Spring is just around the corner, and if you’re like most homeowners, landscaping to increase your home’s curb appeal probably tops your to-do list.
When it comes to landscaping your front yard for a new look, there are endless possibilities of what you can do.
While some people might think that having a beautiful and well-maintained front yard is financially out of their reach, we’re here to show you that creating beautiful curb appeal doesn’t have to break the bank.
With a little creativity and hard work, you can have one of the best front yards in your neighborhood without spending much money.
Here are five of the best front yard landscaping ideas on a budget.
Landscaping Idea #01: Plant some shrubs.
Shrubs are a landscaper’s best friend. They are low maintenance and there are plenty of options out there that won’t cost you a fortune to purchase or care for.
Choose your favorite varieties with the help of your local nursery. Then simply follow these easy steps for planting success!
- Draw up an outline with stakes in your yard where you want each tree/shrub positioned. Be sure to take into account lighting needs for your chosen plants.
- Dig holes according to how deep they need to be planted – usually about twice as wide as their root balls will be once removed from their containers is sufficient.
- As long as the soil is well-drained, most shrubs are adaptable to a wide range of soils. Drainage challenges are more common in clay and rocky soils than sandy or loamy ones. To give your soil a test, fill your hole with water. Return to the hole in two hours and if there is no standing water, your soil is well-drained. If you still have water in the hole, this indicates poor drainage and only plants that can withstand wet soil will thrive.
- Carefully remove the shrubs from their containers and place them in the holes, making sure they’re straight and that the top of the root ball is level with or just slightly below ground level.
- Backfill each hole with soil, tamping it down as you go to eliminate any air pockets.
- Optional: A 2-3″ thick layer of shredded bark mulch can be spread over the plant’s entire root zone. This helps to keep roots cool and conserves water, allowing your new plant to grow more quickly and reducing stress on it.
- Give your new landscaping a good watering – and you’re done!
Landscaping Idea #02: Add a touch of color with flowers.
Easy to grow, colorful flowers are another easy way to add some personality and a focal point to your DIY front yard landscaping on a budget.
Not only will they make your home more inviting, but they’ll also provide a bit of color and life to your existing garden.
Flowering perennials are the best option for budget landscapers – not only because they’re available at most home and garden stores, but also because there’s no need to buy new plants every year.
They’ll come back on their own in spring after you’ve killed them off over the winter months (and believe us, without or without a green thumb, it happens).
When purchasing flowering perennials for your flower bed, look for bundles with healthy-looking stems and leaves; avoid buying any with brown spots or wilted foliage.
Make sure each plant has its own space once planted instead of being crammed together into one spot. This promotes fullness as well as airflow around the plants, which will help to prevent disease.
When choosing flowers for your landscaping, think about what will thrive in the conditions where you live. Sun-loving annuals are great for hot climates, while cool weather perennials make a beautiful addition to any front yard landscaping plan.
Colorful blooms in window boxes or flower boxes on your front porch are easy to care for and switch out with the seasons.
Landscaping Idea #03: Install a simple garden bed.
Garden beds are a landscaping idea that’s classic and timeless, yet can still be totally customized.
It doesn’t have to be huge – even just one corner of your front yard landscaping or a small garden near the front door would look great!
Here’s what you’ll need to do in order to install a garden bed in your front yard:
- First, choose an area in your yard where you’d like the garden bed to go.
- Mark off this area using stakes and string or rope.
- Remove all vegetation and topsoil from within the marked-off area, then dig a trench that’s about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
- Place your garden bed frame in the trench (making sure it’s level), and backfill the soil around it, tamping it down as you go.
- If desired, add a layer of landscaping fabric over the soil to help keep weeds at bay; then fill each section of the garden bed with potting soil or topsoil mix.
- Smooth everything down and choose plants that will thrive in full sun plus some afternoon shade (this varies depending on your location). Try to include a perennial plant (or 10) to help reduce future replanting costs.
- Plant according to their height; taller plants in the back, shorter ones like ground cover towards the front., water well, and enjoy!
Tip: You can add some visual interest with a rock garden or some water features.
Landscaping Idea #04: Add a decorative border.
A decorative border around your front yard landscaping is an inexpensive way to add some extra visual interest – and it’s an easy project, too!
There are lots of different materials you can use for your landscaping borders, from brick and stone to wood or metal. Choose whatever material you like best, but keep in mind that that wood and metal may not last as long as bricks or stones.
A landscaping border is easiest when laid on top of a bed of gravel; this will help water drain away from the landscaping and protect it from frost damage in wintertime.
If you’re using a material that can’t be laid on gravel (like wood), then you’ll need to create a small ditch along the edge of your landscaping in order to direct water away.
Landscaping Idea #05: Add a simple pathway.
Stone pathways are another great cheap landscaping idea to add personality and pizzazz to your landscaping on a budget – and they’re surprisingly easy (and inexpensive) to install.
Pathways are a great way to add interest to your landscaping and also make it easier for you (and guests!) to get around. They’re especially useful if your yard is on a slope, as they help guide water away from the house instead of allowing it to pool up.
Adding solar lights along your pathway to your front door is a good idea and will make your front yard look great at night too with useful outdoor lighting.
- Choose the type of stones you want for your pathway before beginning. Make sure to pick stones that are roughly the same size so they’ll lay evenly. You can also mix and match different types of stone for a more eclectic look.
- Remove any sod or soil from where you want your pathway to be, using a shovel if necessary.
- If your path will cross over any plants, remove them completely and transplant them somewhere else in your yard; make sure to water them well after replanting.
- Once the area is cleared, use a level to make sure the pathway is even before starting to lay the stones.
- Start in one corner and work your way down, setting each stone into place and tamping it down firmly with a small hand tamper or your foot. If desired, use a wet mortar mix to fill in any gaps between the stones; this will help keep them in place over time.
- If you want to add landscaping edging along the sides of your pathway, do this before installing the last row of stones; simply dig a shallow trench around where you want the landscaping edging to go and fill it with landscaping fabric.
- Lay down pieces of wood (or landscaping timbers) in order to keep everything level as you lay each stone for that final row; then once all laid, set your landscaping edging into place and backfill any dirt or soil that was removed earlier.
- Backfill until everything is evened out and smooth over – voila! You’re done!
So there you have it! Affordable, simple landscaping ideas to take your front yard from bland to beautiful on a budget.
A quick tip before you dig in: If your landscaping ideas seem a bit overwhelming, it may help to break down the job into manageable chunks that can easily be completed over time.
You may even want to take pictures as you go along for inspiration and to see how much your curb appeal has improved with your efforts.