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Trimming Landscaping Costs
Landscaping can provide many advantages. It can make the outside of your home more attractive and give you space that you can use for entertaining and just living during the warmer months. If you are thinking of selling, it can add to the value of your home.
But those advantages can come at a steep price. However, Better Homes and Gardens offers some suggestions for sprucing up your outdoors without breaking the bank:
Draw out your plan. Having a well-designed plan before you start can keep you from buying plants and supplies you don’t need. Use a computer program or graph paper to draw out the elements of your landscaping to make sure that they will fit without being too crowded. And check that the plants you want are appropriate for the soil and sun exposure that you have.
Use some professional help. Usually you can set up a single consult with a landscape designer. And if you want something more complex, like a koi pond or a rounded patio, it might be worth it to hire someone to do that part of the project for you while you do the rest.
Work in phases. If you don’t want to or can’t afford to do everything at once, break the project down into more workable sections.
Know when cheaper is not better – and when it is. Some things, such as common annuals, are pretty much the same whether you buy them from a nursery or a discount store; just check all the plants carefully to make sure they appear healthy. Other things, though – such as water plants or specialized fountains – might make sense to buy at a store that specializes in them. Among other things, the people there probably can give you some knowledgeable advice.
Buy at the right time. For example, annuals are usually less expensive as you get closer to Memorial Day – though the selection and quality also might be less. Trees and shrubs often cost less later in the year. And lumber can be cheapest in the winter.
Don’t overlook online and other sources. Especially if you are looking for unusual plantings, try online or an alternative source, such as a botanic garden or arboretum. Online prices might be cheaper, but determine what happens if the plant arrives dead, and don’t forget to figure shipping costs. At a botanic garden or arboretum, you might have access to expert advice. And many cities offer free mulch as long as you haul it away.
Talk to your neighbors. See if anyone else is considering an outdoor project. Perhaps you could share the cost of renting equipment such as tillers.