24 Ideas for Decorating a Garden or Yard 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 Yard on a Budget

Last update: 04 May, 2024

If you’re on a budget but would still like to decorate your garden or yard, have no fear: there are countless ways to do this without breaking the bank. All you need is a little creativity, time, and the desire to transform your space into something spectacular. And do you want to know the best part? Many of the ideas we’re going to share here can be done without the help of a professional.

The importance of a yard or garden

In ancient times, many houses featured various spaces: meeting rooms, game rooms, indoor and outdoor gardens, yards, kitchens, dining rooms, and more. Although today the square footage of most homes has been reduced, there are still those who have a small outdoor space. When cared for, these places can be used as the perfect places to relax and rest while enjoying the benefits of contact with nature.

According to research, this contact provides several important benefits:

  • It improves mood.
  • It decreases stress levels.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • It helps in the management of sleep disorders.
  • It improves the functioning of the lungs and heart.
  • It lowers blood pressure.

Working in gardens also helps older people stay active. In fact, 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 your garden or yard on a budget

Enjoying a comfortable, cozy, and beautiful exterior is possible. Fortunately, the job can be easier than you think. You can achieve spectacular results while adding a truly personal touch to these spaces without spending too much money. Here are some of the best ideas for decorating a garden or yard 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 and textures. Also, you can use or combine stones according to their size. Smaller stones, for example, go better in pots or along trails.

2. Logs, wood, and sawdust

There are other natural elements that can be used to decorate your garden in a simple and budget-friendly way. For example, you can take an old log, carve it open and fill it with soil use 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.

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 supports. This will create a more vibrant, dynamic feeling in your garden. 

You can take advantage of natural slopes or mounds in your garden or yard or even make them yourself. You can also implement levels form of terraces, which will help you make better use of water for watering the plants.

4. Layer your plants

You can also achieve a similar effect if you plant plants that are different heights, which creates the sensation that the space is larger and deeper. Flowers, shrubs, bushes, and small trees can all be planted in layers near each other to create a more textured look.

5. Hanging pots

Hanging pots are another excellent idea to decorate a garden or yard on a budget. Not only is it a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive pots and structures, but it also allows you to make the most of the space. 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 tend to droop.

6. Pots with volume

On the other hand, if you have a lot of space but not much money, you can plant in large, barrel-shaped pots. Many objects can be used for these, from old barrels to crates.

What plants should you use? We suggest bougainvillea or trinitaria. Their showy flowers (which come in white, fuchsia, lilac, yellow, or orange) are truly one-of-a-kind.

7. A tree garden

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.

It’s important to remember that whatever you plan around the tree needs to grow well in the shade.

8. Decorated trees

Christmas isn’t the only time to decorate a tree. You can also add a special touch to the trees in your garden or yard by placing garlands, lights, or birdhouses.  

9. Ivy

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

10. Other climbers

There are other climbing species, such as honeysuckle 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. The best part about it: it’s an excellent budget-friendly plant to decorate your garden or yard.

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

11. Pallet planters

An excellent alternative for budget-friendly garden decoration is planters made of wood pallets or crates. They’re cheap, easy to work with, and very versatile.

For example, you can build around the base of your trees, make rectangular planters for your vegetables, or even build vertical planters for small pots.

12. Fences and barriers

Another option for decoration is a small fence. This is very useful if you have a dog, as it prevents them from digging up your plants. You can use budget-friendly materials to build your fence and paint it based on your preferences.

13. Paths

Paths can be used to provide a means of circulation, help visitors avoid stepping on plants, and separate different areas in your garden or yard. Among the options of materials for this, you have flagstones, gravel, pebbles, sand, and clay.

You can also place plants along them. A tip: the more winding and uneven the paths, the more natural they will look.

14. Change up the colors

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

15. Create 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’d like, you can leave a special space in the garden or yard for cacti. But remember: some species need to get enough lots of sunlight while other don’t require as much.

Piedra y cactus para un jardín con poco presupuesto
Stones and pebbles go great with cacti and create a desert style.

16. Create a simple zen garden

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

17. Make a budget-friendly rest area

A garden or yard isn’t just plants. It’s also a place for you to relax, so don’t forget to create a rest area! You can install a small bench, hammock, or swing and use recycled materials to make them.

18. Got for a rustic look when it comes to ground cover

In areas designated for gathering with family or friends, the floor can be made of cement, stone, or pieces of wood, or whatever materials you can find. The more rustic the look, the better, since it’s also often more budget-friendly.

19. Cane roofs

Similarly, you can add a small cane roof to this area for some protection from the sun or rain. It’s advisable to use materials such as cane for this, since it’s more budget-friendly and natural.

20. A rustic wooden wall

A rustic back or corner wall using wood or natural clay creates the feeling of a forest cabin or mountain grotto. This is another inexpensive idea for decorating a garden or yard.

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, and you can often find pieces at thrift stores.

Maderas y piedra para decorar un jardín con poco dinero o presupuesto
Pallet wood can be used to create divisions and differentiated sectors.

22. Reed mats

As a complement to the furniture, you can also place mats on the ground. Mats 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. Bur remember: all you need is a little, since it’s more cozy and natural this way. You can install lights at the base of trees or string them across the branches or paths. If they’re rechargeable bulbs with solar light, all the better – you’ll save on electricity and wiring costs.

24. Reuse and recycle

Finally, countless old or secondhand objects can be given a second life in your garden or yard and give it a real vintage touch: a ladder, a bicycle, or a wheelbarrow are great for this. A broken clay pot can be a decorative element and even a pair of boots that you no longer use can work.

Make the most of these ideas for decorating your garden 

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

To implement these alternatives, you can do most of the work yourself. This is also an important factor to consider when it comes to saving costs. In addition, it will make the experience of decorating your space all the more satisfying! Finally, doing the work yourself is also a greater guarantee that everything will be exactly as you want it to be. After all, the goal is to create a space that allows you to enjoy the outdoors and the pleasure of being at home at the same time.

So what are you waiting for? Give these decor ideas a try!

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.

  • Gil-Albert Velarde, F. (2008). Programación y organización de los trabajos de jardinería y restauración del paisaje. Madrid-España: Paraninfo.
  • 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.