When it comes to landscaping, people have very different opinions on the subject.
Some people absolutely love it. They consider it great fun to customize and design their yards and to get them looking exactly like they want. Some people even enjoy landscaping so much that they change their lawns up several times a year.
Then, on the other hand, you have people who hate landscaping. They hire other people to do it for them if they can. And, if they can’t, they mope and complain about it and try to get the work done as quickly as possible.
Our Top 15 And Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas
No matter which camp you fall into or even if you fall somewhere in between, chances are you have one thing in common with all other landscapers. That “thing” is undoubted that you want cheap landscaping ideas.
That’s because, no matter how you feel about landscaping itself, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on it. And, luckily, you don’t have to, especially not if you take our advice to heart.
1. Use An Old Tub As a Planter
If you have ever browsed through a garden store, chances are that you have seen very expensive planters, often priced at as much as a hundred dollars or more.
And, while those planters may be nice, it’s a lot more fun and a lot cheaper to do something different and unique for a planter.
In fact, one of our favorite planter ideas is to turn an old bathtub into a planter. Not only does this fun idea make for a great conversation piece, but, believe it or not, tubs are actually pretty darn effective as planters.
To start with, they’re strong and durable. Plus, in most cases, the walls are high enough and thick enough to keep out unwanted critters and pests.
Of course, you shouldn’t go out and buy a new tub for this purpose. That definitely wouldn’t fit into the “cheap” category.
However, if you have an old tub or if you can get one secondhand or even free (check out old hotels and thrift shops!), this is a fun, cheap idea that also helps to reduce waste and help the environment in the process. Talk about a win-win for everyone!
2. Line Your Flower Beds With Stone
Do you have flower beds that look a bit drab? If so, you’re probably searching for a fun, easy, and affordable way to make them more interesting and attention-grabbing.
If that’s the case, then look no further than a bag of garden stones, or even rocks that you find yourself.
Rocks and stones can be the perfect way to line a garden or flowerbed and draw attention to it. You can keep the stones au naturel for a rustic look, or you can paint or decorate them for fun that’s a bit more whimsical.
Whether you buy your rocks or find them and whether you pretty them up or not, you’ll find this is a super cheap and super effective way to liven up your yard.
3. Go For a Ground Cover
When you think of cheap landscaping ideas, you probably don’t think of adding in a whole new “flooring” type to your yard.
And, while we can admit that adding in a ground cover may be costly upfront, we’ve included it on our list since it will save you so much money in the long run.
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With a ground cover, you won’t have to spend nearly as much money on water to water the grass. You also won’t have to hire anyone to mow your lawn or spend the money and energy required to do it yourself. You won’t have to buy fertilizer or anything else either.
With a ground cover, all of the work is pretty much done for you, which is a major relief, both in terms of the stress factor and in terms of how it affects your wallet!
4. Get Creative With Christmas Lights
You may have heard that it’s “tacky” to leave your Christmas light up all year long. However, we couldn’t agree less.
A strand of Christmas lights is a perfect, cheap way to add a bit of fun and whimsy to your landscaping design.
Of course, you probably won’t want to go for red and green or anything obviously Christmas-y. Otherwise, the neighbors might complain once Christmas is long past.
However, some clear lights or lights in a soft blue or another hue can be a perfect way to light up a garden path or draw attention to some lovely flowers that open at night.
In addition to being pretty and affordable, lights can also add much-needed illumination to otherwise unsafe areas and can even deter criminals and vandals since they’re more likely to be spotted with lights all around them.
5. Add a Fountain
We just love how fountains look (and sound!) in a yard. There’s just something about trickling water that has a calming, relaxing effect.
Sadly, though, many people never get to enjoy this since they think fountains have to cost a fortune.
And, while some of the more ornate ones might, there are plenty of cheap fountains at any home goods store. This is especially true if you shop in the winter, when these types of items tend to go on sale.
Time your shopping right and be willing to shop around and compare prices, and you can end up with a great yard fountain for much less than you ever thought possible!
6. Make a Compost Pile
Not all cheap landscaping ideas have to be about looks. Sometimes, you can save the most money just by doing simple, everyday landscaping tasks in a new way.
For example, if you regularly spend money on expensive potting soil, stop it! You can save a lot of money and do something nice for mother nature by starting your own compost pile.
That compost pile can then be used to create the perfect, nutrient-dense potting soil that doesn’t cost a dime.
7. Grow Your Own Vegetables
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If you don’t already have a vegetable garden as part of your landscaping design, what are you waiting for?
Growing vegetables is super easy. The seeds cost barely anything. In fact, they can be free if you can take them from vegetables you’re already eating!
Plus, what’s more is that you’ll grow food you can actually eat. This, in turn, will save you money on your grocery bill, which is even better than saving you money on your landscaping costs.
8. Create a Cute Path
Nothing looks cuter on a lawn than a nice little path. You can cut some stone to size to create a footpath. Or, you could repurpose old pieces of tile to turn into stepping stones.
You could even design your own little mosaics with old bits of broken glass and then turn those into stepping stones.
However, you do it, adding a path to your yard is a fun and affordable way to create visual interest and to make your yard stand out from the rest.
9. Break Out The Baby Plants
When most people decide to add bushes or other plants to their yard, they go out and buy mature plants to get a head start.
And, while there is nothing wrong with that per se, it’s not fiscally the smartest move.
You can often get baby plants, bushes, and flowers for a whole lot cheaper than the grown ones. They might not look as great, at least at first, but they eventually will with a little love and care from you.
And, not only will you have the satisfaction of being responsible for their maturation, but you’ll also get plants that will live longer since they are younger and fresher to start with.
10. Give a Kid Some Summer Work
If you hate landscaping so much that you regularly hire professionals to handle the work for you, you may want to rethink that move.
Sure, professionals are great, but they cost a fortune.
You’re much better off finding a college or high school kid who doesn’t mind doing some landscaping or yard work for a little extra money.
Just make sure you choose someone responsible and with at least a little experience. Otherwise, you might end up spending more fixing the damage done than you would have spent on hiring a professional.
11. Use Artificial Flowers
While most of us may love to have beautiful, blooming meadows, it can be difficult to maintain them. If you find yourself lacking either time or the patience to grow and maintain beautiful plants, flowers and shrubs around your yard, you can always opt for the artificial ones. Nowadays, companies create them to look so realistic that you wouldn’t know the difference unless you touch them. A professional can come over and help you set up your yard to look like a magical wonderland of flowers.
12. Creating Contrasts
One of the looks you can go for in your garden is to try and achieve a heavy, contrasted look. This not only brings out the beauty of each and every item in your yard but will also create a bright effect. For example, if you are going to plant red flowers, opt for bushes or shrubs which have a golden or yellow hue in them. This will not only make your bright red flowers stand out even more but will create a rich contrast and make your landscape look that much more beautiful.
13. Use Vases
While it is not common to find vases and containers being used in yards, you can always incorporate this idea into your landscaping ideas. Instead of simply planting flowers all around your yard, place some of them in jugs, jars, vases and containers at strategic positions in your garden. You can also buy plain-looking containers and paint them on your own as part of your DIY project. Add a splash of color to an otherwise dull-looking driveway by decorating the sides with your hand-painted containers.
14. Geometric Patterns
When it comes to aesthetics, all you need to do is get it right by following the basic rules of symmetry. In the case of pavers and ground covers, opt for installing them in a specific geometric design. This monotony of geometric shapes and textures can create an amazing effect when looked at overall. You can place the same idea when planting your flowers and grass. Instead of scattering the seeds all over, place them in straight, geometric patterns so that they grow in a certain specific pattern, adding that much more depth and beauty to your landscape.
15. Plant Perennials
This landscaping idea can be an ultimate budget saver as well as being very low maintenance for you. Instead of planting annuals, which are plants that bloom only for one season and then perish, opt for perennials that will continue to bloom year after year. This way, you do not need to constantly be on the hunt for new plants for your landscape every year, and you will need to do the minimum maintenance to keep your yard looking as lively as ever. Some of the perennial flowers you can opt for are veronica, sage, coneflower, baptisia, etc.
Those were some of the easiest ideas that can be incorporated into your landscape to ensure that you have a beautiful and lively yard, ready to greet all your guests.
Try To Have Fun With It
As you can see, there are all kinds of affordable landscaping ideas that you can try for your lawn.
Even if you don’t love landscaping, our advice, when it comes to being frugal, is to try and have a good time with what you’re doing. Get creative. Experiment. Try new things.
In the end, it will eventually pay off in the form of an awesome yard that you can be proud of.
And, if you make a mistake or two along the way, don’t sweat it. Chalk it up to a learning experience and try again!