How to Transform a Garden on a Budget

By   | Last Updated :   June 17, 2021 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Everyone deserves to enjoy their garden, but there are lots of reasons why investing in your outdoor space might not be at the top of your priority list. If you want to transform your garden on a budget, here are our favourite ideas for creating a stylish space without splashing out.

Low-cost landscaping

When you’re looking to transform your garden on a budget, flowers are the best place to start. They’re inexpensive, beautiful and eye-catching, and a brilliant way to bring cheerful colour to a small space.

Container gardening

The most flexible and budget-friendly way to change your garden is to use containers for your flowers. They’re inexpensive to buy – especially if you source them from charity shops or car boot sales. Plus, if you’re feeling creative, you can even customise them yourself.

Container gardening allows you to reposition your plants whenever the mood takes you, and makes it easier to bring your garden with you (sort of), if you move house. You can nestle containers in existing flower beds, stack them on shelves or use them to fill empty corners of patios. We’ve got some container gardening style tips, as well as ideas for the best flowers and best vegetables to grow in containers.

a collection of pots filled with the best plants for container gardening

Green walls

Vertical gardening is another way to create a big impact without breaking the bank. Instead of spreading plants out across the ground, try attaching pots and/or climbing plants to a trellis or wire fence, to create a wall of greenery. Vertical gardens like this are a fantastic way to create privacy, too. Look for fast-growing climbers like clematis or wisteria to get your green curtain flourishing as quickly as possible.

DIY garden pallet ideas using salvaged pallets on the wall as plant racks


To make your money go further, consider growing edible plants. You can enjoy the spring and summer watching your crops develop, and then supplement your weekly shop come harvest time. Learn how to start your own vegetable garden with plants you can use for salads and roast dinners, as well as crops that can be pickled or preserved for later months.

With a bit of practice, growing an indoor herb garden or outdoor vegetable plot can result in fantastic yields that are much cheaper than supermarket shopping.

Cost-effective creativity

If you’ve exhausted your plant options but still want to give your garden a facelift, there are plenty of low-cost ways to do so.

Crack open the paint

A lick of paint can totally transform your garden on a budget. You can use any half-used tins to paint planters, pots, garden furniture and sheds to give them a fresh, uniform appearance. If you can afford to supplement the colours you already have lying around, look for sample-sizes to paint accents.

A tin of outdoor paint can also have a surprisingly dramatic impact on your outdoor space. For example, painting an incredible monochrome mural on a fence, or painting tiles on a concrete patio.

Budget-friendly decorative items

If you only have a little bit of money to spend on a garden revamp, it’s important to stretch it as far as possible. Look for large areas that could be covered or decorated to make the biggest impact. For example, investing in an outdoor rug and a couple of matching cushions to upgrade your seating area.

Lighting – especially string lights and fairy lights – can be another inexpensive way to make your garden look totally different. Hang solar-powered bulbs from trees and fencing, or buy a couple of statement lanterns to make your patio feel more cosy after dark.

Salvage for success

Sourcing furniture for your garden can be fun and inexpensive if you know where to look. With a bit of patience, second-hand stockists and reclaim/salvage yards are amazing places to find unique furniture at low prices. As long as you don’t mind a bit of upcycling, the furniture from charity shops or flea markets is perfect for stripping, repainting and using to display plants or garden decor.

a raised planter made from reclaimed railway sleepers filled with edible plants

Reclaim yards are particularly good for raw materials that you can DIY into practical structures, like railway sleepers or wooden pallets. The trick is to go with a rough idea of what materials would be useful, but also with an open mind about where you might find them.

Charity shops and car boot sales are ideal for bric-a-brac to use as garden decor, like candle holders, garden ornaments, picture frames and mirrors. Again, the items you find don’t have to be perfect – a lick of paint can modernise them to fit a more current aesthetic if they’re dated.

a row of tea light candles in jam jars

Unusual pieces make ideal garden focal points. A vintage bicycle looks amazing covered with flowers in a front garden, or how about this furniture set made from old barrels? Building furniture out of pre-loved items gives you a totally unique garden at an incredibly affordable cost.

round seats made from barrel parts are sat around a low table, made from an barrel cut in half

Other unusual ways to transform your garden on a budget

Take a look at some of our other posts that offer out-of-the-box inspiration that you might find useful if you want a chic garden without breaking the bank:


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    By Kirsteen Mackay

    Kirsteen is a professional writer who traded a tiny garden for an even smaller balcony when she moved to Brighton in 2015. Her interest in gardening stems from a keen desire to turn her simple slab of concrete into a lush urban oasis, complete with cosy-but-practical garden furniture and delicious edible plants.

    View All Posts By Kirsteen Mackay »

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