Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: 5 Tips For Sprucing Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget

Monday, June 23, 2014

5 Tips For Sprucing Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget

 5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic
Good morning lovelies! Today I am sharing a few quick tips on how you can spruce up your outdoor space on a budget. Our outdoor space has been greatly lacking since we moved into our fixer upper over three years ago. I was kind of at a lost as to what could be done outside. Most of our yard is juts dirt and rocks. I had no real inspiration as to what I could do. Then I went and visited a good friend of mine from church. She has an amazing eclectic yard. Beautiful plants and a garden, with a bit of creativity and paint thrown in. I finally had some inspiration. I have never wanted my home to look like an ad for Better Homes and Garden. I don't want perfect. I do however want fun, beautiful, and creative. Have you all seen the backyard of the grandparents in the show Parenthood? I love the crafty, artist feel of the yard. That is what I was shooting for. So below I want to tell you a bit about my outdoor space, what my plans are, and a few tips on how we will do this all on a budget.

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

 5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

I hear so many people say they'll never have the yard of their dreams because it cost to much, so they never even begin to try or they try to do everything all at once and go into debt to create that wonderful outdoor space. Neither of these are very helpful when you are trying to stay on a budget and be creative. You don't want to prevent yourself from being creative, eyeoring it out so you don't even try..... and you also don't want to go over board...this is why my first tip for achieving the outdoor space of your dreams is to be patient.

Pick One Section to Fix Up
Pick one section of your hard you want to fix up this Summer. Make a goal list...a realistic one. Think about how much you could actually spend (pay cash for). Picking one section is much more realistic. For me, I choose my front porch area. This is a smaller space that already has great concrete and a flower bed. These were already in when we moved into this home. This is also what people first see when they come to visit our home.

You can't have everything you want at once...well you could, but then you would be paying off that yard long after the weather turns cold again. Be patient and only do one project at a time. Save up the cash for it, so you're not going into debt. Staying out of debt is very important. Those projects will cost way more once you add in credit card interest, so pay cash for all of your projects :)

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

Pick Budget and Climate Friendly Plants
Once I picked out my space, I thought realistically what I could do. I know that I do not have a green thumb. It isn't even in the green family folks. I want it to be and hopefully someday it will, but for now it isn't. That being said I picked out plants that I knew would last not only in my climate, but would also require little up keep. For my very hot climate I choose Sedums, Jade, Rosemary, Snapdragons, Aloe Vera, and Marigolds. All of these require infrequent watering, which for a women who consistently forgets to water her plants is perfect!

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

Pick a Budget and Keep to It
I stayed within a budget when buying my plants and soil. I had a gift card, so I made sure everything was within that amount of money. I asked around and was able to find out that my motherinlaw had plenty of pots she wasn't using anymore. I was able to get tons of pots, which over time will be able to be filled with amazing green plants. I have been able to paint and spruce them up as well, which has brought them new life. I will share a tutorial later on this week. If you don't have a pottery loving motherinlaw, ask around your family, friends, or church group. You never know what people are wanting to get rid of.

Search out yard sales and thrift stores for pots. A lot of times you can get them for just a few dollars. Also Jo-ann's has all of their pots on sale for 70% off right now. Buying things greatly marked down or second hand is a great way to stay within a limited budget.

Smaller is Better (and Cheaper)
Go for smaller plants as well. These cost less, but will eventually grow in size. All of my little green plants in my flower bed will grow into amazing plants. It will be exciting to see how they grow and beautify our space over time.

If you are growing from seed, be careful. I tried this, but did not have much luck. Those dang birds got all my sprouts. You can use mason jars to help protect your sprouts, if it isn't to hot where you live.

Be Inspired
Create a Pinterest board for your garden or back yard. This is a great way to organize your ideas, so over time you can create the beautiful space you are dreaming of.

For me creating an idea board allows me to think about all the projects I want to do. This then gives them a bit of organization, so as I'm at a thrift stores and such I can shop with a purpose.

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

These are just a few simple tips that have helped me see the bigger picture that will become my yard. Living on a budget can be tough sometimes because it takes a bit of self control on our part. When we use that self control we are blessed for it! Our budget stays in the black and we are still able to be creative and make our homes beautiful on less!

I still have so many things I want to do to my yard and over time I will be able to. One project at a time I will achieve to the crafty, artistic yard I am dreaming of. Just like with everything in life, it will take baby steps.

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

 5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic

 5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space on a Budget - www.blissfulanddomestic.com - Blissful and Domestic
My Welcome Mat is from Uncommon Goods

What tips and tricks do you have for sprucing up your outdoor space on less?

XO Danielle
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12 comments:

  1. I live in southern CA and my yard is probably 80% succulents. What is amazing about succulents is that you can cut off a piece from a succulent, plant it, and about a month later, it will have rooted and become a full blown plant! Most of my front yard was landscaped with succulents I rooted from plants in my backyard. I also trade cuts of different succulents with friends so we all get more variety! My other "tip" would be to use the brown wood bark mulch around your plants. It really helps the ground retain moisture and it also just gives your flower beds a more polished look which is especially nice when the plants havent quite grown in yet. Mulch is always on a good sale at both Lowes and Home Depot during holiday weekends in the summer!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How bout a coat of paint on the front door. A pop of color really adds to curb appeal!

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  3. I'm in Florida so we have different plants out here but I'm a fan of succulents for their hardy, low maintenance appeal. Like Lindsey above said they grow well from cuttings. Because you're in the desert I would probably root the plant in water for a few weeks then plant it inside and wait for it to grow a little inside before putting it outside. Basically baby it until it's a mini plant.

    I've been slowly redoing the yard at my house and have given away a lot of plants on Craigslist. I also bartered to have a tree cut down, and had another tree cut down professionally that was taller. My goal is to plant more fruit trees. I'm going to ask people I know with fruit trees if I can take branch cuttings off their trees and then root them. It's rainy season here so this is really the best time for me to do this.

    I've also been able to acquire a lot of plants, pots, and even edgers from craigslist for free. I was able to get enough edgers to redo my entire front yard, my friend and her husband helped me install them one day. It was great. Sometimes you get a good amount of something but not enough for a project, I consider what I do get savings and will buy the rest from the store or wait. I'm also putting down rocks and have been able to get about 5 truck loads from people's houses over the last year. I'd say I've gotten about a 5th of what I need for my front yard so far. After the house is painted, probably after Christmas during the dry season I'll be finishing the rocks and plants.

    Doing it yourself is always slower, but it saves so much money!

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  4. Hey Danielle, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. My family lives on a budget as well. I too, found that living on a budget was a hard adjustment but so worth it. I have come to really enjoy it and take it on as a challenge. As far as the gardening goes I'm afraid I can't be of much help. I live in Alaska so needless to say the climate is a bit different. I have found a great resource for paint for though for all those "spruce it up" projects. My husband worked at the landfill for a while and let me know they give away free paint. Paint cannot be dumped in the landfill so any unused or leftover paint must be dropped off at the Hazardous Materials office. They go through it and any paint that is still usable is free for the taking on Saturdays. They have indoor and outdoor paint as well as stains and lacquers and things like that. You might not find the perfect color but I usually will grab colors that I like and know I will use in the future. You can also combine colors if the they are the same kind of paint. And the great part is if you end up not really loving the color you picked, you haven't lost any money and any paint that is leftover I just take back so it will get re-used again. Hope this helps! Keep us the great work!!

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  5. I agree with you Danielle - baby steps, pick a spot and work on it until it's done. I decided this year to do a very thorough weeding of established gardens. I dug up over-grown and unwanted plants (I made the mistake of planting violets and they took over!!). And Lindsey is right, you can't go wrong with a load of mulch - if nothing else, it forces you to keep up with the weeds. Great advise and great suggestions.

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  6. I also have a very economical little pot garden like yours by my front door (no, not THAT kind of pot ;-) Let me clarify - I have a number of plants in pots by my front door. Many of these are starts from other plants that I got free from friends. I have have even taken indoor plants that weren't doing very well on the plant ledge inside and put them outside and they flourish. I am in Arizona, but it would probably work up your way as well, if the sun isn't too hot and direct. Also, in your area, don't forget "voluntary palm-trees" that come up on their own. I have a nice one by my door now, growing in a pot. Eventually, it will outgrow the container, but for now it looks nice and welcoming. I love the welcoming sign you have made by the door and the cute hand-painted designs on the pots. Thanks for this post!

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  7. We bought our house as well it had no backyard just dirt and fences because of the 2011 floods in Australia so instead of buying turf we bought grass seed and planted it, it was hard but well worth it and much cheaper then turf. We also bought cuttings instead of fully grown trees.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Daniellle,
    just wanted to let you know that my mom uses tin cans from the kitchen to protect sprouts. You just fully cut off the top, and open the bottom like 80% to have a lid. That way, you will be able to open and close the tin. Depending on the size of the can and size of the sprout, you might not even have to close it, as the birds mighjt not be able to get in. Also, this saves plants from severe weather impacts (rain, hail,...) - just close the lid, and your plant has a home. It works for warmer regions, too, as the heat won't build up opposing to a mason jar.

    Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey Daniellle,
    just wanted to let you know that my mom uses tin cans from the kitchen to protect sprouts. You just fully cut off the top, and open the bottom like 80% to have a lid. That way, you will be able to open and close the tin. Depending on the size of the can and size of the sprout, you might not even have to close it, as the birds mighjt not be able to get in. Also, this saves plants from severe weather impacts (rain, hail,...) - just close the lid, and your plant has a home. It works for warmer regions, too, as the heat won't build up opposing to a mason jar.

    Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Danielle,
    just wanted to let you kow that my mom uses tin cans from the kitchen to protect plants/sprouts. You just fully cut of the top when opening it, and cut of the bottom part like 80%, which will give you a lid you can open and close. Put it over the plant / sprout. You might not even have to close the lid constantly, as the can itself might prevent the birds to get to your sprout (depending on the size of the sprout and the size of the can). It also protects the plant from severe weather impacts (wind, hail, heavy rain) - just close the lid to give your plant a home. This should work in warmer regions, too, and the heat can't build up as it would with mason jars.
    Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those polka dot pots look lovely and so does the 'Welcome' sign. Very inviting.

    -Tanya
    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. The flower garland around door looks pretty :) Your entry way looks lovely :)

    ReplyDelete

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