Impatient Gardener, has not only earned my respect but the serious stripes as a DIY superstar and the buff forearms to prove it. Generally when it comes to building paths and walls in the garden, a rough estimate for what a contractor will charge to do the work is double the amount of the required materials. So, by doing it yourself, you stand to save about 50%.
Erin's project, which you can read more about on her blog, Impatient Gardener, includes a deck with a pergola (and some pretty sleek cable railings), a patio, paths, a stone retaining wall and planting. All done in nine months by Erin herself. Impressive, and I can't wait to see what it looks like this year when the plants are more settled in and have started to grow together. (Images: The Impatient Gardener.)