditional flower pots. Create a flower bed by planting in hollow tree stumps, old barrels, and carts. Nearly any hollow item can be used as a planter. Or, construct built-in planters or raised flower beds for a different look. The only limit to your options is your imagination.

DIY Water Features

water-feature-diyWater features add peace and tranquility to your yard, and can also attract wildlife that you may enjoy observing. Though they can be expensive to buy, they are not impervious to a DIY approach; constructing a DIY fountain or bird bath to complete your lawn aesthetic is relatively easy.

All you need is a water pump, tubing, a drill, glue, and sealant, along with flower pots or other materials of your choice to complete the aesthetic. Many DIYers use ceramic pots filled with pebbles to make a beautiful outdoor water fountain. Make it more special by using multiple tiers for a waterfall effect.

Backyard ponds are another pleasant and stunning water feature to consider. If you go simple, you can build a small pond yourself. Add some rocks and accents to give frogs and other wildlife a place to hide and attract them to your yard.

Solid Cement Planters

concrete-planter-diyAdd durability and style with a few concrete planters. It doesn’t matter what your experience level is. These are very inexpensive and you can make them yourself with cement mix and a mold. A cement planter mold can even be any shape you want to create!

Just mix the concrete with water until it’s the correct consistency, and then pour it into plastic or wood containers of the shape you prefer. Once it’s dry, you can use the finished planter as-is for a rustic and minimalist look. Or, add accents or a coat of paint to further customize your creation.

Ivy Walls

Do you have an unsightly wall that you would like to make attractive? An easy and inexpensive solution is to plant ivy. A gorgeous ivy wall hides imperfections under greenery that crawls up walls and holdivy-patio-pillarss on. An ivy wall can even help to keep your home or building cooler by providing shade from the sun in summer, and insulating the structure to keep it warmer in winter.

Ivy walls help add privacy, too. Once established, ivy can grow densely, creating a living wall between you and your neighbors or the street. They are a fantastic way to shield your yard from prying eyes while transforming a boring space. Many homeowners shy away from other barrier methods because they are ugly or difficult to incorporate into existing landscaping plans and aesthetics. Ivy is an alternative solution that is much more beautiful and appealing.

Fire Pits

stone-diy-fire-pitThere is nothing better than enjoying a quiet evening around a fire pit, even in Summer. It is the perfect setting to toast marshmallows with your kids or have a meaningful conversation with friends. The best part is that it’s incredibly easy to build a fire pit. There are countless designs so you can get the look you want, whether it’s a natural rock, cinder block, or even a fire pit with a built-in grill.

The simplest and most cost-effective way to construct a fire pit is by gathering enough natural rocks to create a barrier that contains the fire. Cinder blocks, bricks, or pavers are also popular ways to quickly build a working fire pit. Add a free-standing grill for a removable cooking surface. Complete your fire pit with some comfortable seating and you’re ready to host many enjoyable evenings.

Create a Zen Garden

create-zen-garden-landscapingMake space for peace and beauty by constructing a zen garden. Also referred to as karesansui, a zen garden uses dry rock and sand as the main materials. Gain all the benefits of meditating in a temple right at home with a little effort and some easily-sourced materials.

Clear the designated area and use flat rocks as pathways. Use small gravel or sand that can be raked to create patterns as part of active meditation. You can keep your design simple, or you can add some elements like vegetation for a splash of soothing greenery or a tranquil koi pond. Place large stones, mats, and cushions throughout the space for places to sit. Zen gardens are a wonderful addition to your yard that helps lower stress levels and improve your mental health.

Build a Rock Garden

build-rock-gardenRock gardens are a simple project that gives an amazing result that can be as complex as you want. Start by setting aside an area of your lawn that you have thoroughly weed trimmed, then simply arrange your gathered stones in any shape that you like. Make sure they are stable and won’t fall. For the best results, create a design plan to follow before you begin. Decide on the shape you want and whether you prefer a flat design or one with depth. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed or follow your creative impulses. When you are finished, add some plants or a water feature if you like; succulents are a great option and require little in continued care.

Rock gardens are an excellent way to add interest to your yard without making more work for yourself as they don’t need to be weeded or watered. They withstand all types of temperatures and weather as well.

Landscape Lighting

solor-landscaping-lights-pathEnjoy your backyard long into the evening by installing some lighting. Solar lights, string lights, and lanterns are all good choices. Look for lights that are designed to be used outside for safety and durability.

Try lining your deck or porch with twinkling string lights that you can turn on when you entertain. Use solar lights along walkways and to edge your garden and flower beds. Easy lights that you just plug in when you need them are also great to use. You can also install more permanent lighting that you place on a timer. If your landscape lighting project involves wiring, make sure you contact a landscape lighting professional to avoid any accidents or safety hazards.

Use these ideas as a jumping-off point to spark your imagination. Once you start on a project, you may be surprised by how easily the next idea comes to you. Look for fun and unique ways to repurpose materials and find great deals on supplies. It’s very possible to give your whole yard a makeover without breaking your budget when you combine the right inspiration with clever DIY techniques and thoughtful plans. Get started on your landscaping projects today to enjoy a gorgeous yard that is the perfect setting for barbecues and picnics, family fun, or just relaxing in the fresh air.

Need Help With Your Landscaping Project?

If you are looking for a team of experts to support you in creating your own outdoor living space, Ryan Lawn & Tree is here to partner with you. RYAN offers a multitude of landscaping services, such as design, plant health, turf care, tree service, flower beds, mulch, drainage, hardscape, water features, outdoor lighting, and more!

Get your Free Estimate today and find your nearest Midwest location for an estimate on your next landscaping project. We look forward to working with you and your unique outdoor spaces!

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