We've lived in this house for three years (this is our fourth summer here) and we've made a lot of improvements to both the inside and outside of the house. Although our exterior improvements really did improve the visual appeal of our lot, they weren't of the gardening or landscaping variety.
This year, however, has turned out to be "gardening year". A side effect of building and planting our raised vegetable beds is that we've been bitten by the gardening bug. Shane was bitten especially hard by it.
Gardening and landscaping can be expensive projects, but we've managed to cut the expense quite a bit by being flexible. Instead of deciding on what to buy then going out to find it, we waited for sales then went to see what was available at discounted prices. We also were able to get some things (like open, but still full bags of mulch) for pennies on the dollar, and even some plants for free or for just a few cents each.
Little by little, our lawn is taking shape; it is, and probably always will be, a work in progress. It was basically a blank canvas to begin with, so whatever we add will be an improvement, and we haven't had to break the bank to get it done.
Here are some of the things we've been able to add this year.
(Wish the owner of the empty house across the street would mow his lawn.)
sprouted up in, of all things, a bag of sand.