I live in an area that was booming just a few years ago. Houses were going up left and right, and then bam! The economy tanked. Contractors and developers who had bought up land, put in roads, sewers, and wells, were left with mostly empty neighborhoods. Building ground to a halt, and for many of us who were able to build our homes before things fell apart, the yard was left untended.
In times like these, people turned to DIY Landscaping. While it can be intimidating to look at a completely unfinished front, back, and side yard and wonder where to begin, many of my neighbors have tackled this project with gusto, creating pleasing lawns and flower beds on a shoestring budget.
DIY Landscaping Tips
If you’re in a similar situation, here are some tips to get you started on your own DIY Landscaping project:
- Hit the interwebs. Search lawn care and landscaping websites to compile pictures of yards you like. Many use Pinterest to ‘pin’ or bookmark inspiring photos and websites with lots of ideas. You can create a ‘landscaping board‘ and go crazy pinning all of your ideas.
- If you don’t already know the dimensions of your yard and home, grab a buddy and measure your property. Plot things out on some graph paper so you have a good idea of what kind of space you’re dealing with.
- Make some copies of your graph-paper-ed property so you can doodle and sketch some things out without having to make a new one. Draw in some flower beds, a pond, plot out where you’d like trees (don’t forget to take into account how large they will grow!). Get creative! How about a deck, a built in fire pit, a swimming pool?
- When you’ve hammered out a plan, it’s time to price materials. Take a trip to your local lawn and garden store and check out the prices on things like grass seed, flower seed, ready-to-plant bushes, mulch, and rock borders. See who has the best prices, and don’t be too impatient to wait for sales.
- While you’re there, browse their book section, and talk to the employees that seem the most knowledgeable. Check out your library and bookstores (in town and online) for how-to guides on what you need to accomplish.
- Talk to friends who have done similar projects. Do they have any tips for you?
DIY Landscaping Resources
The internet is just full of not only inspring yard ideas, but lots of resources for planning your DIY landscaping. Check out some of my favorites:
- DIY Landscaping Site
- Smart Draw software – plot out your landscaping plans on the computer.
- Another DIY Landscaping software choice by Idea Spectrum
- You can also use the free Google Sketchup program to plan your landscaping.
- Check out the DIY Network, that link will take you to their whole landscaping section, but also visit their outdoor section.
- About.com always has great DIY Landscaping tips.
- Landscaping ideas on Better Homes and Garden.
- Free yard planning software.
If you’re still intimidated by DIY landscaping, you might want to look into taking this free online landscaping course! If you try it, let us know how it goes.