A nicely tended and thought-out backyard can not only add value to your home, it can become an extension of your home where you, your family and friends can relax and have fun. It doesn't have to cost a fortune and it doesn't have to take all your spare time to create your dream backyard.
One of the easiest things you can do to your backyard is plant bulbed plants in the fall. Examples include tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Line your house, sidewalk or fence with them. In early spring, you will be reminded that warm weather is on its way with little green shoots popping out of the ground. Soon, they will mature into beautiful flowers that will give your yard the earliest start to the growing season. You can purchase bulbs from the store, or you can ask your friends and neighbors if you can dig some up because bulbed plants multiply quickly and they may have more than enough to spare.
One of the easiest things you can do to liven up your backyard is to plant a garden. While each individual part of creating a garden is inexpensive, adding it all up in the end can end up being more than you budgeted. To make it more affordable, again ask your neighbors and friends if there are any plants they no longer want. You can also choose to plant your garden in June when plants are on sale at your garden store. In addition, plan a year or two ahead and start a compost pile to make your own garden soil. Add fall leaves, coffee grounds, fruit peelings and egg shells, just to name a few. Don't forget to buy some worms to make the process quicker. When planting, skip the annuals which die and have to be replaced year to year. Instead, plant only perennials that will come back and save you money in the long run.
In small yards, instead of grass, lay small stones. Common colors for a rock yard are red or white, especially in the Southwest. You will not have to buy sod, which is expensive, or plant grass seeds, which most people have a difficult time growing and keeping alive after the first few months. You can then plant your garden in the rocks. If you still desire a grassy area for your dogs or children, then set aside a small area. Make it large enough for your needs, but small enough to keep it properly watered and weeded with ease.
Most outdoor furniture is expensive, but it is necessary to help make the outdoors a more livable space. You can purchase cheap plastic furniture, which can work well until you can afford something nicer. Add an umbrella for shade and to make it more cozy. You can also wait until the fall when outdoor furniture sets are often 50 to 75 percent off. Place your outdoor furniture on your patio, if you have one. If not, set aside an area of your yard and lay a brick foundation. Add potted plants. Instead of an umbrella, you can build a trellis out of two by fours. Add lattice for the top and the sides, if desired. Start to grow a climbing vine, like morning glories, for additional shade and privacy.
Budget It Out
If your backyard is a blank slate, the best thing to do is think about all the things you want in your dream backyard, including trees, bushes, gardens, furniture, fish pond and a rock garden. Plan to purchase as many items as possible each year that fit in your budget. Build on that in the years to come. In several years, you may just have the yard of your dreams.
- Photo Credit www.sxc.hu/photo/1161594
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