Cheap And Cheerful Backyard Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

Is your backyard dull and bland and crying out for a change? I thought so.

Does doing something different with your backyard require a lot of money? Certainly not. The following are a whole raft of backyard ideas you can try out for yourself that won’t break the bank. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Marble Fence

Does your wooden fence lack a bit of spark? Probably. But fear not.

One cool thing that you can do is drill holes in your fence and then glue marbles into those holes. Dot the marbles at different heights and distances from each other. And play with different sizes. When the sun shines through them, they’ll glow differing colors and look amazing during a sunset. Just remember to ask your kids first whether they mind their marbles being used for decoration.

Make A Floating Cooler

This one is great if you have a pool in your backyard. Get a plastic box, like one you’d put files and folders in. Then glue foam tubes along all the top edges so that when you submerge it in water, it will float.

Then, fill the tub with ice and your favorite drinks and pop it into the pool. On a hot day, the water from the pool will keep the drinks cool, so you don’t have to continuously trek back and forth to the kitchen fridge.

Make A Throwing Game For The Kids

Grab a tarpaulin and cut a few holes in it that are big enough, so a ball to fly through. Label the different holes with different numbers, depending on their size. Bigger holes will have smaller numbers, and vice versa.

Then find two trees in your garden, roughly 15 feet apart. Suspend the tarpaulin between them, so that it is hanging like a picture. Then take aim with a soccer ball and fire.

Use Rope Lighting

Rope lighting is all the rage right now, partly because of its versatility. But it also looks incredible at night as one, continuous line of light.

Led Tube, Hose, Rope, Lamp, Modern, Lighting

[Photo courtesy of Hans/]

You can use rope lighting to line your garden, separating different regions from one another. It works well for lighting the edges of paths and for delineating the edges of flower beds.

Use Epsom Salt Fertiliser

Few people know it, but Epsom salt makes an excellent fertilizer. So if your pot plants are looking a little drab, and you don’t want to go out and spend a load of money on fertilizer, use Epsom salt.

It’s simple to apply. Just mix two tablespoons of salt into each gallon of water. Then use this mixture once per month instead of regular water when watering your plants. If you’re planting seeds right now, you can just sprinkle the salt on the soil and wait for the rain to do its job.

Use Pool Noodles For Kickball Croquet

Do you dream of being able to entertain the kids on a dime? Well, now you can, with kickball croquet. Just grab a few pool noodles – the foam tubes that I mentioned earlier for the floating cooler. Cut the noodles in half. The fashion them into an arch before using garden stakes to peg them down into the ground. Then just gather up a few balls and take it in turns to kick them through the hoops, just like you would take turns with a regular game of croquet.

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[Photo courtesy of noodle]

Use Faux Stone Walls

Real stone walls are expensive. Faux stone walls? Not so much. Faux stone walls from sites like go for less than you might think. Usually, faux stone walls are made from polyurethane – a cheap plastic. Yet, surprisingly, they look and feel just like the real thing. And, just like real stone walls, they’re ultra-durable.

Use Fire Crystals

There’s nothing like having the family sit around the fire pit on a long summer evening chatting about life’s foibles. You can spruce up your fire pit with attractive colors by using fire crystals. These burn blue-green and purple, adding a beautiful twist to the already mesmerising fire.

Grow Your Own Summer House

Summer houses have been all the rage since Victorian times in England. But building another house in your garden has never been cheap. Traditionally, it was only something that the rich could do. Even today, wooden summer houses can end up costing thousands of dollars.

But why bother buying one when you can grow your own? It’s easy really. Make a circular shaped flower bed in an appropriate location in your garden. Then plant some meter-long garden stakes in the bed, woven together with some garden twine. In the bed, plant a fast-growing plant like sunflowers, that will eventually grow tall enough the provide a wall and a canvas. And then just let nature take its course.

Sunflower, Summer Flowers, Flowers, Yellow, Bright

[Photo courtesy of Donnawetta/]

If you do it right, you’ll end up with a beautiful, natural summerhouse that you and the kids can relax in whenever you like.

Remodel Old Tree Stumps

Most of us have some sort of tree stump, lying around in our back garden. Instead of waiting for it to rot away, why not make use of it. You could transform it into a table if it’s tall enough. Or use it as a planter, if it’s in among the flower bed.

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[Photo courtesy of Los Angeles/]

Use Mirrors

Most interior designers will tell you to use mirrors if you want to make a room inside your house look bigger, . But you don’t have to just use mirrors on the inside of your house

If you’ve got a couple of mirrors that you don’t want, you can hang them on your back fence to make your garden look bigger.

Use Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Gardens in the daylight are stunning. Gardens at night – not so much. But it’s at night when the glow-in-the-dark paint can make a real impact. You can light up just about anything you want using it. But most people opt to highlight just a couple of features. Perhaps you’d like to make your plant pots glow. Whatever it is, glow-in-the-dark paint is an excellent way to instantly light up your garden.

Use Fast-Growing Plants For Ground Cover

Your garden probably has at least one dreary looking paths. It would look a lot better if it were a little greener along its length. You can use plants like sedum sarmentosum to cover patches of dull ground quickly. These little green plants will shoot up in no time and are ideal in harsh conditions. Then all you have to do is place stepping stone conveniently along the path and hey presto – you’ve solved the problem of your boring path.

Plant Lemongrass

You might think that lemongrass is just a herb used in South East Asian cuisine. And you’d be right. But what fewer people know is that the herb is also great at fending off annoying bugs, like mosquitos.

Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your time in the garden. Plant some lemongrass today to keep that annoying buzzing away.

Make A Tarp Splash Pad

Pools are expensive. But you and the kids want somewhere that you can cool off on a hot afternoon in the summer, especially if you live in the South.

The solution is to make a tarpaulin splash pad. Get a hose and attach it to a sprinkler. The place it on top of a tarp, spread out on the ground. The sprinkler will create a cooling splash pad, and the tarpaulin will create a fun, and slippery, surface.

Make A Wind Chime

Wind chimes made from brass are expensive. But if you’ve got a creative streak, you could make yours out of whatever you like. One option is to use a stick, some string and some old keys you don’t use anymore. Just paint the keys, strings, and branch in different colors. The suspend the keys from the branch, using the string.

Here’s another example, using old CDs.

[Photo courtesy of Windell Oskay/]

Make A Garden Swing

Got an old, wooden chair lying around that you don’t use anymore? Why not make it into a swing? Just hack off the legs and put to one side. Then throw some rope around a sturdy tree branch, connecting it to a base made from wooden beams. Then attach the chair to the beams, and voila – you’ve got a new swinging chair.

Get Inventive With Pot Plants

When planting, you don’t have to stick to the generic plant pots from the garden center. You can use pretty much whatever you like. Got a rustic-looking crate lying around? Why not fill this with different varieties of plants and put it in your backyard?

Repaint Your Back Door

Perhaps you’ve got a wooden back door. If so, giving it a fresh coat of paint is an excellent way to make your garden look more vibrant. Why not go for a deep gold color paint to complement the summer?

[Photo courtesy of Arpingstone/]

Use Wall Decorations

Walls aren’t always the most attractive feature of a back garden. But you can do a lot to improve their appearance. One cool thing to do is to hang bottles or pot plants, brimming with flowers. And don’t be afraid to use a lot. The more, the merrier.

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