Ideas for Inexpensive Backyard Landscaping

Written by timothy sexton
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Ideas for Inexpensive Backyard Landscaping
A small pond is an effective way to showcase your backyard without spending a ton of money. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Backyard landscaping doesn't have to be an expensive endeavour. One affordable way to improve your backyard is to add some landscaping techniques to objects and structures that already exist in a naked form. Other inexpensive ways to improve the aesthetic quality of your yard can mean adding an element that allows you to enjoy what you've got in a new way.

Vines on Existing Structures

An existing balcony, gable or wall that is but a bare structure in the yard today can become a landscaping highlight by next week. Invest in woody vines, like trumpet vine or climbing roses, and train the plants to crawl up the structures to transform them into a completely new and inviting look.

Creative Containers

Adding containers to your backyard landscaping design doesn't have to mean investing in terracotta pots. An affordable way to creatively perk up your landscape is with the addition of plants packed inside containers made from things lying around the house, up in the attic or out in the garage. Anything that is large enough to hold soil and plants and into which a drainage hole can be drilled in the bottom can be transformed into a decorative container.

Garden Art

Another way to use items around the house -- or that you can find on the cheap at a flea market or junk store -- is to press them into service as garden art. Take a look through your own flotsam and jetsam or through someone else's at a yard sale to find something offbeat to set into a place of honour in your landscape plan. Gardens and other landscaped areas can be given a creative sense of style using items as varied as a discarded iron gate, rubber tires cut in half or an old musical instrument that nobody plays.

Small Pond

You can add a water feature to your backyard with surprisingly little outlay of cash. A small rigid liner can be planted into the ground in the backyard and then affordably decorated with pond plants and stones.


You may not get home from work until after dark, which gives you precious little time to enjoy the fruits of your landscaping labour. An effective way to make a landscape come alive at night is to judiciously install some lighting and take advantage of special effects. A small light placed in front of a plant can cast a dramatic silhouette onto a wall behind it. Several smaller lights hidden among the limbs of a tree can create a soft pool of light that simulates the effect of moonlight illuminating your landscape.

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