Best DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas: On a Budget

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Since we have had a TON of time on our hands with everything going on in the world, we are in FULL project mode around our house!  We have finished our backyard landscaping hedge trimming work, and have just completed the front yard flower beds too.   And the good news is – we saved a bunch of money designing and planting the beds ourselves.  I hope this post will gives you a little inspiration, helpful tips, and the right tools to guide you through the process.  Best DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas: On a Budget.

*Looking for the Resource Guide or how much we saved?  Scroll down to the end of the post.*

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Best DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas: On a Budget

Most of you already know that we  have been updating things both inside and outside of our home since we flooded in August of 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.

And we have come a LONG way!! But there still has been a daily reminder of it every time we drive up to the front of the house.  

Before picture.  This is the great view – just stunning – right?  UGH!

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Oh – and of course we are a tight budget – but enough is enough already!  

It was time to develop a cheap, simple plan, and dress up our curb appeal once and for all!

Who’s ready for this easy, 8-step tutorial?

And after picture.  A little better….finally!

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 


Best DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas: On a Budget

8 STEPS:

STEP #1:  Gather Ideas/Make a List/Measure

STEP #2:  Set A Budget

STEP #3:  Decide What You’ll Keep  

STEP #4:  Draw a Picture 

STEP #5:  Remove All Items That You’re NOT Keeping

STEP #6:  Purchase Plants/Dirt/Mulch

STEP #7:  Plant Flowers/Shrubs/Trees

STEP #8:  Add Soil/Dirt & Mulch

Let’s get to it!


Best DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas: On a Budget

CREATE A PLAN

STEP #1:  Gather Ideas/Make a List/Measure

The first thing you will want to do is gather ideas from:

  • pinterest
  • nurseries (online or in person)
  • landscaping books 
  • and ummm – your neighbors!  

Not that you will be copying your neighbor’s landscaping choices exactly, but it will give you a good idea of what works with houses similar to your’s. 

Then write down things you like and make a list of: 

  • colors, height, trees, symmetrical or asymmetrical design, specific plants, etc.  

Also make sure to Measure your beds: 

  • Length x Width = square foot (SF)

TIP #1:  Take Before Pictures

Take before pictures of your existing flower beds and other landscaped areas, including any trees you may have.

Then download the pictures to your PC and use a free photo editor (like canva), so that you can see what your entire front yard looks like.  

Now go ahead and “block out” as much of your existing landscaping as possible.  This will give you a beginning blank canvas in which to work.

TIP #2:  This is a good time to double check where the sun hits the flower beds, and at what time of the day also.  This will help you when choosing shade, partial sun, and full sun plants.

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 


STEP #2:  Set A Budget

This is a good time to set a realistic budget.   But what if you don’t have a clue? 

No problem.  The articles below can help you with some of the questions you may have about costs like:  

How much does front yard landscaping cost if hired out

  • According to Angie’s List, front yard landscaping would cost somewhere between $2,300 – $4,000. 
  • According to Home Guide, it will cost $50-$100/hr or $4-$12/square foot.

Just know that if you are doing the work yourself (or with a friend, spouse, etc.), you will be saving a good amount of money.  

*You can go to the end of this post to see what we spent/saved by doing the work ourselves!*


STEP #3:  Decide What You’ll Keep  

Now that you have a visual starting point for reference, decide if there is anything from the existing beds that you may want to keep.

For example, we decided to keep our oleander, ginger, agapanthus, and magonolia tree (of course-ha)!

Don’t forget that you can keep something, but also replant it in a different location.  You can save a lot of money by reusing (transporting) plants.

TIP #3:  If you are a little overwhelmed or just don’t know what to keep, try removing one or two items first to visualize the actual area (like the shrubs in the picture below).

This is what we did, and it really did help to make our decision easier.

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 


DESIGN YOUR FLOWER BEDS

STEP #4:  Draw a Picture 

Ok – I know I am not the best artist, but you get the idea LOL!  

Basically, do a rough sketch of your front yard and add the measurements.  Try to find a place for the plants that you’re going to keep (if any), and put them into your new design.

In my sketch below, I also added some new plants like:  shrubs, a tree to the right side, and some ground cover in front of my agapanthus.  

How did this help?  Well, it gave me a frame or border in which to build on. 

By doing the sketch, I was able to  simply pick out some bedding plants to “fill in” the holes (or middle) of my design.

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 


STEP #5:  Remove All Items That You’re NOT Keeping

Now that you have planned the base model of your design, go ahead and remove all of the items that you will not be keeping for your new design.

TIP #4: *** Don’t dig up plants that you will be reusing/replanting – yet.  You don’t want to replant them somewhere, only to realize that they won’t fit with the NEW plants design.***

This removal step is a lot of work – trust me!  So you may need to do this Day 1,  and then rest before working Day 2 – LOL!

Here are some pictures below to show you how many items we dug up, and the remaining plants left to dig up (for just one side of the flower beds). 

Some of these plants had been there for about 15 years and were tough to remove, so just take that into consideration at this part of the designing stage.

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 


PLANT FLOWER BEDS

STEP #6:  Purchase Plants/Dirt/Mulch

Now, you will purchase the plants that you want to add to your flower beds.  Don’t forget about the potting soil/dirt and mulch also.

Remember when you measured your beds for the total square feet?  This is where those measurements will come into play.  Here are some common questions:

So, how much soil/mulch do I need?  

  • According to Angie’s List, you’ll need to figure out how many bags you will need versus how many yards you will need – for the best deal.
  • Are you buying low-end, middle range, or high-end?
  • 1 Yard mulch = 324 sq ft. (at 1 inch deep)

Example (square feet of my beds):  

(14 x 8  = 112 sq.ft) + (22 x 10 = 220 sq. ft) = TOTAL 332 sq.ft

 332/324 = 1.02 =  a little over 1 yard

Should I buy bags or bulk in soil/mulch?

  • Per Angie’s List on mulch:  1 cubic yard= 27 cubic feet
  • 1 Yard = 13.5 Bags (2 cu. ft)

Example (Mulch Mine):

1 yard = 13.5 bags ($3.33/bag @Home Depot) = $44.96

1 yard = bulk ($30/yard – my place) = $30

Example (Soil/Dirt Mine):

1 yard = 13.5 bags ($8.33/bag @Wal-Mart) = $112.45

1 yard = bulk ($30/yard – my place) = $30

BAGS = $157.41 

BULK = $60

I wanted to show that we saved almost $100 ($97.41) just by choosing to go the bulk route. 

TIP #5:  If you have access to a truck, have a place that sells dirt/mulch in bulk nearby, or have multiple areas (like backyard or driveway beds) that can use soil/mulch, buying in bulk may be the best decision for you also. 


STEP #7:  Plant Flowers/Shrubs/Trees

At this stage, you can now dig up the plants (that you decided to keep from the existing beds), and replant them where you want them to go.

TIP #6:  Then take your new plants (still in their pots) and simply place them in the “planned” spots – just to visualize the spacing.

Once you are satisfied with their positions, begin planting the new plants into the beds. DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 


STEP #8:  Add Soil/Dirt & Mulch

You are almost there – you can do it!!  Actually this is the easiest part of the entire project 😉

Add the potting soil/dirt to fill in all of the holes dug for your plants, and the entire beds.  

This will also help you in determining if you have any gaps in your design, or just want to add more fullness (which we did – ha!).

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Now you can add your mulch and let the celebration begin!  Get the drinks ready, the hot tub fired up, and well go ahead and bring out a bottle of Aleve!! haha! You’ll need that too.

YOU ARE DONE!!

Here are some before and after pictures of our DIY front yard makeover.

Full View:

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 

 Left Side:

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 

Right Side:

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 

Side View:

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Ok….. on to the next project!

Front Door Reveal Coming Soon!  Click here for black front door inspirations.

 

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Praying For All Of You!

Love & Hugs 🙂


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RESOURCE GUIDE:

MONEY SPENT:  (For Plants = $481.44) + (1 Yard Dirt + 1 Yard Mulch = $64.94) = $546.38

ANGIE’S LIST ESTIMATE:  1 DAY OF HIRED WORK = $4,000

DIY WORK:  FREE

SAVINGS:  ($4,000 – $546.38)

= ~ $3,453.62

Wow – right?? 


New Plants purchased at Houston Garden Center.

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 

DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

 

HAVE A GREAT SPRING/SUMMER EVERYONE!!

 

 

 

 

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