Do You Include The Garden In Your Budget?

We have merely to look at a pretty new house before grass, shrubs, and trees have been planted, or an old house amid neglected surroundings to realize how true it is that a “house is not a home until it’s planted.”

When one thinks of all that should be done, it may appear to be too costly a project to undertake. But it need not be.

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Simple Garden for Homeowners

Any homeowner who can handle a spade and other simple garden tools can do the necessary work himself and thus save much of the cost.

The good part is that you have wide latitude. You can do as little or as much as you wish during the first year and spread the remainder of the work and the cost over several years. 

Your place will show definite results even in the first year, giving the comfortable feeling of satisfaction in living amid pleasant and beautiful surroundings.

Trees and Shrubs

Such things as trees and shrubs increase in value as they grow. Well-landscaped property is worth more than the same kind of house in an implanted or neglected yard. 

It pays to include home beautification costs in your budget. The amount that can be set aside for this will determine what can be done in the first year and in succeeding years to complete the project.

Things to Consider in Planting

The item to consider first is the lawn, and the foundation plantings and shade trees are almost as important. These should be planted in the first year. 

If you doubt what kind of grass to plant, what is best for foundation plantings, or which shade trees are best for your area, consult a nearby nursery.

Landscape Plans

They will be eager to help you. Some nurseries will draw up complete landscape plans for your grounds. 

Often, the plan fee is refunded when you buy a certain amount of nursery stock for the plantings. In this event, the plans cost you nothing. 

You are not compelled to complete the plantings in a single year – yet you will know exactly what you should plant and where to have a well-landscaped home.

Quality of Grass

You will also have a good idea of the total cost. Get good quality stock. Do not skimp on the quality of grass seed that is needed. 

If corners have to be cut, smaller and fewer trees and shrubs for the foundation planting, and only the most necessary shade trees and in the smaller sizes the first year. 

Annuals for Empty Spots and Coloration

Your grounds will look well planted if you buy flats of annuals such as:

  • Petunias 
  • Red salvias 
  • Marigolds

…to fill in the empty spots and add color. 

If the budget is too lean for flats of plants, buy packets of seeds instead and grow your own. Use any plant material that you might have at hand.

House Plants

This includes house plants such as geraniums and foliage plants that can be set outside during the growing season.

Fruit Trees

If fruit trees, grape vines, and berry crops are to be included, and the budget can stand it, buy those the first year, too, even if you have to buy fewer than your plans call for. 

For instance, if your plan calls for 100 strawberry plants and the budget permits only a dozen, get the dozen. The plants will multiply so one can set out a long row the next year at no extra cost.

Black Raspberries

Black raspberries send tip-rooted plants (bend down their tips and make new plants) to increase the patch.

It takes several years for fruit trees to reach bearing age, and small fruits require a year or more to be at their best, so the sooner they are planted, the sooner there will be fruit.

Vegetable Garden 

If you have space for a vegetable garden, the perennial kinds, such as rhubarb and asparagus, should be set the first year, for they also require a year or more to grow. 

Rhubarb can be divided eventually if more plants are desired. Asparagus will grow from seed if there is more time than money.

Tools in Gardening

As for the necessary tools, there should be the following:

  • Gloves
  • Garden Trowel
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Spade
  • Sprinkling Can
  • Pruning Shears

You can hardly start without these. Perhaps by the second or third year, you can include the following:

  • A Hose
  • Garden Cart
  • Dust or Spray Gun

If you have a vegetable garden, a wheel hoe is a back and time saver.


Fortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for landscaping a property. Family requirements and personal preferences should be considered first.

Roses and Dahlias

Perhaps a sandbox for the children is more necessary than permanent foundation plantings at the back of the house. Perhaps your hobby is roses or dahlias, then buy those first.

If you lack time or strength for garden work, use the necessary trees and shrubs for foundation planting and shade, and have a larger grass area. 

Flowering Shrubs and Perennial Plants

For color, include flowering shrubs and perennial plants that take a minimum of care and are long-lived such as

  • Peonies
  • Hemerocallis
  • Dictamnus
  • Siberian Iris
  • Platycodon

44659 by Olga R. Tiemann