DIY Landscape Design to Save Money
If you want a garden that turns heads but won’t empty your wallet, do your own landscaping. It’s easy to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of landscaping design in order to create the yard of your dreams.

Follow our step-by-step guide to DIY landscaping on a budget. With these landscaping tips and ideas, and a few weekends’ worth of work, you’ll have all the curb appeal without all the expense.

1. Decide on a theme
When you begin your DIY landscaping project, you’ll first want to figure out the theme for your yard or garden. A theme will give you a blueprint from which to draw in terms of plants, hardscape and accessories.

Theme gardens can illustrate a favorite storybook and include plants and accessories that play into the idea. Think Dr. Seuss or The Secret Garden. Get your children involved in the process and create a theme that will grow with your family’s needs and wants.

2. Draw up plans
Like landscape designers do, draw up the plans for your garden on paper or on the computer. Doing so allows you to make a pleasing design and see when things aren’t fitting well or if you have empty holes to fill. When the design is still on paper, it’s easy to move things around and eliminate items if necessary.

3. Create garden rooms
Just as the interior of the home has various rooms, such as living and dining rooms, entryways and kitchens, effective gardens contain the same elements. Look at your exterior in terms of rooms with various functions. For instance, plan for an outdoor kitchen and dining area (i.e., your grill and your patio table), a living room area for sitting and chatting, and a lounge area with lounge chairs and hammocks where you can take an afternoon nap. Don’t forget the spot for the dog or the children to play.

4. Blend hardscape and plants
An eye-catching landscape does a good job of blending plants with hardscape items, such as pavers, retaining walls, barbecues, arbors and gazebos. You want a good mix of both types of items to create a yard that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. Generally, hardscape items are put in first and then you plant around them.

5. Consider mature plant size
Educate yourself about the eventual size of plants before including them in your landscape design. Some trees can reach 60 feet tall or be several feet wide, making them unsuitable for many home landscapes. Others drop leaves, seeds or cones at certain times of the year. Root systems could infiltrate sewer or water lines. Removing an overgrown tree can be costly, so make the right choice in the first place to save yourself money and headaches.

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