Is your garden looking a little lacklustre and in need of more than a little TLC? Well, there’s no time like the present to tackle your outdoor space. If your garden fencing is in need of repairing or painting, or your garden edging seems overly messy it can impact upon the whole of your backyard space. Breathing new life into your back garden (or front garden, for that matter) doesn’t always require a landscape gardener. There are plenty of simple updates that can be achieved on a budget, and which make a huge difference to the appearance of your outdoor space. Whether it’s a small garden, a patio or a balcony garden, there are plenty of budget-conscious design ideas (or even DIY tricks) to boost your space.
From simple garden lighting to inexpensive outdoor furniture ideas, pretty planting to statement outdoor styling for summer garden parties, there are a multitude of smart ways to make your garden great without breaking the bank. All it takes is a little planning and a few clever tricks, and you can turn any garden into a tranquil haven, country retreat or al fresco dining area – even on the smallest budget, as these ten garden ideas show.
In a balcony garden, don’t overcomplicate things; choose slender planters in a rich, summery colour and match your furniture. A lick of metal paint can update an old iron garden chair quite easily and is a cheap update, too. This beautiful blue has a real Mediterranean feel and, together with the slender lines of the plant pots and the chair, the small garden area feels comfortable rather than cluttered.
Keep a feeling of warmth, even in a shady corner with bright cushions and matching planting. Give your bench a coat of weatherproof wood paint, and (once dry) layer it up with cushions for a modern, budget conscious look.
A crisp white base cushion looks fresh when combined with hot pink striped designs that match the summer blooms that have been planted nearby. A wooden-framed lantern makes the ideal finishing touch… and, because it lights the area at night, it means you can get your money’s worth!
It’s not always big things that change the feel of a garden – it can simply amount to the sounds you hear outside. Boost your garden’s atmosphere by encouraging birds in with a DIY bird feeder; their song will instantly create a more positive feel.
This simple design only requires a cup and saucer and some superglue. Talk about budget garden updates!
Similar cup and saucer
If you want to make your garden a bit more about sustainability, but don’t really have space (or the funds) to plant a full-scale veggie patch, why not try a neat vegetable trug instead?
Give it a little personalised paint job, plant out your vegetables and see your garden discover a whole new lease of life all year round.
Similar vegetable trug
If you have a garden shed, but you’re not really using it for anything beyond storing a toolbox and housing some cobwebs, don’t waste the extra space. You can spruce it up pretty easily and turn it into a bright and airy potting shed (if you’re green-fingered) a sunny summerhouse, a neat studio or even a garden playhouse for the kids.
All you need is a broom, some white shed paint, a couple of comfy chairs and some colourful cushions… the rest can be gathered over time, so it’s not really an expensive undertaking. On sunny days, open the door and make the most of the garden all day (and night, if you string up some fairy lights) long.
Garden fences need more care and attention than we usually care to think about – the paint job it needs never lasts as long as we hope it will. So, if you’re looking for garden fence ideas, why not treat it a bit differently next time you give it a coat of wood paint. Instead of your usual shades of golden or ashy brown – sounds like a trip to the hair salon! – consider a fresh, playful colour instead.
This sky blue fencing brings a whole new feel to the garden, and all for the cost of a can or two of garden paint. Introduce some planters and lush foliage for a fresh, tropical feel all year round.
If you have an old, unused chest of drawers knocking about the house, give it a new lease of life by turning it into a unique colourful garden planter! This four-drawer unit is well-balanced with two staggered tiers of plants, that bring a playful touch to your back garden design.
Drill some holes in the bottom of the drawers you plan to plant out, to allow for water drainage. Then paint the drawer fascias using weather-resistant paint in a tones of the same colour – blues or creams work particularly well. Then pick your plants and off you go; easy garden update complete!
If you have a compact patio garden that’s a bit of a sun trap, but you don’t want to lose valuable space to a parasol (for that little bit of safe shade), consider hanging a simple sail-like canopy.
If you don’t want to attach it to your masonry, many of these canopies can be raised on slender poles that sit at the sides of the space, rather than in the middle. Prepare to bring the seaside to the garden.
Get the look
Buy now: Kookaburra Shade Sail, £49.99, Primrose
If you have a compact garden that doesn’t get the best natural light, try this simple and inexpensive update: hang a mirror among the foliage on a wall or fence. Not only will it bounce around the natural light, but the reflection of the garden itself instantly makes the entire space feel larger too.
Choose a mirror that suites your garden and the space it’s in – whether that’s a shabby-chic, wild woodland, minimal modern or a Moroccan riad-style area.
Get the look
Buy now: Outdoor Window Mirror, £125, Cox & Cox
If a collection of Twilight Trees lighting up your garden is a little beyond your budget, it’s still possible to create a similar lighting effect in the garden. Flank your front door (or patio, even) with two bay trees, and wind delicate solar fairy lights around the foliage to create two magical glowing orbs that light up as soon as it gets dark.
We hope these ideas have provided plenty of inspiration. Let us know which ones you’re going to try in the comments box, below!