Maintaining your dream backyard is hard work. It can feel overwhelming, especially over the cold months. Or maybe you’ve just fallen behind and are struggling to find the time to bring your garden back to life. It’s not as hard as you think! We’ve put together our top ten tips to create the garden of your dreams on a budget.
1. Use vertical space
One of the biggest hurdles when decorating is space. It may seem like a lost cause trying to decorate a small space, but there are lots of tricks you can use to make the space feel larger. For starters, think outside the box and take advantage of vertical space with wall planters, artificial turf, fountain walls or climbing plants. There are tons of DIYs for making practical hanging outdoor decorations.
2. Think inside the storage box
Make use of storage benches or other multi-functional furniture pieces, such as a Murphy bar. To get the most out of a small backyard, choose flexible furniture and lightweight pieces, such as pots, that you can easily move around. Also make sure the pieces you get are narrow and thin, to make the space feel larger.
3. Downsize without downsizing
Sometimes, the problem is the opposite: your yard is so big there’s no possible way you can maintain all of it. Maybe you bought the property with a certain vision in mind but lacked time and money to renovate, and now it’s a sprawling tangle of weeds. All is not lost! With a bit of planning, you can turn this space around.
The key is in the details. As you would with a home renovation, plan out your garden, whether on software or graph paper, to determine exactly how you want it to look and what goes where. Include details such as where the sun hits throughout the year and across the day, where you may need fencing or netting to protect from pests, and where you need dedicated walking paths. You might also choose to install a greenhouse, storage shed, pool, outdoor kitchen or entertainment area.
4. Create distinct spaces in your garden
You can make a space feel larger, more interesting, and more alive by creating specific zones for each activity. Whatever your interests – whether you love to party, moonlight as a mixologist, spend your Sundays in the garden, or you’re an aspiring MasterChef – you can visualise and create the space that suits you best.
You can create zones by using different furniture or paving materials, such as changing from dirt to concrete, or rattan to iron. You can also incorporate different colours, shades, canopies, or partitions, whether that’s through permanent installations or folding screens.
5. Make a statement
One of the best ways to make a backyard stand out is to add a statement piece: a pond, a fountain, a sculpture, whatever you like! It doesn’t have to be large or flashy to make an impact. It simply needs to be highlighted. Maybe your statement piece is a different colour from the rest of the garden setting, a traditional wooden garden ornament, or an illuminated solar fountain. It has a statement to make, after all. It should be able to say it!
6. Let it bee
Use native plants to keep maintenance to a minimum. Shrubs and trees are especially good choices, though you will have to contend with falling leaves in autumn. Aside from the occasional pruning, watering and feeding, native plants should largely take care of themselves. More native wildlife means you attract more local fauna. They also attract pollinators such as bees to help your garden, and the rest of the natural world, grow into its greatest potential. Bee in your bonnet over all this bee talk? Succulents are also a good choice: lower maintenance, no worries.
7. Tier it to the treetops
Much like vertical planters, tiered or stacked pots and garden beds are great space savers that make use of unused vertical space. There is a huge range of tiered or stackable pots, garden beds and herb boxes for sale at any garden store, or you can DIY all kinds of plant holders. Higher beds are also great for older gardeners who may have trouble kneeling to care for their plants.
8. Revive your existing garden
If you’re looking to revive a garden slightly worse for wear, there are a few things you can do to improve your existing (but not thriving) lawn and garden. First, rake away dead grass build-up, trim dead branches and leaves, and aerate the soil yourself using a garden fork.
If you haven’t already, and your space permits, it may be time you invested in a compost bin or worm garden. Compost and earthworms are great for breaking down organic matter, aerating and fertilising the soil, and of course, getting rid of your kitchen scraps.
9. Use faux grass
For the green thumb, artificial lawn can feel like a dirty word, but it is a very cost-effective solution for the average family who doesn’t want a huge garden. Save on mowing, save money, and save water. Feel better knowing that artificial lawn often is recyclable or made from recycled materials thanks to advances in recycling technology. Clean, easy and non-toxic for pets and children, your lawn will last for many years and never need watering. Don’t just stop with the ground – place artificial lawn on raised surfaces, walls or fences for unique vertical décor.
We hope these tips have inspired you to freshen up your own lawn. For more tips and tricks, visit Gardeon and check out our range of outdoor furniture.