Many of us trawl places like Pinterest to draw inspiration, but are often left feeling deflated. These backyards look fantastic, sure, but they’re also prohibitively expensive. How will you ever afford to transform your garden?
Well, it’s possible. All you need is a little creativity, some DIY ideas (that’s what we’re here for!), and a whole lot of elbow grease. Effort, patience, and a nudge in the right direction is often all you need to make some significant changes.
Best of all, these are all budget-friendly. Some won’t even require your credit card details at any point. Let’s go!
People have a love-hate relationship with artificial lawns, but we love them. There are pros and cons with artificial grass, of course, but we reckon you may end up loving the ‘fake’ stuff. We don’t have anything against going natural, but some situations are better off with artificial:
- Little to no maintenance. It looks beautiful, and you don’t need to lift a finger. No mowing, no water, no weeding, no expensive fertilizer. The initial investment isn’t on the high side, either, making this a nice low-cost solution.
- Environment. Plenty of places try to square peg grass into a round hole. For example, look at places like California, where people have large lawns in deserts. Artificial grass gives you the benefits of a lawn, but not the heavy environmental impact.
- No waiting. The real stuff takes a lot of time and patience. Artificial lawns, however, are plug-and-play. Something to enjoy with your family from day 1.
We’re huge fans of going vertical. They’re particularly useful for people who don’t have a lot of space, and have taken off in a big way in urban environments. The concept is simple: go up, instead of sideways. You can use a side of a wall, or a fence. Plant veggies, flowers, you name it. Instead of having an empty canvas, you’ll have a beautiful colorful space.
This video published by BBC News Africa perfectly encapsulates the idea. It shows the double benefit of vertical gardens, giving owners the chance to grow their own food, but also adding a fantastic visual element to their gardens (which research has shown to improve mental health!).
Vintage is all the rage this year, which makes this one a little more challenging to achieve. The trick is not to invest in ‘finished’ pieces, but those that need a little bit of TLC to reach their former glory.
Visit markets, car boot sales, and watch eBay like a hawk. Look for pieces that need a fresh lick of paint, those that won’t catch the eye of your average buyer. People can lack imagination, which means there are plenty of bargains to be had if you know what you’re looking for.
You want to focus on places where people don’t necessarily know the value of what they have. Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace are perfect for niche finds, but you will have to spend a fair amount of time on this. Flea markets and yard sales are also excellent avenues.
To begin with, focus on quality wood furniture. It will stand the test of time and a fresh lick of paint will do most of the heavy lifting, in terms of aesthetic value. Accents can change the entire vibe of the piece!
Feeling more creative? This blog post shows you the potential of upcycling random bits of material to build garden furniture from scratch. Careful, you may have found your new hobby!
Finally, Pick a Statement Piece
The ‘trick’ to an expensive-looking garden that’s been built on an affordable budget is to invest in a smart way. You don’t want to cut corners and have your garden look low quality or cheap. Instead, focus on a single piece or focal point where you actually spend a little money. Think about a nice hammock that can be your favorite snooze spot.
Another example is a freestanding fire pit that will draw the eye of the visitor. Statement furniture pieces will also look beautiful (get them second-hand, if possible). You can then surround these pieces with DIY elements, such as low-cost accents, like fairy lights, blankets, pillows, and other such decorations.
Remember, this space is yours. Don’t do it for others, but think about how you can combine the practical with the aesthetic. Your backyard isn’t a painting to admire, but a place to enjoy with family. It is possible to combine both, just churn those creative juices!