10 Backyard Landscaping Ideas on a Budget


Get Down and Dirty

Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty; it'll save you dough.
Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty; it'll save you dough.
Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock

Landscaping professionals have heavy-duty equipment, top-notch expertise and plenty of labor to help complete backbreaking projects. They charge accordingly.

Roughly 30% of Americans hire other people to work on their yards [source: NGA]. But you can avoid paying those steep contracting bills simply by doing much of the work yourself. Granted, you'll likely be unable to move that 20-ton hunk of decorative marble on to the front yard with your 1983 hatchback. Hire pros to take care of the really big jobs.

But when it comes to digging, planting, and other time-consuming, menial tasks, you can see significant savings just by putting in the time to do it alone or with well-bribed family and friends. A few pizzas and a beer keg parties are a relatively cheap way lure in your friends for a few hours here and there.

With a bit of your old sweat (and possibly a bit of blood), your home's exterior could literally spring to life. Not only will you get more enjoyment out of your yard by beautifying it on a budget, but you'll save money and add a lot of value to one of your biggest investments.

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More Great Links


  • American Society of Landscape Architects. "Sustainable Residential Design: Increasing Energy Efficiency." Asla.org. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.asla.org/energyefficiency.aspx
  • American Society of Landscape Architects. "Sustainable Residential Design: Maximizing the Benefits of Plants." Asla.org. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.asla.org/benefitsofplants.aspx
  • Archer, Ann. "17 Ways to Landscape on the Cheap." MSN Real Estate. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13108253
  • Bender, Steve. "Backyard Beauty on a Budget." SouthernLiving.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/backyard-landscape-00417000067677/
  • Better Homes and Gardens. "12 Money-Saving Landscaping Tips." BHG.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/inexpensive/
  • Better Homes and Gardens. "45 Money-Saving Landscaping Tips." BHG.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/stretch-your-landscape-dollar/
  • Contra Costa Water District. "Watering Wisely Saves Money." Ccwater.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.ccwater.com/files/LawnCare.pdf
  • Douglas, Kim. "How Landscape Architecture Can Boost Real Estate Sales." Cobizmag.com. Apr. 21, 2009. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/how-landscape-architecture-can-boost-real-estate-sales/
  • Dreamscape Lawn Care. "Racine Landscaping FAQ." Dreamscapelawncare.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.dreamscapelawncare.com/faq.php
  • Forever Green Landscaping. "10 Tips for Saving Money in the Garden." Forevergreenlandscaping.wordpress.com. June 24, 2011. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://forevergreenlandscaping.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/10-tips-for-saving-money-in-the-garden/
  • Gilmer, Maureen. "Cost-Saving Landscaping Tips." Landscaping Network. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.landscapingnetwork.com/landscape-design/money-saving-tips.html
  • McKenzie, Paul. "8 Strategies for Smart Landscape Design." HGTV.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/index.html
  • Reader's Digest. "Landscaping for Less: 8 Money-Saving Tips." RD.com. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://www.rd.com/home/landscaping-for-less-8-money-saving-tips/
  • Tuttle, Brad. "83 Money Tips: Free Landscaping Supplies, Coolest Cars Under $18K, Life Lessons from the Rich." Moneyland.Time.com. June 24, 2011. (Oct. 4. 2011) http://moneyland.time.com/2011/06/24/83-money-tips-free-landscaping-supplies-coolest-cars-under-18k-life-lessons-from-the-rich/


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