Materials and sources:
This is Cypress Mulch from Home Depot, $2.00 a bag. I bought five bags totaling $10.00.
These gloves were from Dollar Tree for a dollar.
These stepping stones were already in my garden area, since the prior owner had a garden years ago, but I wanted to price them anyway for the purpose of this blog post, so you know where to find the best deal! Available at Home Depot for $1.27 in red or gray.
I got this plant, Salvia Rhea, at Home Depot for 2.99. It adds a little pop of color and the price was right. Plus, it's a perennial!
This is technically a transplanting tool, but it's basically just a small trowel. You can get this, a trowel, and a little rake for 88 cents apiece. I grabbed this because I have little hands, and it was perfect for digging up all the weeds.
This Weedblock is 3'x50' and cost $9.99 at Home Depot. However, I later found 5'x10' sheets of better weed block at Dollar Tree, so I could have spent even less money!
I also bought a Japanese Maple tree at Meijer for $6.99 a few weeks ago. Michigan had an unseasonably warm March, so they put some things out in the garden center at very low prices, and I couldn't resist!
I was lucky enough to have some stuff to start, since the prior resident had a garden in the same spot. First, I have about a million Tiger Lilies running along my fence. Ugh, I hate them, but I'm not quite up to digging them all up at this time. Maybe next year. For now, I planned to work right up to them and stop, so they looked as if they were intentional. There were also a bunch of rocks to use for a border, so I didn't have to use that black plastic stuff. These also proved useful to holding down the edges of the Weedblock fabric.
The other part I forgot to mention was the awesome arbor that my neighbor threw out last year, that I had been saving in my garage!
Here's how the garden looked about six weeks ago:
As you can see, there's some rocks, stepping stones, and a few perennial plants that are coming up. This is what it's been like for the past 2 years, and in the summer it was just a big "weed garden." That's my next door neighbor's dog, Bella. Isn't she cute?
Here's the closest thing I have to a "Before" photo from a couple of weeks ago. You can see that I put the arbor up, and everything else weeds and those two decorative grass perennials, and don't forget the tiger lilies:
I had planned to do each step at a time: Dig up the weeds, level the dirt, plant the plants, add the weedblock, then cover it in mulch. However, that proved to be very ineffective for a couple of reasons: First, it was very windy that day and the weedblock would have just blown away, and secondly, because it would have been a lot more tiring to do things all at once. I found it much easier to work in sections. This way, I didn't get too fatigued or cause any repetitive motion injuries, and I had the satisfaction of seeing a little preview of how the finished product would look:
I ran out of Weedblock with about 5 square feet to spare, so I had to wait until I could run to Dollar Tree to buy another packet. I finally finished it today, and here's the finished product:
It's not perfect, but for a budget and not much skill, I'm satisfied. I'll probably buy one more bag mulch because I have some bare spots to cover.
Total Cost: $32.85
I do have plans to add more items in the future, but I also plan to stick to my small budget:
These solar lights are available for a buck each at Dollar Tree, however my local store was out of stock.
I'll update this post if I find other great deals. You don't have to have a lot of money to have a yard that looks halfway decent! Happy gardening!
I checked Dollar Tree in two different cities, and nobody has these darn lights in stock! If I wanted to buy the regular lights online, I would have to buy a case of 48. That's not conducive to my budget. I did, however, find some other solar lights on the Dollar Tree website that were available in smaller lots. So, I bought twelve of them. They're smaller than the ones I originally wanted, so I wanted to make sure I have enough to actually light up the garden. I think they'll look good: