Plan carefully to make the most of your landscape dollars. Sketch out your yard and include the contours of your home along with any patios or decks, walkways, driveways, paths, flower beds and retaining walls. Add features you want, and then split the project into phases so you can complete a little at a time to minimize the amount of money you need to spend all at once. Consider setting up a consultation with a landscape architect and having her look over your sketch. You can get advice for much less than you would spend if you had the plans drawn up from scratch.
8 Use a rain barrel to collect water for your plants.
Add a do-it-yourself water feature. Liners, pumps and fountains are available at home improvement stores and can easily be added to your yard, deck or patio. Create a retaining wall wherever you need one using textured concrete blocks made for this purpose. A trellis or arbor is another easy addition and can be enchanting and create privacy.
Invest most of your plants budget in trees, shrubs and flowers native to your area since these are most likely to flourish. Plant perennials and put in fewer than you think you need. You can divide them next year and fill in the beds then. Start plants indoors from seed, purchase plants and trees in late summer when they are on sale. It often pays to invest in the biggest trees you can afford since they grow slowly and larger ones have much more impact on a landscape. However, investigate carefully. With some species, smaller trees are set back less by transplanting than larger trees, and will actually grow large faster.