Keeping your garden looking magnificent is a challenge in itself but transforming your garden on a budget makes things a lot harder. While there’s a wide range of simple changes we can make to transform our garden into a magical outdoor space, most of them come at a cost.
Things like garden furniture, plants, mulch, and so on all increase how much we spend to make our garden look better. Of course, the size of your garden impacts things too. The bigger your garden, the greater the expense.
However, while it may seem hard too, it is possible to transform your garden on a budget. Today, we’re going to show you how to do so!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll always be up for any tip that saves you a little bit of money here and there. If you are, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with lots of tips, ideas, and tricks that will help you transform your garden at a low cost.
If your garden needs some care, love, and attention, stay tuned!
Spring-Clean And Declutter
It may be a bit of a no-brainer but one of the best ways to transform your garden without spending too much money is by having a good spring clean and decluttering. One of the greatest things about a spring clean is that it can be completely free to do.
Spring cleaning and a good declutter are often overlooked which is a shame because more often than not, all a garden needs is a good tidy. Essential spring cleaning tasks for your garden can include getting rid of old plant pots, throwing away rusty tools, getting rid of old bicycles, or simply trimming your semi-evergreen and perennial plants.
Essentially, you need to remove all the things that don’t belong in your garden and care for the things that do. After a good clean-up and decluttering, you’ll probably find that there’s not too much else you need to do.
In fact, there’s a very good chance that your garden will already be transformed after a good clearing. You’ll have more space, a cleaner yard, and somewhere you can be proud of.
When clearing your garden, we recommend recycling everything you can and throwing the rest in the bin. If possible, you could also donate anything you don’t want to a local charity so someone else can use it.
Spring cleaning and decluttering your garden is the first step in creating the garden you’ve always dreamed about. You can now focus on sprucing up your garden to make it look how you like.
Spruce Up A Tired Patio Or Decking By Painting It
After a few winters, there’s a good chance your decking is in need of some love. You don’t have to break the bank to bring your decking back to life. All you need is some paint and some free time.
With both of those things, you can easily refresh your decking. This will help you enhance the overall appearance of your outdoor space, while also bringing more vibrance to your garden.
You’ll be surprised by just how much a tired patio or decking area can impact your garden. So much so, a fresh, vibrant, and stylish decking area will help transform your garden.
Learning how to paint a decking area might not be the easiest of things to do, but you don’t need to be a pro to rejuvenate your patio or decking area.
Besides, there are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can do. You can opt for neutral colors that give your patio a natural look, mix things up with mosaic patterns, or go wild with colors and create a colorful decking area that steals the limelight.
Some of the things you need to paint a patio or decking area include:
- Bristled broom
- Decking cleaner
- Pressure washer
- Decking paint
- Masking tape
- Decking paint brush
Once you’ve got everything you need, you’re ready to paint. The basic steps you need to follow to paint your decking area are:
- Clean the area
- Make any repairs
- Prep the surface
- Paint the decking
- Leave to dry
- Keep it well maintained
Add Color By Painting Your Fence Or Shed
A super quick and easy way to make an impact and add color to your garden is to paint your fence or shed. Different fence paint colors can have a huge impact on the overall look and size of your garden.
The right color of paint will make your garden look bigger while other paint colors will make it look smaller. Generally, the best colors to use to make your garden look bigger are pink, beige, and light blue. These three colors will give the illusion that your outdoor space is much bigger than it actually is.
As you would expect, darker colors have the opposite effect. Colors like black, dark brown, and dark blue will make your garden look more compact. That’s not to say that dark colors don’t work though.
Darker colors can look incredible in a more vibrant garden and alongside flower beds because they help the flowers and trees pop.
There are a huge variety of affordable paints to choose from that will give your garden a new lease of life, so don’t be afraid to play around with different colors. You could even paint your fence and shed different colors to add more vibrance.
Personally, we love how dark black fences and sheds look in a yard that features modern furniture and colorful flower beds.
One thing you don’t want to forget when transforming your garden on a budget is lighting. Garden lighting has the capability of adding a splash of color and character to your home and garden.
The best thing about using lighting to transform your garden is that it doesn’t cost too much. All it takes to turn your garden into a magical space is a few string outdoor fairy lights and some solar flower bed lights.
Simply suspend a string of outdoor fairy lights from your fence or decking area, and place some smaller lights in your shrubs or flower beds. If you have a large tree in your garden, you could hang lights from that too.
Aside from bringing more vibrance and character to a garden, lighting also creates a warmer atmosphere. This can be crucial for those of you creating an outdoor seating area. Throughout the year, you’ll have a gorgeous glow that radiates around your garden.
This will create a lovely romantic atmosphere that you and your family can enjoy.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to worry about your electricity bill. There are hundreds if not thousands of budget-friendly solar-powered lighting options you can choose from.
If you have a slightly bigger budget, you could always treat yourself to a large lamp or traditional street lamp. This will only add to the overall aesthetic of your garden.
If you’re on a tight budget, you probably want to avoid buying brand-new outdoor furniture for your garden. Buying new outdoor furniture can quickly become pricey, eating away at a large chunk, if not all of your budget.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still use furniture to bring a new lease of life to your garden. One great way to bring furniture into your garden is to upcycle it.
Upcycling, also referred to as creative reuse, is the process of transforming unwanted products into new materials or products of greater quality. Examples of upcycling include turning wooden pallets into a flower bed or a garden table.
When it comes to upcycling furniture, you could use different materials to make your own furniture or simply take an old piece of furniture and make it look brand new.
You could take your old garden table and bring it back to life with a vibrant splash of color. Alternatively, you could pick up something different from a donation center or a friend.
Upcycling comes with many benefits, most of which center around saving money, however, it is also beneficial for the environment too, as reusing something is a great way to reduce waste.
Sometimes, all you need to do to upcycle is learn how to paint furniture.
A simple way to make a big difference in your garden without spending too much money is to focus your efforts on vertical planting. Simple ideas like wall-mounted pots, plants that grow vertically, and vertical gardens can help transform your garden into a lush outdoor space.
You can also use vertical planting to give your garden more privacy and security. By planting larger shrubs, trees, and hedges, you can close your garden off from the outside world. This is perfect for anyone that seeks more seclusion.
We recommend starting with fast-climbing plants like Wisteria and clematis. Not only will they help you transform your garden quicker but they’re also great options for anyone on a budget.
For the very best results, try and find the most mature plant possible. If you’re looking for a more unique idea, you could opt for a living wall instead.
You can easily create a living wall by hanging trailing plants from your fence or wall. This is a less popular idea but one that will give your garden a beautiful appearance. Vertical planting works well in most gardens, but it works particularly well in smaller spaces.
This is because it allows you to fit more plants in your garden without taking up all the floor space. You can then use the rest of your garden for other things, for example, creating an outdoor cooking area.
Similar to upcycling, getting thrifty is a great way to bring more furniture to your garden without having to spend big. Like upcycling, being thrifty will allow you to find used furniture, tools, containers, and more.
For those of you that don’t know what thrifty means, let us explain. Someone that is thrifty is essentially someone that’s good at saving money. They often don’t waste money on unnecessary things and have a good eye when it comes to finding bargains.
In terms of transforming a garden, you could be thrifty by scouring flea markets, thrift stores, and your neighborhood for any used garden furniture that people don’t want.
You might have to spend a little bit to buy the things you find, but you’ll save a lot more money than if you bought things brand new. Aside from saving you money, getting thrifty also gives you the opportunity to personalize your garden with one-of-a-kind pieces.
This is perfect for you if you want to transform your garden into something more unique. The one downside of getting thrifty though is that you might not always find what you want. You might have to make some compromises and change your garden plan based on what you find.
There are lots of thrifting tips you need to know to get thrifty. We’ve listed some of the most important below!
- Familiarize yourself with your local thrift stores.
- Know what you’re looking for.
- Check out thrift stores regularly.
- Check that prices are fair before you buy.
- Don’t be afraid to do some DIY to fix up what you find.
Start Plants By Seed
Buying nursery-grown plants might save you time and require less care than seeds but they do come at an extra cost. Therefore, we recommend starting plants by seed if you want to bring more vibrance to your garden without blowing your budget.
Buying seeds online or at your local garden center will cost you a lot less than buying a nursery-grown plant, but that’s not the only reason you should want to plant seeds instead. Buying seeds also provides you with much more variety.
More often than not, the online seed market has a much larger variety of seeds to choose from than garden centers. Most garden centers have a smaller collection of plants to choose from when they’ve already been grown.
Learning how to plant seeds is also relatively straightforward so you shouldn’t have any trouble bringing more vibrance to your outdoor space. If you’re keen to transform your garden into something more unique, why don’t you purchase seeds that will grow into something more spectacular?
Your garden will quickly become the talk of the neighborhood. The only issue you might have if you’re new to buying seeds is finding somewhere to buy them. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
Two reliable websites you can buy affordable seeds from are Territorial Seed and Baker Creek Seeds. Both of these seed companies have thousands of seeds to choose from, most of which are sold at a low price.
Mirrors don’t only have to be used in the house. They can also be used outdoors to transform an outdoor space. Mirrors are usually used by interior designers to make a smaller room look bigger.
We can do exactly the same in a small garden. This handy trick can be used to make your small garden look much bigger than it actually is. Depending on the type of mirror you choose, this is also a neat way to bring more style and charm to your garden.
Super simple, all you have to do is find the mirror you like and hang it somewhere convenient. Generally speaking, the best place to hang a mirror outdoors is on a shed.
If you don’t have a shed, hanging your mirror from a wall or fence should be fine too. Aside from adding an interesting element to your garden, mirrors can also make your garden brighter.
Mirrors will help natural light bounce around your garden. This reflection is extremely beneficial for darker and shadier gardens.
You can purchase budget-friendly mirrors online or save money by upcycling an old indoor mirror. Alternatively, you could get thrifty and find a bargain from your local stores or neighbors.
It may sound obvious but it’s worth noting that the bigger the mirror, the more light it will bring to your garden.
Create A Focal Point
Almost all the best gardens have some form of focal point. Whether it be a large tree, a unique plant, or a decking area, a focal point in your garden can be anything that catches the viewer's eye.
The beauty of this garden transformation tip is that you can spend as little or as much as you like on it. If you have a larger budget, you can buy something more expensive to impress visitors with.
If you have a smaller budget, you can simply use more affordable ideas to create a focal point. One of our favorite garden focal point ideas is a tree or unique plant. This is something that immediately captures the attention of anyone that passes by your garden.
Other focal point ideas include a miniature water feature, colorful planters, and furniture. A focal point will add a touch of whimsy and uniqueness to your garden that separates it from other gardens.
We’d also just like to say that a focal point doesn’t have to be one thing. You could quite easily place a collection of plants in the center of your garden, create a flower bed, or even create an outdoor BBQ area.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what you like best and how much money you have to spend.
Once you’ve found your focal point, you could use a small pathway or walkway to lead your guests to it. This is an epic idea that only enhances the overall aesthetic of your garden.
Glow Up Your Shed
To many people, a shed might seem like a convenient space to store things and nothing else. However, it can actually be an excellent outdoor space and something you can use to transform your garden into a stunning space.
If you have an old shed in your garden, consider giving it a makeover to create a stylish space that can be enjoyed by the whole family. You could even make a unique outdoor work-from-home space.
A beautifully renovated shed gives you more space to kick back and relax during the summer months. This transformation tip might sound like an expensive idea but you can bring your shed to life with a deep clean and a pot of paint.
The key to glowing up your shed is to use the right colors. Ideally, you’ll want to use a pale, light-reflecting color to paint the interior of your shed as this will help you open the space up and make it feel brighter. Your shed will also feel roomier.
You could start with a softer coat of off-white paint to create a more neutral backdrop before then adding splashes of yellow to give the shed more warmth and vibrance. For the exterior of your shed, we recommend soft blue or a muted shade of pale gray.
Once painted, you could use your upcycling skills to fill your shed with furniture. You could also use your thrifty skills to find some bargains that will enhance the look of your shed. Simple things like rugs and photo frames all make a shed look nicer.
Make A Statement With Color
We would argue that the easiest way to transform your garden is to add color. A simple lick of paint or a vibrant flower bed is usually all it takes to transform a garden into a beautiful outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy.
If you can make a statement with color, even better. You don’t have to go crazy when trying to make a statement with color. You don’t have to pick the brightest colors either. In fact, simply using colors that complement each other can make a garden look great.
To turn heads, we recommend making a statement feature wall with a bold color and a vibrant flower bed. All you need to do this is some bold paint and flower seeds.
The only difficulty you might face when making a statement with colors is finding the right colors. This can be tricky but a color wheel can help.
A color wheel is a handy tool that gardeners can use to create a complementary garden palette. Based on three primary colors, yellow, red, and blue, we can come up with a color plan that will ensure our garden looks as best as it can.
A full-color wheel resembles a rainbow. Warm colors are towards the red part of the wheel, and cold colors are found towards the green part of the wheel. You can use this free tool to effortlessly maximize the impact different colors have in your garden.
You’ll never need to worry about picking colors that don’t work well together ever again.
Consider Adding A Solo Stove
For thousands of years, fires have drawn people in. Whether they be used to keep us warm, cook food, or simply provide a relaxing atmosphere, you could add a fire to your garden to create a more special place.
While simple campfires work well, they do have shortcomings. For example, they have to be maintained to keep them going and the smoke can become too intense. With that in mind, you should consider adding a Solo Stove to your garden.
A Solo Stove is a sleek and stylish fire pit that produces smoke-free flames. Adding a Solo Stove gives you and your guests the perfect place to relax in the evening.
You can kick back by the fire, enjoy something to eat, and catch up with your friends. Aside from being a practical addition to your garden, a Solo Stove makes a great focal point.
It could be argued that nothing looks better in a garden at night than a roaring fire. You will have to use some of your budget to buy a Solo Stove but you could always look for a second-hand one instead.
This could save you some valuable money to spend on other things in your garden. It’s also worth knowing that most Solo Stoves are portable, so you could even take it camping or move it around the garden to see where it looks best.
Consider Adding A Louvered Roof For Your Patio Or Deck
There are several different ways to cover a backyard patio or decking area but a louvered roof is one of the best. A louvered roof is designed to offer protection from the elements, making it easier for you to enjoy your garden in harsher weather conditions.
For example, a louvered roof will keep your patio or decking area dry when it's raining and cooler when it’s scorching outside. However, that’s not all a louvered roof offers.
Louvered roofs also create a more appealing visual definition for your garden. With all of this in mind, a louvered roof is a solid option if the design and architecture of your garden are important.
Why a louvered roof we hear you ask! Well, a louvered roof offers more flexibility and versatility. They are usually cheaper to install than other types of patio and decking roofs too.
This innovative structure could also help you create that focal point we were discussing earlier. Using a louvered roof, you could create a stunning outdoor kitchen and dining area that can be used all year round.
It doesn’t matter how wet or how hot it is, you’ll stay comfortable under your louvered roof. This is a more expensive garden transformation idea but it is well worth the money if you have a slightly bigger budget.
Transforming your garden into the perfect outdoor space becomes a lot easier when you know how to invest smartly. Just like when decorating the interior of your home, you need to make smart investments when rejuvenating your garden.
If you don’t invest your budget smartly, you’ll quickly run out of money and find yourself with a garden that simply doesn’t live up to expectations.
When looking for backyard ideas on a budget, it is good practice to identify one element you want to invest in. This will help you create the garden you’ve been dreaming of. It will also ensure that you create a space that can be used for years to come.
You might want to consider spending a little bit extra on a fire pit or piece of furniture that you’ll use all year round. You can then continue to transform the rest of your garden with more affordable, budget-friendly ideas.
For example, you might install a new seating area before then using more affordable pillows and string lights to complete the area.
If you want to create the best space possible, investing smartly is crucial. There will come a time when you might need to spend a little bit more of your budget on one thing than another.
By planning your finances efficiently, you’ll be able to spend all the money you need to create the exact garden you want.
That concludes our guide showing you how to transform your garden on a budget. As you can see, there are numerous ways to make your garden look spectacular on a budget. While some methods cost more than others, there’s a huge range of different things we can do to transform our gardens without breaking the bank.
From upcycling furniture to vertical planting, how you choose to transform your garden is up to you. Of course, it also depends on your budget. Either way though, we’ve given you all the ideas you need to create a special outdoor space.
Now all you have to do is decide how you're going to transform your garden. You can’t go wrong with any of the ideas we’ve looked at so don’t be afraid to try different things and see what you like best.
You might even want to start with all the free garden transformation ideas to see what you think. Who knows, your garden might simply need a good spring clean and declutter.