Three words should become your motto for frugal landscaping: Do it yourself. If you aren't prepared to get a little dirty and sweaty, you'll have to pay the premium for professional help. For instance, a zinnia that you pay $3 for to plant yourself will cost around $12 if installed by a landscaper [source: Archer].
There may be some jobs that are too big or complex for one person, but when you're brainstorming goals for your landscaping project, think about what you can do alone and when you might need to call in the pros. Also, consider asking for help from friends or family who might be willing to share the workload in exchange for dinner or a favor.
Clearing brush and planting flower beds should be manageable on your own, but you should also take into account the hardware and manpower necessary for more complex tasks. Have a troublesome hill that causes flooding every time it rains? You may need a small bulldozer to level it off. What about disease-ridden trees that are not only an eyesore but also a liability when the weather turns rough? Or what if you want to pour cement for a new walkway through your garden? If you know how to operate heavy machinery, you could rent, but it may be worth your time to call around for estimates for professional services.