Backyard Spaces

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      Fixing up a backyard is expensive even when you do it yourself so it

      is best to do it gradually. We have a good sized yard. When we moved

      here it was only partially fenced, there was just grass everywhere.

      No patio, no landscaping or anything. We have been here for almost 6

      years and each year we have done a few things because of the cost we

      have to spread the costs out. We have finished the fencing. We had a

      company in that put in the posts for $20 each then we built the rest

      of the fence. For a patio we used patio stones. We waited until

      there was a sale on at the hardware store. We bought the kind that

      are coloured concrete with lines on them to look like bricks. We had

      a load of sand dumped on our driveway, 2 tons cost $60. We moved it

      with wheelbarrows to the backyard and leveled it out to lay the

      patio stones on.

      For plants we have put in a lot of flowering shrubs. They are easy

      to maintain and add colour to the yard. I put the word out to

      friends and family and was able to get shoots and roots from several

      different people. Many of these types of shrubs spread so often

      people with mature shrubs will thin them out. I got tons of

      different coloured lilacs, flowering crabapple and rose of sharon as

      well as some maple saplings. You won’t get instant results like

      going to the garden centre but they will mature over time. I also

      watch the garden centre flyers. They often have “loss leaders” just

      like grocery stores. I have bought small potentilia, smoke bushes,

      hydrangea and snowball bushes for $4.99-$7.99 each. Also if you buy

      the smaller bushes they are much cheaper that buying bigger ones.

      When you first put in the little plants they look a bit skimpy,

      resist the urge to try and fill-up the spaces. The plants will

      mature and fill-up the spaces over a few years time.

      Another thing that has added lots of colour at an economical price

      is making my own hanging pots. I bought the metal hangers and pots

      at the dollar store. I used potting soil and planted petunias

      (bought on sale) in the pots and hung them. I hang them along my

      fence and resuse the same pots every year. Costs hardly anything.

      Much better than the pre-made hanging baskets. A two year old can

      help with this. Another thing to do is plant morning Glory seed. I

      put them along the fence, I stick those bamboo sticks from the

      dollar store in the ground and they will grow up them and the fence.

      Sunflowers are fun to grow and I always plant some of those. I plant

      them a little bit away from the house because they tend to attract

      bees and wasps.

      We put in a 8’x10′ shed last year. It was a major investment for us.

      It was a rubbermaid type plastic shed. It was over $1000 for the

      shed and the base. It took about a day for us to put it together. We

      priced the wooden shed kits but they worked out fairly expensive

      because the siding and shingles were not included in the cost.

      Carrie

      — In Budget101_@yahoogroups.com, “Jessica White”

      wrote:

      I am about to move into our first house and we have a huge

      backyard…I want to keep everything inexpensive and do-it-yourself.

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