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6 Landscaping Ideas for Your Front Yard on a Budget

Just bought a new home and want to improve your curb appeal without breaking the bank? Here are some ideas for your front yard, or any garden around your house.

1. Avoid Annuals

Purchasing annual plants every year can get expensive and time-consuming. Instead, choose perennial plants for your front yard landscaping, which will give you a longer-lasting, budget-friendly garden.

Annual plants such as petunias and impatiens are great for filling containers with color, but expensive to maintain in a garden bed.

2. Fill Gaps with Large Grasses

Tall ornamental grasses fill the landscape with beautiful texture and movement. Plus, they grow quickly so you can buy them in cheaper one-gallon containers and they'll soon grow to full size and fill in empty spaces.

One excellent native grass for Baltimore is Panicum virgatum, or switchgrass. It is a wonderful, clump-forming perennial grass. It grows three to six feet in height, and makes a wonderful accent planting. Great grasses for native gardens.

3. Limit Types of Plants

Keep it simple by purchasing no more than five types of plants. One type of evergreen, two larger types of shrubs, and three types of perennials will fill a space well without looking cluttered while keeping costs low.

Plant for four seasons of interest of your garden by planting plants with blooms that start in late winter and early spring – like hellebores! Even when flattened by winter frost and snow they revive with the first warming rays of sun. Few perennials give you the range of colors and length of bloom. Hellebores are the ultimate shade plant. They are long lived and are susceptible to few diseases and pests, such as deer. The fact that they are basically evergreen only adds to their allure.

4. Densely Planting to Cut Weeds

To cut down on costly yard care, plant densely enough to make sure all ground is covered. Weedy plant species take advantage of open soil, plenty of light, and moisture. By using a mix of larger shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers in a naturalistic design, you can keep weeds to a minimum.

5. Deter Weeds with Cardboard

Before planting and laying out mulch, cover open soil with cardboard to create a biodegradable weed shield. Using cardboard will allow for moisture to permeate the soil while hampering the growth of weeds. Replace cardboard and mulch every few years to maintain a weed-free landscape.

Red twig dogwood will brighten your winter landscaping with its bright red branches, but the shrubs can also provide four-season interest, with beautiful spring blossoms, variegated leaves during summer, and berries from summer to fall.

6. Take Advantage of Deals

Spring is the ideal time to plant and after a long winter, getting out into the yard can be irresistible. However, you can save hundreds of dollars by waiting to purchase your plants in late summer and early fall as garden centers and big box stores seek to offload their stock.

Excerpted from from Better Homes & Gardens. Read the entire article here.


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