Upscale landscaping is one of the best ways to improve upon the exterior looks of your home. While we all crave an outside space worthy of Better Homes and Gardens, hiring a landscape designer and a fleet of gardeners for upkeep probably falls outside of the average budget.

When it comes to having a yard that will be the envy of your neighbors, there’s no need to break the bank. Here are a few tips to give your landscaping a boost on the cheap.

Perennials Are Your Friend

Rather than hassling with annuals which must be purchased and replanted each year, consider picking up some perennials on your next trip to the garden center. A good groundcover plant such as Creeping Periwinkle or Moss Phlox will spread on its own and provides the added benefit of crowding weeds out of your flowerbed.

What Lies Beneath

Speaking of weeds, nothing will ruin the look of your garden like unwanted pesky plants. Believe it or not, you probably have an effective remedy for weeds in your recycling bin right now. A layer of cardboard spread under mulch will keep weeds from poking through to the surface. Cardboard is also naturally biodegradable, making this cost-saving remedy a great look for the planet, too.

Make Your Landscaping Work for You

Saving room in your flowerbed or planters for edible plants will put money back into your pocket by helping to cut down on the grocery bill. The vines of sweet potato or squash plants are as pleasing to the eye as their fruits are delicious.

Plant a Tree

Create a lasting impact on the looks of your yard by planting a tree. Though relatively inexpensive to purchase, a well-kept tree could grow into a centerpiece of your property that can be enjoyed for generations.


Buying planters can get expensive quickly, especially if you need several to complete your desired look. Avoid paying full retail for planters by scouring yard sales and websites such as Craigslist for deals. Even better, repurpose old disused items to suit your needs. A little DIY imagination can turn an old barrel or a worn-out tire into a handsome planter in no time.

Shrubs Over Fences

If you need more privacy in your yard, consider planting a row of shrubs along your property line. The natural look of a tall row of shrubs will increase your overall landscape appeal and will likely come in much cheaper than hiring a carpenter to construct a privacy fence.