Here are three simple, easy, and inexpensive ways to add green to your real estate – both in terms of attractive outdoor plants and those perennial greenbacks you can take to the bank.
Lay the Groundwork
The first step to creating beautiful flowerbeds around your property – whether it is a home, an office building, or a cluster of condos – is to define or outline the beds. Curves add interest and are visually more natural and organic than straight lines, so keep that in mind as you plan your landscape. Once you have your idea envisioned, use a flat-ended shovel to cut into the turf and mark the outline of the flowerbed. You don’t have to dig a ditch, just cut into the earth to make a slight trench about an inch or two wide and 4-6 inches deep.
Once that is done use flexible rubber border material found at any home improvement store to create a boundary between the lawn and your flowerbed. If you need to add topsoil to the bed to ensure healthy plants, do that next. Then use a good quality weed block fabric to cover the area. This can also be found in rolls that look kind of like wrapping paper at home improvement stores. Staking it down controls the weeds so that you don’t have to spend your free weekends on your knees pulling weeds out from around your plants. But it also allows enough water to reach your plants so that they can grow up strong and healthy despite the fabric.
Add Colorful Flowers and a Cheerful Border
With the help of someone working at a nursery – unless you happen to have a green thumb – select plants and flowers that not only look good but also are appropriate for the location, climate, and amount of attention you can reasonably afford to give them over the long haul.
Cut little X’s into your weed blocking fabric – which now covers the flowerbed dirt like a wall to wall carpet – and dig out holes just large enough to plant your flowers. Pat them into the ground with some dirt or potting soil, give them some water, and pat yourself on the back for a great job that is almost done.
Mulch is Magical
Finally, use a thin layer of dirt to hide the weed block fabric. On top of that disguise the fabric completely with a liberal amount of mulch Hardwood mulch generally holds its color the best, while also helping to retain moisture during warm months and provide warmth to your plants in winter. The visual benefit of mulch is stunning if it is applied carefully and neatly. The contrast in color between the rich dark mulch and your colorful palette of flowers gives the flowerbed a thoroughly professional appearance and can dress up even the drabbest of landscapes.
Home improvement stores also sell inexpensive fencing that is about two feet tall. Some is wooden, some plastic, and some metal. If you want to really dress up your flowerbeds, add some around the edges.
Using the exact same methods outlined above – on a budget of about $5-$10 per square foot or less – you should be able to jazz up flowerbeds, the sides of your walkways, and other prominent features of your yard.