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Home Budget and Maintenance
Budget and Maintenance PDF Print E-mail

If you're like most people, you might have big ideas for your garden, but a limited budget. This is where patience becomes a virtue and it's one of the important lessons gardening can teach us.

There isn't a landscape design plan we've ever designed that couldn't be done in stages. So keep that in mind if your budget doesn't allow for you to do it all at once.


On a sheet of paper, or in your gardening journal, make three columns, one for each of the next three years:

  • Put the amount you can spend at the top of each column.
  • Jot down the plants and related costs that you will be able to afford for each year.
  • Track your first year’s costs to see how accurately you estimated and adjust for years two and three.

If you are planning to hire a professional to do your planting, visit our section Determine Your Budget in our Landscaping System.

Here’s a brief guideline of costs for planting based on your doing the work yourself:

  • A 3-gallon-size shrub will cost about $20. The same shrub will cost $30 to $40 planted by a landscaping professional.
  • A $3 to $4 perennial will cost about $12 installed.

Don’t forget to budget for soil amendments and mulch.

A $20 tree today can become a $2,000 tree in the future with a little time and care!


If you’ve had a garden before, you’ll have an idea of the amount of time it can take to maintain. For first-time gardeners, you may want to begin in stages and get your feet wet slowly.

Of course, if you run into trouble, you can get your teenagers to help out. But our experience is that you might end up with …

… a mutiny on your hands.

And sometimes there’s a compromise to be made. Our Scandinavian and English blood doesn’t mix well with the heat and humidity of sultry Southern summers, so our garden tends to get a bit unruly looking in the summer - much to our chagrin.

But we eagerly await the cooler autumn breezes and dream of the time that will inevitably come when we can joyfully put it ALL back into order.

Patience once again.

And by the way, there is no such thing as ‘no maintenance’ gardening. The best you can do is a ‘low maintenance’ one …

… unless you want to plant silk flowers.

But, always keep in mind that you won't mind a little extra maintenance if you truly love the plant.  In fact, then the maintenance can really make you happy because it transforms into nurturing.  If you have happy memories playing amongst Daylilies as a child, these memories will transport you back to your youth and give you more youthful energy for your other tasks.

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