1. Start with a Focal Point
Especially in a smaller area, a garden feature focal point like a bird bath, a cluster of bird feeders, a fountain, a statue, a large vase, or a group of potted plants helps to create a Centerpoint that pleases the eye. You can also use a table and chairs, or a trellis and vine, or a set of birdhouses. Want a theme garden? . Choose an old rusted bicycle for a country look, or a set of large stones for an Asian garden.
2. Use What You Have
Do you have some trees or bushes already? You can use those to help create your focal point background for building your garden. Before you rush out to buy something new, save money by considering what you already have that you can use in your garden. Do you have some pots, baskets, old pottery or chimes in your storage? Be creative! Pottery that is too broken to use to hold water might still work as a garden decoration. You can also visit garage sales to find unusual items like old weathered windows or garden benches.
3. Use Container Clusters
Planting in containers has the advantage of using less soil, being easier to water and also being able to be moved around. Especially in small spaces, containers let you plant a lot and change plants out which are not blooming, moving the nicest ones where they can best be seen. You also might want to consider keeping your plants inside inexpensive plastic pots which can be moved in and out of different containers.
4. Ask Gardener Friends to Share
In pioneer times, people didn't have stores to go to in order to get plants. Everyone shared the flower seeds or bulbs they had growing with their neighbors. In fact, some of the best plants you can grow are ones that other gardeners have growing in abundance. Especially if you aren't sure of your landscape DIY skills, you might want to cultivate some gardening friends and ask if they have seeds, cuttings, bulbs or plants they can share. They may also have advice of local places which offer good deals.
6. Visit the a Local Arboretum
Many times, you can develop ideas for your garden by looking at other gardens. Do you have a local arboretum, or gardens at a University? Visit them to get ideas. Some gardens even have plant sales or classes about how to grow local native plants. If you don't have gardens to visit nearby, you can check out gardening books at the library or look for pictures of gardens of the tye you like online.
7. Buy for Every Season
Part of successful landscape DIY design is careful planning so that you have plants blooming at different times. So when you start buying plants and seeds, look to see when the plant blooms and be sure to pick out plants that bloom in the spring, summer, and fall. Bulbs look very unattractive when you stick them in the ground, but they are often fabulous for creating sustained, beautiful floral displays in the early spring.
8. Think Local.
Every plant counts in a smaller garden, and if you are starting your landscape DIY from scratch, you need plants which will grow and thrive quickly. How can you do that? Make sure every plant you buy is well adapted for your area climate zone. Moreover, you might want to look for native local plants which often grow the most vigorously and require less care.
9. Plan for the Birds
An inexpensive way to add interest to your small garden is to add features to attract birds. You can make a birdbath or bird feeder out of any large ceramic platter set in the ground, or on top of an upturned garden pot. Add a birdhouse or two also! You may get some permanent guests.
10. Attract Butterflies
Nothing adds more interest to a garden than butterflies floating by. You can attract them by planting the right combination of plants they like to eat as adults, and plants they lay eggs on and eat as caterpillars.
Finally, enjoy the process. Creating a landscaping DIY garden is something you can enjoy doing over the period of a year or more. Even better, it is something which can grow, change and evolve into an outdoor room which expresses your own personality, as well as provides a tranquil place for reading, relaxing and entertaining.