3. Start With Young Plants and Shrubs
Consumers are often drawn to mature plants and flowers at the nursery because they’re visually appealing. However, the only difference between a mature plant and a young plant of the same species is the price (tiny seedlings are an exception to this rule, as they can be easily scorched or killed). For instance, you can expect to pay $70 for a 10.25-gallon crape myrtle, but only $20 for a 3.25-gallon crape myrtle. Choose the smaller item for a big cost savings – you may be surprised by how quickly they grow once you’ve planted them.
At my old property, I planted numerous 2.25-gallon Indian hawthorns and Texas sage bushes. Within a year, the Indian hawthorns were the size of five-gallon plants, and the Texas sages had matured to a 13.35-gallon size. It just took a little patience.
4. Create Clusters of Planters
Add visual interest to your garden by grouping together clusters of planters for added height and depth. Basic terracotta planters are classically beautiful and cost between $5 and $20, depending on their size. Group three planters of various sizes in a corner of your garden, and put an arrangement of flowers and creeping plants to give the illusion of a foliage waterfall as the blooms spill over the edge and into the main garden.
These arrangements look best when you combine plants with three different profiles – vertical (such as upright fuchsia or fountain grass), horizontal (like impatiens or heliotrope), and cascading (like the asparagus fern or wave petunias). This striking landscape display only costs about $50 for the planters and $30 to $50 for the plants, depending on the types you purchase.