As the US moves from springtime into summer, and as social activity blossoms with the rapid increase in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccinations, many homeowners are on the search for affordable landscaping projects they could undertake on a DIY basis.
Even with very high lumber prices projected for the rest of 2021 and other strange market phenomena affecting DIY-ers, there’s a ton of stuff you can do with your front or back yard.
We know, however, that not everyone lives in the same climate. Different types of ground covering, temperature and humidity, surrounding activity, and so on, make for different home landscaping prospects.
All of the resources discussed here have been updated recently as we head into the summer of 2021.
Resources for Affordable DIY Landscaping Ideas
You’ll find an awesome and easily digestible rundown from Lawnstarter here. They cover all kinds of aspects, give an idea of the cost, and link out to some additional resources. They even include some clever ideas that aren’t that big but could make a good impression, like how to arrange flowers around your mailbox, how to install edges to partition areas of your lawn, and how to use outdoor lighting in your yard well.
This side-scrolling list of front-yard specific ideas from CountryLiving is concise but really sparks the creativity. And they link out to a ton of direct DIY landscaping tutorials, such as this SF Gate tutorial on how to build a berm.
This set of clever “bargain backyard makeovers” from Love Property really illustrates that so much can be done in a resourceful way that doesn’t cost a ton. They link out to a bunch of impressive people who have actually made wild, mostly small backyard creations. See: the beer garden, the sanctuary, the outdoor theater (although, uh, perhaps a misuse of “Netflix and chill”), the bohemian lounge… Dang. It just keeps going. They have so many!
Region-Specific DIY Home Landscaping Examples
Okay, this set of concrete patio designs isn’t technically region-specific, but they do seem to lend themselves well to arid, dry settings from the Rockies to Southern California. A bunch of great patio layouts, photos, and links out to further detail.
This guide to budget DIY landscaping on a slope has a bunch of great tips encompassing fabric (underneath your ground cover, to hold the soil together better), mulch, and clever tricks like pine straw.
For those in high precipitation/really rainy areas, this guide to a “rain garden” is kind of ingenious. It’s also a benefit to the surrounding ecosystem because it reduces the amount of runoff and prevents flooding—just think if you got even 10% of your neighbors to do this too! The article links out to a video, a couple of manuals from actual university extension programs, and include great tips for how to save money on it.
This very recent post from Beauty Harmony Life on urban desert gardening should give city people located in really dry climates a fantastic starting point for what to consider.
This recent post on the blog of a West Florida-based landscaping company gives useful tips for locals there on edging, native plants, and stone.
General Guides to Getting Started with DIY Landscaping on a Budget
This simple guide from Living on the Cheap makes some good points (“Consider mature plant size”—critical!) and links out to a few other neat resources.
This rundown from Home & Garden Companion is really comprehensive, although discusses both DIY and professional options for various aspects. They talk about basics, including climate zone, soil, and plant sourcing. They talk about how to assess what’s most important to you. They break down three main components of a residential yard. And then they really dig into many of the major features you might consider.
Current Considerations for the DIY Landscaping Market in Spring/Summer 2021
A final aspect to just be aware of, given the current circumstances within which homeowners are undertaking your own home landscaping projects, is the market for materials and tools you would need to do these projects.
In short, the prices of a lot of home improvement materials and tools are unusually high right now. However, in some cases, the suppliers (in an attempt to capitalize upon massive demand) have gotten really innovative in their efforts to rise to the occasion.
This recent post from an analyst firm has tons of revealing graphs illustrating consumers’ recent responses to survey questions about their interest in DIY home improvement, including landscaping.
And for a final example, as a kind of canary in the coal mine that serves as one indicator, leaders in the lawn mower market are very optimistic that the pandemic has generated a large amount of momentum for direct homeowner interest in (and confidence about) doing their own lawn care.
Hopefully, this post has given you a good starting place for your summer 2021 DIY home landscaping aspirations!