Landscaping on a Budget

An Ohio landscape designer offers tips for making the most out of customers’ yards on a modest budget.

The Blade
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KC Ahlers, a landscape designer for Sylvania’s A&J Landscape Center, has seen it all when it comes to landscaping nightmares.

Sometimes he’ll drive through neighborhoods or visit friends’ homes, and just shake his head. For some of his clients, there is no option but to recommend a costly redesign. But for many homeowners, it is possible to create a clean, beautiful yard on a modest budget.

“People always want these big bushes, but if you go with a smaller bush, it will be half the price and it will end up being the same size in a couple of years,” Ahlers says, then calls out to a large dog named Henry, who is sauntering around a property Ahlers is working on in Sylvania, Ohio. “Try to stay away from the big-box stores, too. A local garden center won’t buy its product more than 100 miles away. A bigger store will buy from Georgia or Tennessee, and those plants aren’t used to the soil here, so they might not thrive.”

Those plants and bushes can be bought most cheaply this time of year or late fall. They are much more expensive when stores or garden centers truck them in early in the spring.

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