Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Thrifty Front Yard Makeover


I'm finally getting around to posting about our front yard makeover which was done in March last year. This was one of the projects we tackled after our last debt free holiday to Melbourne. It was after this trip in 2013 that we decided to start a savings account- and to live as cheaply as possible. The goal in mind was to put as much money into savings as we could- to get the many repair jobs done around the house which would all be paid for in cash.

Our budget was originally $1000, in the end we were over by $500 because we underestimated how much gravel we would need.

The front yard was an eye sore, garden beds were totally overgrown with couch grass and a creeping vine called morning glory. There would be times when we managed to get some weeding done to make the place look a bit more presentable but within a week or two it would have grown back.

We decided that we no longer have the time or energy to maintain a front garden, we would prefer to invest any effort in our backyard vegetable gardens. So the plan was to turn our front yard into a low maintenance and water saving garden with street appeal. The plan was that we would have a couple of small and manageable garden beds with local Australian native plants and wood chips, while the rest would be red pea gravel.

Because the couch was such an issue we needed to hire someone with a bobcat to come and dig a layer of soil out deep enough for the gravel.

We left a few of the bigger bushes and trees.Then we used some metal edging which was here when we bought the house, to mark out where we wanted the garden beds to be and bought a few native plants from a local nursery.

Then we laid weed matting over the entire area and cut out holes for the plants, hoping this would stop the couch and morning glory from popping through.

We gladly accepted some free wood chips from a neighbour and used it in the garden beds. I also repainted the mailbox and small fence with some free sample paint tins. Since then I have still been collecting the paint samples when they are available and always get the same colour- ironstone, I have now painted our window frames and side fences.

We also laid weed matting over the area that would be filled with gravel. Spreading the gravel was really hard work. But we all pitched in and helped. I can't get over how young my kids look in these photos.


And now here's some after photos. The thing I love about our front yard, is how neat and tidy it looks now compared to before. Plus the only maintenance we need to do is pull a few weeds every few months. The birdbath in one of the back garden beds was found during a verge collection. I'm really happy with our thrifty front yard makeover and that we did it on a budget.


We reused coffee rocks we already had for the borders

The birdbath found on a verge collection

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