Frugal landscaping? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-16-2010, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if this is the right place for this, but our main concern is money, so I guess I'll give it a try. We have less then an acre (probably less then .5 acre), most of it wooded. There is a small space right in front of our house that is clear (well, relatively) and would love to make it a space DD could play in (right now it's weeds, uneven ground, and ends in a pretty steep/high drop off). It's maybe 25' X 35' on two adjacent sides, but the diagonal corner is rounded off & slopes down to the drop off.

Does anyone have any idea what our best options are for making this a usable space while spending as little money as possible? We have gone back and forth on this for probably 3 or 4 years now (considered turning into a patio, sodding/grass, rock garden type thing), just don't know how to get started! But DD is 2.5 now, and I really would like for her to be able to play outside at our house - not to mention we would eventually like to sell, and the way it is now, it has zero curb appeal.

If we do a patio type thing, we would probably need some grading done, and any grass we tried to plant would probably require topsoil to be brought in. We also might be hampered by the fact that there is a small stream that runs through the yard (that's where the drop-off comes in), so I think there are special rules about what we can and can't do.

Any ideas/BTDT stories would be appreciated!
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#2 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 08:47 AM
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blackberries (thornless!) or daylillies will do very well on the slope by the stream. Blackberries if you want good eating, daylillies if you want something more contained and conventional.

lawns are actually pretty tough. you can buy a bag of seed and bale of hay, and probably make a lawn - no topsoil required unless you have 100% clay or 100% sand.

brick patios are very easy to install, and low cost if you can find free bricks.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 07:18 PM
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I would put out a wanted on freecycle for bricks. This is how we have gotten rid of the many many many bricks the previous owner put in. I am talking 1000s of them.

I would also put a wanted or wait until someone posts about hostas, day lillies etc. It seems this time of year they are all over freecycle.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#4 of 5 Old 06-18-2010, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Ooh - good call on freecycle for bricks! I really like the patio idea (less upkeep!), and I never even thought of that.
Thank you for the ideas. I will have to look into day lilies/other plants that can cover the slope.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-18-2010, 10:55 PM
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We generally 'till up the land, rip up all the weeds we possibly can and then seed like crazy with grass. Be careful about tilling in your stream, though. If you don't know where you can get a 'tiller (like from a friend), you can usually rent them for cheap for a half day.
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