5 Tips for Creating a Stunning Backyard Without Spending a Fortune
By Danielle Braff
Choose perennials over annuals.
Perennials establish a deep root system that can live for years. Annuals complete their life cycle in one growing season. Even though perennials cost more to purchase initially, they save you money over the long term; you don’t have to buy new plants yearly. A few of the best perennials are peonies, wisteria and trumpet vines.
Get your money’s worth with hostas.
Hostas are vigorous growers that can divide into two or more individual plants, says Erinn Witz, cofounder of Seeds and Spades. You should be able to divide your hostas every year or two. It doesn’t take long to amass a large collection.
Carpet roses are your BFFs.
These showstoppers grow in a mounding fashion about knee high, are easy to maintain, are resistant to many common rose problems, and flower for long periods with many small bunches of blooms, notes Zachary Smith, the founder of Zachary Smith Arboriculture. “When I’m suggesting plant material for a budget backyard makeover, one of the first things I look to are carpet roses,” he points out.
Skip the fence.
Opt instead for emerald green arborvitae (Thuja) trees, which Zack DeAngelis, the founder of Tree Journey, recommends as structural trees. Year-round evergreens grow to 10 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive and can even be bought online. “They’re phenomenal structural trees that create a living border and cut down on fence maintenance costs,” DeAngelis says.
Always add a crape myrtle.
This tree produces pro-fuse blooms, available in several colors, Smith observes. Relatively small and not needing much water, the tree is effortless to maintain.
In spring 2022, Relax & Radiate Crate subscribers received a decorative planter pot, a grow-your-own-herb kit from True Leaf Market, and a set of watering globes. Don't miss our next box of surprises!
This article originally appeared in Relax & Radiate Crate's mini magazine, The Girlfriend From AARP mini magazine (Volume 2, Summer 2022).