How to put in the most inexpensive landscaping for a large backyard?

by Gretchen
We have a big backyard with several trees around the perimeter though it does have several hours of sun each day. Living on a limited fixed income, inexpensive is in order. Adding to the challenge is that we are both in our 70s and I’m partially disabled. Two large dogs and a cat contribute (?) in their own way. Any ideas?

  7 answers
  • Debbie Kuhar Debbie Kuhar on Jun 21, 2018
    It is impossible to design your yard in one season. First question, who cuts your grass? Lawn mower to tractor? Because whatever to plant to plant, if any, is just something else that you have to mow along. Start collecting decorative things at your local goodwill. Have a mail box, decorate around that also.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Jun 21, 2018
    If you have friends with hostas, or other plants that can be propagated, perhaps they can share some with you. Mine get quite big and I need to divide them, so it benefits both of you. Once they take they are great. Perhaps a low water garden with some gravel in some spots would be good.

  • Dfm Dfm on Jun 21, 2018
    this is when you chat with the neighbors, many shrubs send out new roots those can grow into nice bushes. Then there are
    pernial plants That will reseed them selves, also trans plantable. Towards the end of spring, many landscaping plants go on sale. Now, my small town has a yard waste disposal site, wood chips are free to take, and more than potted plant has been rescued. Occasionally the Boy Scouts bring out the big truck with the wood chips, and will put them in place. For a donation of course...but worth it. I have bribed them brownies.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jun 21, 2018
    Do your landscaping in increments. Decide how much budget you have a month to spend. Draw up a plan of what areas you want to landscape and what you would like to have where. Choose one area to start, perhaps close to the house, or at the back of the lot. Do small areas at a time and get what you need for that area. Plotting the area where you start, you can actually do a larger area for things like clearing and preparing the area, even though you will actually be doing a smaller area at a time. Make sure you get all the things you need, like soil, mulch, etc. before you start, that way you know you will have everything before you get your plants. Hubby and I are on a meager budget, but we have our own little jungle areas and a fairly good sized vegetable garden by spending only so much at a time as the plants we want become available. We start by getting potting soil and fertilizers, etc. well before we need them. That way we can spend more on plants when they start coming out where we live. We even put a raised garden around our lamp post out front and planted it with 150 glad bulbs that we found decent price. You can have the landscaping you want, just do it over time, it is worth doing it that way so that you can have what you want. Preparing the areas ahead of time makes it easier so that you can just plant when you get your plants. The preparing can be done over the rest of the month for the next area or two without stressing yourself out or wearing your self out. You can do this! Remember to make it fun and you will have a yard that is beautiful.

  • Rob32328534 Rob32328534 on Jun 21, 2018
    The least expensive would be start perennials from seed asap. Plan it out on paper how you want it to look. Do small areas 4'x4' at a time maybe. Start cooking, blanketflower, shasta Daisy, herbs like sage, lavender and thyme- all easy to start from seed. Put those in the areas of most sun. See if you can get a good deal on daylilys too. Those are all easy care and will fill in pretty good for next year. Depending on your zone, you could try from seed annuals yet this season- perhaps sunflowers and tithonia (Mexican sunflowers) - butterflies and hummingbirds go crazy for tithonia! Then for shaded spots, try to find a friend who has hosta that they can divide or check for deals on those. Sprinkle wildflower seeds in sunny expanses of bare soil in the autumn for a meadow type area. The plan is to have little mowing and lots of easy care color! Once you get the yard the way you want it, with lots of plants, you can "mow" with a lightweight trimmer! Hope this helps!

  • Rob32328534 Rob32328534 on Jun 21, 2018
    I don't know why it says start cooking! I meant coneflowers! Lol.

  • Ginger Ginger on Dec 04, 2021

    I don’t think I need any more plants. I need ideas for stairs that travel down the steep but beautiful several levels. I probably should include some type of hand rails. I think I would like a winding path instead of straight down. I think I’m talking about 250 feet from the rock walled perennial garden to the large pines at the bottom of the lot, and then perhaps some seats with a pitcher of lemonade! Any and all ideas welcome.