57 Simple Budget Garden Ideas UK (Modern, Easy & Cheap )

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garden ideas on a budget

The Ultimate List of UK Budget Garden Ideas

Who said garden transformations had to be costly? Not us! Revamping the garden is more than possible on a shoestring budget – it’s simply about getting creative!

If you’re after some inspiration, there’s no better place to start than the following list. We’ve put together some of the best and most affordable budget garden ideas to help you transform your garden into a space to be proud of. From charming upcycling projects, to impactful finishing touches, there’s something for everyone. 

Get ready to transform your garden and check out these 57 budget garden ideas

1. Create Affordable Decking with Upcycled Pallets


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A post shared by Rob Cooper (@coops_73)

Traditional timber decking isn’t cheap, but there is another option. Old wooden pallets can often be sourced for free and can be transformed into decking with some DIY know-how. The garden above perfectly demonstrates how effectively this can work. It’s one of the best ideas for garden landscaping on a budget. 

2. Label Your Vegetables with Old Corks


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A post shared by Auburn Road Vineyards (@auburnroadvineyards)

If you’re struggling to distinguish between your mint and your marjoram, why not try this fun idea and use old corks to mark different herbs in your garden. They look great and are a great way to recycle corks. Simply write the name of the herb using a permanent marker. 

3. Plant Lavender for Fragrance and Colour


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A post shared by 𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚣𝚎𝚗𝚊 𝙺𝚛𝚘́𝚕 (@marzena.kingdom)

A beautiful addition to any garden, lavender provides an instantly calming fragrance and a touch of colour. It can also repel mosquitos and flies, while attracting butterflies and bees! Lavender seeds can be picked up cheaply and, as a perennial, it’ll come back to your garden every year. 

4. Repurpose Empty Wine Bottles for Edging


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A post shared by Nikki (@niyo522)

Do your bit for the planet and add visual appeal to your flower beds by using empty wine bottles as edging material. Simply dig a trench and bury the bottles as deep as you like. If you’re looking to edge your garden on a budget, this is certainly one of the most creative ideas. 

5. Line Borders with Large Seashells


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A post shared by Kim Wilson (@sandandsisal)

Welcome a coastal theme to your garden by lining your flower beds or pathways with large seashells. Hit the beaches to find them yourself (for free!), or purchase them online.

As cheap back garden ideas go, this is an inexpensive way to add a nautical touch to your outdoor space. 

6. Add DIY Swings 


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A post shared by Grahn (@grahnska)

Use chunky rope and thick planks of wood to create modern-looking swings in the garden. This is one of the best budget garden ideas because many of these natural garden materials can be sourced cheaply, yet combine to create something with a high-end appearance.

7. Transform Tree Stumps into Tables and Chairs


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A post shared by INTERIOR DESIGNER, FURNITURE (@purplebox_interiors)

Eco-friendly, original and affordable, tree stumps create ingenious tables and chairs. They bring an enchanted feel and there are plenty of guides online to create garden furniture using tree stumps. 

8. Repurpose Old Furniture to Use as Planters


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A post shared by Charlie Morley (@charlie_morley_lucid_dreaming)

Pictured above is an old chest of drawers that has been transformed into a planter to be proud of! 

Adding a lick of paint or varnish to old furniture will give it a new lease of life. Alternatively, leaving furniture alone will help it retain its vintage feel. This is one of the best budget ideas for anyone who loves sourcing cheap second hand furniture!

Car boot sales and furniture-specific charity shops will be great places to look!

9. Create Hanging Planters


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A post shared by ManMadeDIY (@manmadediy)

It’s amazing what you can do with a few planks of wood and some rope – why not create a hanging garden that will instantly liven up a plain wall?

Fill the hanging pots with flowering bedding plants that will bring bright colour to your garden during spring and summer. 

Hanging planters are also a great option if you have a small garden as they don’t take up any floor space!

10. Use Gravel as an Affordable Decking Alternative


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A post shared by December Luna Interiors (@decemberlunainteriors)

When it comes to cheap garden ideas, it helps to be a bit flexible. Gravel is a budget-friendly, easy alternative to wooden decking (which often comes with a high price tag). Grid systems will hold the gravel in place so the surface is firm, allowing you to place furniture on top of it. It’s easy to lay and still suitably stylish – definitely a worthwhile idea to consider on a budget.

11. Jazz Up Your Space with Thrifted Accessories


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A post shared by Odds and Mends UK (@oddsandmendsuk)

Go to charity shops and car boot sales to find second hand wall decorations, plant pots and garden ornaments that will liven up your space. Play with patterns, styles, colours and textures to create a playful outdoor area that feels homely, as opposed to cheap. 

Get it right, and these little additions can make a huge difference to the overall feel of your garden.

12. Build a Budget Fire Pit


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A post shared by Payzant Home Hardware (@payzanthhbc)

A crackling fire is always well received on a chilly evening, keeping you and your friends cosy long after the sun goes down. Create your own fire pit with sand, fire bricks and regular bricks. This requires a little muscle power, but the results are worth it! Alternatively, you can easily buy a cheap or second hand fire pit without breaking the bank.

13. Make Your Own Pizza Oven


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A post shared by Jen Mouritz (@ipswichgarden)

If your budget doesn’t stretch to buying a pizza oven, but you can’t stop thinking about homemade wood fired pizza, why not make your own? Simple pizza ovens can be made using fire bricks, regular bricks and breeze blocks, all of which can usually be picked up cheaply at construction sites.

This is one of the best budget garden ideas if you’re someone who loves to entertain guests (or just loves pizza!).

14. Get Creative with Your Garden Pond


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A post shared by Sophie Devenish (Allen OLY) (@sophieswim92)

Installing a traditional garden pond can be costly, but budget ponds are definitely achievable! Pictured above is a totally unique garden pond, made using an old bathtub. Treat it just as you would a regular pond, just make sure there’s a way for wildlife such as hedgehogs to get out if they fall in.  

When it comes to budget garden ideas (like this one) there’s often a way to get what you want – you just have to think outside the box (or bath) a little!

15. Use Stencils on Flooring


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A post shared by OurSharedCorner / Lauren (@oursharedcorner)

Cheap garden ideas can definitely look premium if you’re happy to invest a bit of time in them. Liven up a dreary patio with paint and stencils.

Ensure the paint is suitable for outdoor use, then clean your patio, lay your patterned stencils and get painting. This is a budget-friendly way to update your garden, giving your patio a personal yet professional finish. 

16. Install a Wall Mounted Bar


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A post shared by Amy 🥰 (@thebarclayhome)

Dreaming of a bar in the garden but not sure your budget will stretch? There are still plenty of ways you can make a DIY garden bar on the cheap!

Why not take inspiration from the wall-mounted bar featured above. Bars like this can either be purchased cheaply or made from pieces of wood. It’s a simple idea, but wonderfully effective (and perfect for summer garden parties!).

Check out this excellent list of Garden Bar Ideas for more inspiration!

17. Add a Simple Splash of Colour


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A post shared by Thehousefanatics (@thehousefanatics)

Instantly update your outdoor space by adding a splash of colour; this is one of the simplest cheap garden ideas, yet it’s also one of the most effective.

You could paint your garden furniture set in turquoise as pictured above, or add a jazzy rug into the mix. Colourful planters always look good. The brighter, the better! One tin of bright paint will be enough to give your garden a fresh update.

18. Make Homemade Fertiliser and Feed


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A post shared by Grass Root NL 🌿🌵🌱 Mother / Daughter Duo (@grassroot.nl)

Buying plant fertiliser can add up. An effective homemade fertiliser can be made using a household staple – eggs! Save your egg shells and soak them in boiled water overnight. Strain the liquid and apply to your plants. This mixture is high in calcium which can benefit plants.

Another money-saving tactic is to start making fresh compost at home instead of buying it from garden centres. This savvy technique will save money over the years.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Composting for more details on how to get started at home.

19. Use an Old Ladder as a Planter


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A post shared by Poppy’s Farmstead 🌱Jenn (@poppysfarmstead)

The best budget garden ideas will involve repurposing items you already have/can acquire on the cheap. So, why not use an old ladder as a planter?

Affordable and rustic, a ladder planter allows you to make the most of your space by creating a vertical garden (for this reason, it’s also a great idea to incorporate into a small garden!). Load it with a few plants and brightly coloured flowers or turn it into a herb garden. 

20. Illuminate the Space with Fairy Lights


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A post shared by New Road New Project (@newroad_newproject)

Solar lights offer an affordable way to bring a soft glow to your garden. Ensure the ones you purchase are safe for outdoor use, then hang them between trees, your fence or across your pergola. With solar lights you can achieve an enchanting atmosphere for very little upfront cost.   

21. Give Dimension with a Mirror


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A post shared by Annette Christian (@annettechristian25)

A garden mirror can transform a backyard: they give dimension and can make a small garden look bigger too. Best of all, this is one of the easiest cheap garden ideas to achieve: you can easily find mirrors second hand, making them an affordable yet effective garden idea.

Fixing a mirror against your garden fence behind some greenery will give the illusion of a secret garden beyond the boundary.

22. Create a Path with Leftover Bricks


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A post shared by Long Hill Carriage (@longhillcarriage)

Using leftover garden materials is a great way to update your outdoor space on a budget. Old bricks can be sourced from construction sites and used to make rustic pathways. They can also be used to create borders around your plants. 

23. Grow Your Own Produce 


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A post shared by 👩🏻‍🌾 𝐁 𝐞 𝐜 (@homegrown_patch)

Use your garden as a way to save money on your weekly food shop. Grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables. The best low-maintenance veggies include courgette, beetroot, chillies, strawberries and carrots. If you’ve got the space, you might as well grow some edible crops – you’ll save yourself a few pounds at least! 

24. Use Old Guttering as Strawberry Planters


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A post shared by Next Level Garden & Home (@nextlevelgardening)

Old guttering has a range of uses, and one of the best ways to utilise it in the garden is by using it as a strawberry planter. The strawberries can be brought inside during the winter, and this cost-effective technique also makes the most of vertical space in your garden. 

25. Jazz Up Patios with Outdoor Rugs


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A post shared by Tamzin (@at_the_mcgillens)

Liven up a dreary patio with a jazzy outdoor rug. This is one of the best cheap garden ideas to draw focus to one area of your garden space, instantly updating your patio or decking. Go for bright colours, vibrant patterns, or both! 

26. Create Your Own Bird Feeder


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A post shared by Sheena’s Home Daycare (@sheenashomedaycare)

Make your garden a haven for birds by creating your own bird feeder or bird table. Pictured above is an upcycled egg carton, filled with bird seed and hung from a tree. Other DIY options include using empty plastic bottles, old crockery and mason jars. 

Put out some delicious bird food and wait for the birds to turn up!

27. Use a Shade Sail to Stay Cool


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A post shared by Hive Estates (@hiveestates)

A pergola or gazebo isn’t always feasible if you’re on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with scorching sunshine all day. A shade sail offers a cheap and easy way to bring shade to your garden. If you’re happy sewing, you could go as far as to make your own. 

28. Repurpose Old Tins


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A post shared by Air/Anurak Davis 🇦🇺 Perth (@charmingsucculents)

Old tins can be given a lick of paint and used as hanging planters – an industrial take on traditional hanging baskets. All you need to do is make a couple of drainage holes in the bottom. Painting tins will entertain the kids for an afternoon, and allows you to add a more personal touch to your garden. 

29. Use an Old Colander as a Planter


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A post shared by Flori (@flori.flowers)

In some hanging baskets, a lack of drainage can lead to root rot and cause plants to die. Luckily, there’s no need to worry about drainage when you embrace this creative and affordable idea: use an old colander to house bright bedding plants that will flower in spring and summers. 

30. Transform Walls with Murals


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A post shared by Petra 🎨 (@petra.painter)

A wall mural can instantly liven up a plain wall and it doesn’t need to cost a huge amount. If you’re a dab hand with a paint brush, have a go yourself. If you’re feeling very brave, get the kids involved. If you’d like a more professional finish, support a small business by finding a local mural artist (though, of course, this will cost more!).

31. Decorate with Fast Growing Climbing Plants


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A post shared by Lord Andy A-J (@andyaj60)

Fast-growing climbing plants can be used to transform gardens, and they good news is they generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. Climbing plants grow quickly and make a difference in a small amount of time. Climbing honeysuckle for instance, thrives in almost any garden soil type and prefers light shade. It produces an invitingly sweet scent in the summer months. 

32. Grow Your Own Plants from Seed


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A post shared by Julia (@grass.to.garden)

Purchasing plants outright can be expensive, but growing them from seed is a budget-friendly alternative. Ensure you get the timings right and provide ample heat and light to give your seeds a good start. 

Save seeds from flowering plants and plant them the following year to avoid even having to buy seeds in future.

33. Create a DIY Mud Kitchen for Kids


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A post shared by Lacey (@alifemoreorganized)

Boosting confidence, improving social skills and helping develop an appreciation for nature, there’s a lot of reasons to set up a mud kitchen for kids! Pictured above is a simple DIY mud kitchen, made from timber and loaded with accessories to entertain your kids for hours! 

If you want to build a mud kitchen in your garden, check out this excellent article on How to Build a Mud Kitchen: 4 Simple DIY Methods. It contains a step-by-step guide to making a mud kitchen from scratch, as well as some less-DIY-centred methods using old pallets and furniture.

34. Use Footballs as Planters


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A post shared by Caroline + Colin (@swimskybreathe)

One of the quirkier budget garden ideas – why not use old footballs as plant pots? It might not be for everyone, but this is a particularly useful garden design idea if you’ve got tired-looking sports equipment clogging up the garden shed

35. Highlight Plants by Painting the Fence


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A post shared by Rain Lily Design & Landscape (@rainlilydesign)

An awesome budget idea for the garden: paint a plain wall or fence in a colour that will make nearby plants pop. Both dark and neutral shades will make your plants stand out. Alternatively, paint fences in a colour that will contrast the plants – use a colour wheel for reference.  

36. Use Old Jars as Mini Planters


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A post shared by Justyna (@mysideof.motherhood)

Leftover jam jars or mason jars can be used to create adorable planters! Hang them on your garden fence as pictured above, or use them to dress your garden table or shelf. Cute, cost-effective and an ingenious way to get plenty of planters in a small garden.

37. Make Your Own Candle Holders


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A post shared by Donna • Home Decor • UK (@love.to.be.home)

Mason jars strike again: save pennies by making your own candle holders. These are a beautiful way to create cheap outdoor lighting.

Fill mason jars with decorative pebbles and tealights as pictured above, adding citronella or lavender oil to keep bugs at bay. 

You could even use battery-powered tea lights to make things easier.

38. Build a Rock Garden


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A post shared by Jaclyne Recchiuti (@jackyrecchiuti)

A rock garden is an eye-catching feature that can liven up any garden. All you need is a few feature rocks, some landscaping fabric and some rubble – all of which can be sourced cheaply. Low-maintenance alpine plants will complete the look. 

Take a look at this guide on How to Build a Garden Rockery for more ideas and inspiration.

39. Use a Retaining Wall to Maximise Seating


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A post shared by Matt Hiner (@the_yardist)

Instead of having to purchase individual chairs, you can simply add soft furnishings, like cushions, to a low wall to make it suitable for people to sit on. This is one of the best garden ideas for entertaining and it works particularly well with retaining walls.

40. Revamp Old Toys


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A post shared by Harvie Schreiber (@peppercornmcsmiley)

Kids grow up fast, and it can feel like a waste of money to get rid of all their old toys after they’ve outgrown them. Why not see what objects in the garden shed can be revamped into planters and outdoor décor?

41. Use Empty Bottles for Garden Lighting


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A post shared by PaperLanternStore (@paperlanternstore)

Bring a magical flair to your garden table by putting fairy lights into empty spirit or wine bottles. This garden lighting is easy to move to wherever you need it and is very easy to make. Lights with a corked battery compartment are very affordable and can be purchased online. They’ll just need to be kept somewhere watertight when not in use.

42. Choose a Colour Scheme


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A post shared by Risa (@spruceridgevintage)

Choose a colour scheme (perhaps based on existing plants that you already have) and source second-hand plant pots, vases and garden furniture that fit with the theme. This will make your garden feel like one cohesive space.

43. Give a New Lease of Life to Tyres


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A post shared by My green nest♥️ (@my_greennest1)

If you’ve got any old tyres around, either from old vehicles or swings, try hanging them from walls for a creative, unique way to decorate the garden. 

44. Refresh Pots with Paint


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A post shared by Mohini Singh | HomeDecor | DIY (@riseandshinefamily)

You don’t need to buy expensive new pots, or invest in ceramic containers, to get good looking planters. Instead, get creative with what you already have, or upcycle second-hand flower pots.

If you’ve got children, get them involved by allowing them to paint a pot in their favourite colour or (as pictured above) with their favourite superhero in mind! You could even let them take care of the potted plants that grow.  

45. Recycle an Old Wheelbarrow


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A post shared by Corner Copia Gardens (@cornercopiagardens)

Old wheelbarrows are often used as planters, giving a rustic feel that can’t be beaten. Flowering plants in wheelbarrows will evoke a country feeling and wheelbarrows also make the perfect spot for a herb garden. You could even paint the wheelbarrow first, if you like.

46. Use Old Wheels as Planters


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A post shared by Creative Gardening (@creative_gardening1)

In the image above, an old wagon wheel has been used to create a striking succulent garden. If a wagon wheel is hard to get hold of, bike wheels could also be used to similar effect.

47. Create a Fairy Home


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A particularly fun idea if you’ve got kids (but still worth considering even if you don’t!), garden trees can be decorated with doors and windows to create enchanting fairy grottos.

48. Utilise Old Pipes


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A post shared by TheRealtorPosts (@realtorposts)

Ok, so this budget garden idea requires a bit of DIY know-how, but there are loads of ways that it could be adapted depending on your strengths. Using old pipes and buckets can create a mesmerising wall feature for very little money.  

49. Use Wood-Effect Materials


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Save money by making smart choices if you’ve not got the budget for real wood: wood-effect materials are a great alternative. Wood-effect tiles are great for outdoor flooring, and faux rattan furniture offers much more longevity than real rattan.

50. Make Furniture From Pallets


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A post shared by BespokeBalconiesDXB (@bespokebalconiesdxb)

Create a bespoke and totally unique piece of garden furniture using old wooden crates and pallets. Building your own garden furniture from pallets is not only much cheaper, it also means you can create something that fits your garden layout perfectly. Use pallets to make a sofa, coffee table or even a low-level dining table. 

51. Think Outside the Box


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Gardens are a great place to get creative, and strategically-positioned flower beds can be used to make works of art. A planter on its side can give the impression that plants are ‘spilling’ out of it.

52. Repurpose Stoves & Fireplaces


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A post shared by Lynny s (@the_tiny_listed_end_terrace)

You might not have an old fireplace lying around, but if you’re lucky you’ll be able to find one online that someone is keen to get rid of (fireplaces are often pulled out during modern home renovations). You can incorporate it into the garden by using it as a planter. 

53. Use Pallets as Planters


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A post shared by Online Poundshop (@onlinepoundshop)

Is there no end to the versatility of the humble wooden pallet? For a rustic, country vibe, hang plant pots from wooden pallets to create an easy vertical garden.

To add a more personal touch, give them a lick of paint. This is an easy, budget-friendly way to add some rustic charm to your outdoor space. 

54. Repurpose an Unwanted Teapot


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A post shared by Djaanan (@deko_ideen_by_djaanan)

The trusty teapot can be used for more than just filling mugs with Britain’s National Drink! If you’ve got a spare teapot lying around, transform it into a hanging basket. Fill with colourful flowers like the pot pictured above to add some cutesy cottage-style to your garden. 

55. Even the Kitchen Sink!


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A post shared by Toolbox Divas (@toolboxdivas)

The phrase “everything but the kitchen sink” doesn’t apply to gardens – get one of those in there too! If you’ve recently renovated your home, or know someone who has, there might just be a kitchen sink lying around that can make an incredibly inventive planter.

56. Upcycle Old Jeans 


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A post shared by Decorbumps (@decorbumps)

This budget garden idea might not be to everyone’s tastes, but it’s certainly unique, creative and thrifty!

57. Put Your Best Foot Forward


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A post shared by Annie Guilfoyle (@guilfoyleannie)

A lot of garden designers have incorporated shoes into their work over the years. Shoes make striking planters, and you’ve probably got a few old pairs lying around already! 


How can I easily improve my garden on a budget? 

To improve your garden on a budget you should consider repurposing household items to create planters, feeders and garden edging. Tin planters, egg carton feeders and wine bottle edging will bring personal and eco-friendly finishing touches to your garden. 

For a more transformative effect, get your paintbrush out! Update your patio paving, garden shed, garden furniture, garden fences or anything else by painting them a brand new colour. Sunshine yellow or turquoise are some of the brightest and boldest options! 

As always, some good budgeting advice is to not buy anything unnecessary, so you could also save money by repurposing garden waste to make your own compost. Also, keep an eye out for any useful items that neighbours might be getting rid of. Neighbourhood social media groups can be good to keep an eye on for free stuff.

How can I improve my rented garden on a budget?

When renting, it’s important 1) not to make any permanent changes and 2) to ensure that any costly purchases are small enough to be taken with you if you move.

Choose a colour theme for the garden, whether that’s one specific colour, or something more general like “bright colours”. Invest in accessories and finishing touches in this colour scheme – they can be taken with you when you move and the same colour scheme can easily be transplanted to a new garden.

Another useful tip is to source items cheaply from second hand shops and boot sales. You can always donate these things back to charity shops when you move if you don’t want to take them with you.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice is: be sure to use planters for your produce and flowers. These can be taken with you if you choose to move so you don’t need to leave your plants behind.

Second hand items such as teapots, mason jars and empty spirit bottles can be used as planters for smaller brightly coloured flowers. 

What’s the cheapest way to pave a garden? 

Concrete is generally thought of as one of the most affordable options, with both poured concrete and concrete pavers marking good value for money. 

You could also pave a garden cheaply by using reclaimed patio slabs – paving that has been removed from someone else’s garden.

One of the most affordable ways to pave a garden is to get creative. You don’t need to pave an entire space for an eye-catching finish. You could pave a small corner, or use gravel instead of paving for a much cheaper alternative.

How can I make sure my budget garden doesn’t look cheap?

When working to a budget, there’s always a danger of things looking cheaply done. However, this doesn’t have to be the case – it’s very possible to get a great looking garden without spending a lot of money.

A key piece of advice is to avoid buying too many things from budget-friendly high-street stores just to fill the space. Cheap plastic items will weather quickly and break, which may ruin the overall appearance of your garden. Think carefully about each purchase, and how it will stand up to the elements over time.

The best thing to do is to buy second-hand items, particularly when it comes to furniture, decorations and furnishings. When buying second hand, you can get items of higher quality for a lower price. Keep an eye on local ‘freebie’ social media pages, online marketplaces, charity shops and car boot sales.

Another important piece of advice to keep in mind is to choose a colour scheme and stick with it. This can help make a garden look cohesive and well put-together, which in turn will help it look more expensive. Combining different textures is another way to make gardens look more luxurious. This can be done with throws and cushions, plants and furniture.

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