Don’t forget the yard when planning your budget reno. You can make big improvements to how your home looks from the street and to your outdoor entertaining areas too.
- Spreading mulch over your garden soil gives the garden a finished look, but it can be expensive to buy in bags. Some local councils offer free mulch, so check out this option first. Alternatively, buy in bulk from a landscape supply company.
- When it comes to plant buying, do a little comparison shopping – nurseries vary significantly in price and quality.
- Don’t impulse buy at the nursery. They often place large tables of potted colour where you walk in, but pretty as they are, these are often short-lived seasonal blooms. Instead, spend money on hardy shrubs, to provide foundation plants for your landscape. Also, keep an eye out for end-of-season sales.
- Scrounge new plants from garden-loving friends. They’ll often have way too many vigorous growers like agapanthus or daylilies and be more than happy for you to dig up a few clumps.
- Get your green thumb on and propagate new plants from cuttings. If you’re a complete beginner, go for the fail-safe guys such as succulents and geraniums.
- Put on a warm welcome with a front porch redo! Paint the door in a light and bright colour then complete the look with plantings that highlight the colour. A small table setting adds a homey touch.
- Bring your deck and outdoor furniture back to life. Use deck cleaner to remove dirt and greying timber then give them a coat of stain or paint. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
- If you’re installing a paved area in your garden, check out the price-reduced paving lines at your landscape supplier. This is often because they’ve been replaced by a newer (but very similar) line.
- Revive old pots and planters, rather than spending money on brand new versions. Terracotta and cement containers can be scrubbed up with hot sudsy water, and then given a fresh coat of paint, to come up looking like new. Use an exterior grade paint with a flat or low-sheen finish.
- Rather than spending money on garden edging products, recycle old bricks or pavers instead. Or go for a neat spaded edge, which is cut into the lawn with a sharp spade.
- Look out for second-hand tools and equipment at recycling centres. That way, you can spend more money on the garden, rather than Photography the contents of your shed.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens