24 Ideas for Decorating a Garden or Patio on a Budget

On a budget but still want a beautiful garden? We've got the best tips for decorating a garden while on a budget.
24 Ideas for Decorating a Garden or Patio on a Budget

Last update: 06 June, 2023

There’s a wide variety of ideas to decorate a garden or patio with little money. So, having a limited budget is no longer an excuse!

The only thing you need is creativity, time, and willingness to make these spaces in your home more comfortable. And the best thing is that many of the ideas we’re going to propose in this article can be done by yourself, without needing to hire a professional.

The importance of a garden

In ancient times, houses had different places to enjoy inside them: meeting rooms, game rooms, indoor and outdoor gardens, patios, kitchens, dining rooms, and more. It practically wasn’t necessary to go outside to relax.

Although today the square footage of homes has been reduced due to costs, there are still those who have a small outdoor space. Well cared for, these places can be used as places to relax and rest, enjoying the benefits of contact with nature.

According to research, contact with nature brings several important benefits:

  • It improves mood.
  • It decreases our stress levels.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • It helps in the management of sleep disorders.
  • It improves cardiac and pulmonary function.
  • It lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

Working in gardens also helps older people stay active. Scientific studies have even linked gardening to a lower rate of osteoporosis.

We think you may also enjoy reading this article: How to Safely Eliminate Crickets or Grasshoppers from Your Garden

24 ideas for decorating a garden or patio with little money.

Enjoying a comfortable, cozy, and beautiful exterior is possible. Fortunately, the job can be easier than you think.

You can achieve spectacular results while giving a personal touch to these spaces. Here are the best ideas for decorating a garden or patio with little money.

1. Stones and boulders

You can place stones and boulders in both planters and paths. They can also be used to delimit the space between different plants.

Take advantage of different colors: red, white, and dark tones. Also, use or combine according to size. Smaller stones, for example, go better in pots.

2. Logs, wood, and sawdust

There are other natural elements that can be used to decorate your garden in a simple and economical way. For example, you can take an old log, open a channel along it and fill it with soil, using it as a planter.

You can also place some pots on top of the logs. Another option is to add wood shavings at the base of a tree or in a pot. If you color them a little, they will look more vibrant.

3. Add different levels or tiers

Place plants at different levels. Some can be at ground level, some in planters, some in pots on stairs or on supports. This will create a more colorful feeling of a less flat garden.

And if there are slopes or mounds in the yard, or you make them yourself, you can plant in the form of terraces, which will help you make better use of water for watering the plants.

4. Take advantage of different heights

You will achieve the same effect if you plant plants of different heights, which will even create the sensation that the space is larger or deeper. In this sense, place a ribbon or support; then, one of the small flowers, such as petunias; and behind, some shrub, such as laurel or plumbago.

5. Hanging pots

Hanging pots are another idea to decorate a garden or patio with little money. Not only is it an economical alternative, but it also allows you to make the most of the space; even in a hallway it works. The ideal plants for this are ferns.

Maceta colgante de fresas para decorar un jardín con poco espacio
Hanging planters make the most of the small space and look great with plants that have a tendency to droop.

6. Pots with volume

On the other hand, if you have a lot of space, but little budget, you can plant in voluminous, barrel-shaped pots.

What plants should you use in this case? We suggest bougainvillea or trinitaria. Its showy flowers (white, fuchsia, lilac, yellow, or orange) decorate it like a few others.

7. A tree stand

If you have a relatively large tree or shrub in your yard, you can create a mini-garden at its roots. Add a little more soil, like a small mountain, and plant around it.

Of course, they have to be shade plants.

8. Decorated trees

We tell you that not only Christmas trees are decorated. You can also add a special touch to those in your garden, placing garlands or a little house for the birds. And if you have a little more to invest, make a small circle to sit and enjoy the shade and freshness.

9. Ivy

Ivy covering a back wall creates a very attractive and soothing decorative effect. But you have to be patient with this. Ivy grows between 10 and 20 centimeters per year.

10. Other climbers

There are other climbing species, such as malanga or pothos. The latter prefers shade, so you can plant it at the foot of a tree. It’s a beautiful sight in its splendor. T

he best part about it: it is an excellent idea to decorate your garden or patio with little money.

Like this article? You may also like to read: Learn 5 Benefits of Gardening for Your Mental and Emotional Health

11. Pallet planters

A good alternative is planters made of wood pallets or pallets; they’re the bases used to store heavy loads. They’re cheap, easy to work with, and very versatile.

For example, you can build a cajete for the base of trees, make rectangular planters for vegetables, and even vertical planters for small pots.

12. Fences and barriers

Another option with dunnage is a small fence. This is very useful if you have a dog, as it prevents it from digging up the plants. You can paint the fences with different colors, from white or green to bright orange.

13. Paths

Paths can be used both to circulate, avoid stepping on plants, and separate areas. Among the options of materials for this, you have flagstones, gravel, pebbles, sand, and clay.

You can also place plants along them, such as the aforementioned ribbon. And the more sinuous the paths, the more natural they will look, like a path in the forest!

14. Separation by color

Create different zones in the garden by planting plants by color. You can also do this with flowers or pots. But you don’t have to buy new ones: change the color, using chalk paint.

15. A desert garden

If you live in a hot area or love succulents, make a desert garden. There are many varieties to choose from, as well as ways to combine them.

If you wish, leave a space in the yard for cacti. But remember: some species should get enough sun and others not so much.

Piedra y cactus para un jardín con poco presupuesto
Boulders combine with cacti and create a desert style.

16. A zen garden

If you’re into minimalist trends or Buddhism, a zen garden may be right up your alley. It only requires gravel or pebbles and stones. No watering is needed; although you do need to keep it clean.

17. A rest area

Since the garden is not only for the plants, but also for you to enjoy, do not forget to leave a rest area. Install a small bench or, better yet, a hammock or swing.

18. Rustic floors

In the garden areas reserved for gathering with family or friends, the floor can be made of cement, stone with mortar or ceramic, or marble pieces. The more rustic the look, the better it will go with the natural air. Also, the construction work will be cheaper.

19. Cane roofs

Similarly, in this area you can add a small roof, both to be in the sunny hours and on rainy days. It is advisable to use materials such as cane, since it’s more budget-friendly and natural.

20. A rustic wall

A rustic back wall, in some corner, using wood or making the frieze with natural clay, creates an air of a cabin in the forest or mountain grotto. This is another inexpensive idea for decorating a garden or patio.

21. Thrifty furniture

Of course, try incorporating a little garden furniture for enjoying breakfast or afternoon tea. This furniture is also made from wooden pallets or even tires. In this regard, there are many good, colorful, and budget-friendly ideas.

Maderas y piedra para decorar un jardín con poco dinero o presupuesto
Pallet wood is used to create divisions and differentiated sectors in the garden.

22. Reed mats

As a complement to the furniture, you can place mats on the floor. Those made with reeds and other natural materials are the most recommended, both for their cost and for the fact that they go better with a rustic or country decoration.

23. Basic lighting

To enjoy the garden at night, a little lighting is needed. Just a little is all you need, since it’s more cozy and natural.

Install light points in the trunks and, if it’s of rechargeable bulbs with solar light, much better. You save on electricity and wiring costs.

24. Reuse and recycle

Several old objects that you no longer use can have a second life in the garden, giving a vintage touch: a ladder, a bicycle, or a wheelbarrow to put pots. A clay pot can be a decorative element and even a pair of boots that you no longer use.

Make the most of these ideas for decorating your garden

There are many good ideas to decorate a garden or patio with little money. They help you with the aesthetics while making the most of the space you have.

To implement these alternatives that we have proposed, you can do most of the work yourself. This is also a factor to consider when it comes to saving costs. In addition, what’s done with your own effort usually produces greater satisfaction.

And of course, it’s also a greater guarantee that everything will be exactly as you want it to be. After all, as we said at the beginning, the intention is to make a garden to enjoy the outdoors and, at the same time, the pleasure of being at home.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Hansen, M., Reo Jones, K., & Shinrin-Yoku, B. (2017). Forest bathing and nature therapy: a state-of-the-art review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, vol. 14(8), p. 851. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080851.
  • Kendall, A. (2008). Terrazas, una infraestructura agrícola como contribución a las estrategias de manejo de riesgos climáticos. XII Congreso de Historia Agraria. Córdoba, Argentina.
  • McGovern, S. (2016). The Ryôan-Ji zen garden: textual meanings in topographical form view all authors and affiliations. Sage Journals, Vol. 3(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1470357204045787
  • Turner, L., Bass, M., Ting, L., & Brown, B. (2002). Influence of yard work and weight training on bone mineral density among older u. s. women. Journal of Women & Aging, vol. 14(3-4), pp. 139-148. Doi: 10.1300/J074v14n03_09.
  • Wirth, P. (2007). Jardines. Las Palmas-Gran Canaria: Editorial Hispano Europea.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.