How to Have a Beautiful Yard on a Budget
I really don't have irrational fears. Despite all the crazy things I've done in 39 years, I have bungee jumped twice. I've flown across the country by myself, and I've ridden my bicycle 160 miles in one day for enjoyment. But within 15 seconds there is one thing that terrifies me: a green lawn ornament. No matter whether it's children playing a fountain or gazing at an old-fashioned gazing ball, it doesn't matter to me. I am not fond of ceramic lawn ornaments that are painted or unpainted.
Except for gnomes
Since the tallest of these men wear red-pointed caps, they make me smile every time I see them. And so I've started a small collection of small gnomes (Read 2, one of which I bought for Mother's Day). They sit on the front porch and I see them every time I pull into the driveway. I don't actually know why they amuse me so, perhaps especially given my irrational fears of their distant cousins. But the truth is that we all have our thing.
Although my gnomes are small and weren't very expensive, I still love the way they help me make my yard look nicer. I live on a quarter acre of property, and this can be made even more difficult with the weather in the summer. Often, the sweating equity of keeping up the yard and the cost of digging up a new piece of yard furnishings or investing in flowers or lawn scenery provide very little leeway for our budget. However, we can cut costs with a little creativity.
How to Have a Beautiful Yard on a Budget
Begin With the Clean Up
Just about every Saturday morning along, you will find hordes of weekend warriors flocking to the local Supercenter or Home Improvement chain to purchase a plethora of flower, tool, and picnic table kits. From early spring to late fall, our clever marketing partners use every excuse to paint us into a corner so that we act as though we need all these items.
Instead of falling into this costly rut, begin by cleaning your yard first. Only after you pick all the sticks, mow the grass, rake the clippings, and collect the weeds can you have a clearer idea of what you really need and what might simply be a fantasy. Plus, you will undoubtedly be too tired to overspend and overextend yourself.
Make the Most of Mulch
While not all cities serve this purpose, some town crews remove limbs if you only leave them at the edge of the road. Maybe you wonder what they do with those limbs. Again, while not every town does this, it's not uncommon are some unwanted limbs turned into mulch and at a lower charge, you may qualify for that coveted landscape you want.
See if the town you have moved to has a webpage for trash and mulch collection. Generally, the sanitation department will take care of both removing the trash and mulch-ing. Perhaps you'll require a new way to transport the mulch and proof of the residency (utility bill is usually accepted for this purpose).
Even if your locale does not offer such a great opportunity, you can still save on mulch by purchasing a bulk amount. Invite others to share in the cost and obtain a better cost per cubic yard. Don't forget to ask the company that you're ordering from if they offer any discounts and or coupon codes.
Finally, many home improvement stores discount mulch towards the end of the season. If you need to wait until next season to purchase your mulch or just get a bag of mulch as a top layer, their prices can be considerably discounted.
A Little Spray Paint Goes a Long Way
Maybe you want to turn your old lawn furniture into a new, fresh piece that will wow everyone for very little money. Painting metal chairs and tables, flowerpots, or other items you own white may only cost as little as $10.
You can also uncover great metal outdoor furniture on a yard sale or via Craigslist. If you spend enough time rummaging around, you may discover an item or two someone has dragged out on trash day. Before repainting, you may need to use steel wool to remove rust. Did you know you can also give her a facelift by spray painting sunscreen faded cushions?
Revive the lost spirits of your beloved items by repainting them. Choose your favorite color and unlock your inner decorator by spraying.
Consider The Value of Your Time
I heard author Andy Stanley advise, Only do what only you can do. This valuable leadership lesson even applies to your lawn. When taking on a new project, like a flower bed or a flower garden, you should calculate the amount of time your planting and maintenance will take. If you intend to take on this project, it's probably in the most effective interest to you to hire a local teenager to handle the dirty work on your behalf. If lawn work is invigorating and a delight to you, by all means spend the time doing the work yourself. Nevertheless, if you think you won't be in your finest condition to work on Monday, you may want to postpone your farming the work out until then. It may feel obscene, but in a few cases, it even makes financial sense.
Set a Cash Budget and Stick to It
Keep in mind that your budget for home improvement projects can still be met even if your household maintenance budget allows. Just be sure you set a fixed amount of cash ahead of time and spend it only inside the store. This will aid you avoid making unwise purchase decisions that aren't directly related to improving your yard or patio. Look for perennials that will return year after year instead of annuals which will fade away after a year. Stick to decorating items made from classic materials that give your porch or yard a classic style.
Focus on what you will purchase for your house's exterior and be happy with what you spend. After all, grass won't be grown outside for very long in most climates. Do not worry too much about the amount of money you're spending on your lawn. Stick to your budget, and learn to love your outdoor space.