I am so frugal.  When we started to think about landscaping our newly purchased home I started to panic a bit. We had just dropped our life savings into a deposit on a beautiful home situated on the Huron River.  The last thing I was thinking about was spending more money on professional landscaping. However, to my husband this was an important piece of the puzzle.  A new house needed a unique landscaping design and that was all he could think about.  With that driving me I decided I would meet him half way.  I would look into hiring a landscaper as long as I could pay him for his overall design and plant layout as long as we would proceed with the labor aspect on our own.  This would save us a great deal of money but not sacrifice the look my husband sought in hiring a professional.

We hired a local company that was accustomed to working with plants native to the area.  They had landscaped Michigan lawns for quite some time.  I knew if anyone would lead us into a design we would love with minimal maintenance it would be an expert that was familiar with the plants that grew in our area.  The company we used understood our goal from the start.  They offered many professional ideas and money saving tips.  After everything was said and done the landscaping on our home cost around six thousand dollars, not bad I didn’t think for the results we received.  Below are some tips provided to us by our professional landscaper.  It helps to remember that a bit of sweaty equity will help to save on labor costs which can truly be the expensive part of landscaping.

Landscaping Tips For the Frugal Do It Yourself Landscaper Like Me:

  • The first tip is to reuse freebies from around the area.  An example of this is asking a farmer if after he tills the field you can come in and collect the rocks.  This relieves the burden from the farmer and you are able to use the rocks to create natural landscaping.  Another tip is to talk with friends and neighbors who find themselves thinning their gardens.  They are happy to pass of the extra seedlings and over grown plants.  We were able to score five large Hostas from our neighbor.
  • Buying plants and shrubs that have not yet reached maturity is a terrific way to save money on landscaping.  Purchasing plants that are small, one gallon plants for instance, rather than three gallon plants you can save yourself upwards of twenty dollars depending on the species.
  • Be smart about using the natural resources.  As I mentioned we have a river running through our back yard.  The landscaper recommended using water pulled from the river using a beautiful pump and water plants and shrubs using this method instead of pulling water from our home faucets.  This saves in several ways.  One is the water has not gone through the softening process so there is no salt being added to the landscaping possibly causing issues and it is cheaper to not have the softener running continually.
  • Another area we saved on is fertilizer.  The landscaper recommended we begin composting and using the leftover materials to fertilize and mulch around the root systems of our new landscaping.  Another thing he explained is the ways in which our waste could help rid the area of nuisances such as ants.  By using the grinds from coffee in the landscaping ants were naturally detoured.
  • He also offered a tip on using different plants to ward off bugs.  Mosquitoes, which we have plenty of throughout the summer, are detoured by marigolds, catnip, horsemint, ageratum and lavender.  Many of these plants are native to our area and grow easily in the soil provided by our natural landscape.  That is a bonus for this cheap chick; I did not have to purchase soli for the landscape design!