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.
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 :)
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!
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.
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.
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.
My Welcome Mat is from Uncommon Goods
What tips and tricks do you have for sprucing up your outdoor space on less?
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