I love the apartment that I currently live in; it’s spacious, fairly new, and I don’t have to pay for the repairs myself. However, the one drawback to apartment living is not having a yard. I dearly miss our rental house’s backyard (but I don’t miss that decrepit house at all!) I learned a lot about living in a house – houses need regular maintenance, repairs can cost quite a bit and good landscaping can save money.
Indulging and motivating myself to save money for a house by browsing fabulous landscaping plans, I’ve come across some terrific ideas for waterwise gardens and yards. I live in an arid region, so saving money on a water bill is important. Succulents, Mediterranean landscaping, and creative gravel, paving stones, and rock can help achieve an inviting outdoor area and decrease the amount of water used on the plants.
There are DIY garden plans available through sites like Better Homes and Gardens. If you’re handy and like spending time in the yard (and have a lot of time available to you), then this might be the way to go. The great thing about the BHG plans are they list the plants needed limiting the guess work out of what goes where. The DIY way can be more cost effective since you don’t have to hire a landscaper. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, for instance not knowing how to install a drip system, you might end up spending more on costly mistakes and dead plants.
An alternative is to hire a landscaper (the photos in this post are from Gardens by Gabriel in SLO) and have them do it for you. This will cost a lot more upfront, but you’ll achieve exactly what you want and be able to maintain it for less. Another advantage to hiring a landscaper is avoiding the “messy, over-grown garden” look. I’ve seen people try to interpret a more professional landscape and end up with over grown plants or plants in the wrong place (this could also cause plumbing problems later on) and it looks terrible. Consulting with a professional can help avoid this, especially if you want to maintain your garden with minimal effort. A landscaper can help you select low-maintenance plants, ones that don’t need a lot of pruning or won’t look like an overgrown weed once it matures.
The waterwise succulent and Mediterranean garden choices are a terrific option for a low-maintenance yard with character. Someday I’ll be able to share photos of my own yard’s landscape design.
Have you chosen waterwise or regional landscaping for low-maintenance or frugality?