1. Look for inspiration elsewhere, such as magazines, websites and neighbors yards. Don’t set yourself up for failure, or feel intimidated, at the prospect of landscaping the entire front and/or backyard. Break down the areas into distinct phases, so that the job will be easier to handle.
2. Make a plan before you go shopping. Sketch out your landscape design on paper before you start planting or constructing. If you know what you need and where you want to put it helps to avoid wasting money.
3. Decide on what part of the design, if any, you would like a professional to do. Consulting with a landscaping contractor may be well worth the investment, especially if they can help you with design elements beyond your reach and will save on costly mistakes.
4. Reduce the size of your lawn with mulch, ground cover, pavers, rocks, etc. so that you spend less time mowing, fertilizing and maintaining.
5. Purchase your materials in phases as you divided up the project and decide what is important to you to spend more money on and where you can scrimp.
6. Timing is everything; when you buy is often just as important as where you buy. Remember, cheaper isn’t always better, you may have to shop around at various places to get good deals, but also quality and more choices. Specialty shops often offer the advantage of personal service, expert advice and better warranties and guarantees.
7. Share any rental fees for landscape equipment or purchase larger quantities of items such as mulch, with your neighbors. Ask around to see who is planning on doing some landscaping work; then you can take turns and save.
8. Plant a nice mix of colorful annuals and perennials so that you can prolong the seasons. Look for fast growing trees and flowering shrubs.
9. Include items that serve as dual purposes such as planters, storage units, or hardscaping that double as extra seating.
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