21 Cheap Landscaping Fixes That Will Make Your Yard Look Expensive

Transforming your outdoor space doesn’t have to involve a hefty price tag. While landscaping ideas on Pinterest and home improvement shows often showcase extravagant designs, the reality is you can achieve a gorgeous yard that reflects your style without breaking the bank. The key lies in creativity, resourcefulness, and utilizing a few clever tricks.

This article showcases 20+ cheap landscaping fixes that will give your yard a high-end look. With a little planning and effort, you’ll be surprised at how these budget-friendly solutions can elevate your outdoor haven.

1. Define Your Flower Beds: From Bland to Beautiful Without Breaking the Bank

Well-defined flower beds are the foundation of any polished landscape. They create a clear distinction between your plants and the surrounding areas, adding a sense of order and intentionality. Here’s how to achieve this look without spending a fortune:

  • Edging on a Budget: Instead of expensive pre-made edging materials, explore creative and cost-effective options. Here are a few ideas:
    • Bricks: If you have leftover bricks lying around from a previous project, put them to good use! Simply line them up vertically along the perimeter of your flower bed.
    • Stones: Natural stones of various sizes can create a rustic yet elegant border. You can find these at landscaping stores or even gather them yourself from a nearby stream or riverbed (with permission, of course!).
    • Recycled Materials: Upcycling is a fantastic way to add a personal touch while saving money. Use old plastic bottles filled with sand or gravel to create a colorful edging. You can even get creative with old tires! Paint them a vibrant hue and stack them to form a unique raised flower bed.
  • The Power of Mulch: Once you’ve defined the border, it’s time to add a layer of high-quality mulch. Mulch does wonders for your flower beds – it suppresses weeds, retains moisture, regulates soil temperature, and adds a visually appealing finishing touch. When choosing mulch, opt for a color that complements your plants and the overall aesthetic of your yard. Shredded bark, wood chips, or even cocoa shells (for a unique scent) are all budget-friendly options.

2. Plant Power: Perennials and Self-Seeders for Long-Lasting Beauty

Plants are the heart and soul of any landscape. But when it comes to budget-friendly options, it’s wise to choose wisely. Here’s where perennials come in – these beauties come back year after year, saving you money in the long run. Some low-cost, vibrant perennial options to consider include:

  • Lavender: This fragrant herb not only adds visual interest with its purple blooms but also attracts beneficial pollinators.
  • Daylilies: These come in a wide variety of colors and require minimal maintenance, making them perfect for busy homeowners.
  • Coreopsis: These cheerful yellow flowers bloom throughout the summer and are a magnet for butterflies.

The Magic of Self-Seeders: Take your budget-friendly planting to the next level with self-seeding flowers. These plants readily drop seeds at the end of their bloom cycle, ensuring a continuous display of color year after year. Some fantastic self-seeding options include:

  • Poppies: These delicate flowers come in a variety of colors and add a whimsical touch to any garden.
  • Cosmos: These cheerful blooms thrive in hot weather and require minimal care.
  • Hollyhocks: These majestic flowers come in tall stalks with large, vibrant blooms, adding a dramatic touch to your flower beds.

By combining perennials and self-seeders, you can create a sustainable and low-maintenance flower bed that bursts with color throughout the season.

3. The Magic of Mulch: More Than Just Aesthetics

We briefly mentioned mulch earlier, but it deserves a deeper dive. Mulch goes a long way in improving not just the aesthetics of your flower beds but also their functionality. Here’s why you should consider mulching your garden beds:

  • Weed Suppression: Mulch acts as a physical barrier, preventing weed seeds from germinating and taking root in your flower beds. This translates to less time spent weeding and more time enjoying your beautiful blooms.
  • Moisture Retention: Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the frequency of watering, especially during hot summer months. This is not only good for your plants but also saves you money on your water bill.
  • Temperature Regulation: A layer of mulch helps regulate soil temperature, keeping it cool during the hot summer months and protecting plant roots from freezing during the winter.

4. Gravel: A Multipurpose Marvel for Budget-Conscious Landscapers

Gravel is often overlooked as a landscaping material, but it’s a true gem for budget-conscious homeowners. It’s incredibly versatile, cost-effective, and requires minimal maintenance compared to traditional lawns. Here are some clever ways to incorporate gravel into your landscape design:

  • Create Pathways: Gravel is a perfect choice for creating pathways that meander through your yard or connect different sections of your landscape. It provides a stable walking surface and can be easily edged with stones, bricks, or even metal edging.
  • Flower Bed Filler: Tired of the same old mulch? Consider using gravel as an alternative filler for your flower beds. It adds a unique texture and helps suppress weeds, especially in areas with full sun exposure. Choose a gravel size and color that complements the plants and the overall style of your yard.
  • Dry Riverbeds: Bring a touch of zen to your landscape with a dry riverbed made of gravel. This creative technique not only adds visual interest but also helps with drainage, especially in areas prone to water pooling.

Bonus Tip: If you have a slope in your yard that’s difficult to maintain as a lawn, consider using gravel with strategically placed plants to create a terraced effect. This not only looks visually appealing but also helps with erosion control.

5. Upcycled Accents: Transforming Trash into Treasure

Embrace your inner creative genius and incorporate upcycled elements into your landscape design. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it also adds a unique personality to your outdoor space. Here are some upcycling ideas to get you started:

  • Tire Planters: Breathe new life into old tires by transforming them into vibrant planters. Paint them in cheerful colors and stack them to create tiered planters for cascading flowers or herbs.
  • Wine Bottle Lights: Empty wine bottles can be transformed into beautiful and eco-friendly garden lights. Simply string them with fairy lights or insert tea lights for a warm, inviting glow.
  • Repurposed Furniture: Don’t throw away that old chair or bench! With a fresh coat of paint and some TLC, it can be transformed into a charming seating area in your garden.
  • Creative Containers: Think outside the box when it comes to planters. Use old watering cans, colanders, or even rain boots to add a touch of whimsy to your plant displays.

Beyond Upcycling: Get crafty and create your own garden accents with recycled materials. Use old pallets to build planters, wine corks to create stepping stones, or leftover wood scraps to design a decorative bird feeder. The possibilities are endless!

6. Light Up the Night (Without Breaking the Bulb)

Landscape lighting not only adds a touch of magic to your yard after dark but also enhances safety and security. Here’s how to achieve an inviting ambiance without spending a fortune:

  • Solar Power to the Rescue: Solar-powered landscape lights are a game-changer for budget-conscious homeowners. They require no electrical wiring, are easy to install, and best of all, run on free solar energy! Choose from a variety of styles, including path lights, spotlights, and stake lights, to create a customized lighting scheme for your yard.
  • String Lights for a Fairytale Touch: String lights can instantly transform your outdoor space into a magical haven. They’re perfect for draping over trees, pergolas, or even fencing for a whimsical touch. Choose warm white or colored lights depending on the mood you want to create.
  • Bonus Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of candles! Strategically placed citronella candles not only add a warm glow but also help deter pesky mosquitoes during summer evenings.

7. The Power of a Focal Point: Drawing the Eye and Adding Interest

A focal point is an element in your landscape design that draws the eye and creates a sense of interest. It doesn’t have to be grand or expensive; even a simple element can make a big impact. Here are some budget-friendly focal point ideas:

  • A Welcoming Birdbath: A birdbath not only provides a refreshing spot for our feathered friends but also adds a touch of serenity to your garden. You can find affordable birdbaths made from concrete, plastic, or even ceramic at most garden centers.
  • The Majesty of a Stone: A strategically placed large rock can serve as a stunning focal point in your landscape. Look for interesting shapes and textures when choosing a rock, and consider placing it amidst low-growing plants or gravel for added visual appeal.
  • DIY Water Feature: The sound of trickling water adds a calming element to any outdoor space. Create a simple DIY water feature using a container pond kit, a small pump, and some decorative rocks.

8. Borrowed Beauty: Frame Your Views and Enhance Your Surroundings

Sometimes, the most impactful landscaping elements don’t reside within your property line. Here’s how to strategically utilize your surroundings to enhance your yard’s aesthetics:

  • Frame the View: If you have a scenic backdrop like rolling hills or a breathtaking sunset, use clever landscaping techniques to draw the eye outwards. Plant low-growing shrubs or flowers along the perimeter of your yard to create a natural frame for the view.
  • Embrace Borrowed Light: Does your neighbor have a mature tree that casts dappled shade on your property? Take advantage of this natural light source by positioning shade-loving plants or creating a cozy seating area beneath the tree’s canopy.

9. The Power of Paint: Breathe New Life into Tired Elements

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in transforming tired and outdated elements in your landscape. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Revamp Your Fence: A weather-beaten fence can detract from the overall look of your yard. Instead of replacing it, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint in a classic white or a bold contrasting color.
  • Pottery Power: Terracotta pots and planters often fade and become dull over time. Rejuvenate them with a coat of exterior paint in a vibrant hue or a stylish metallic finish.
  • Statues and Accents: Don’t let old statues or garden ornaments gather dust in the corner. Give them a new lease on life with a fresh coat of paint. Consider using metallic paint for a touch of elegance or experiment with contrasting colors for a more playful look.

10. Create Layers and Textures: Add Depth and Visual Interest

A flat, one-dimensional landscape lacks visual appeal. By incorporating layers and textures, you can create a more dynamic and visually intriguing space. Here’s how:

  • Play with Plant Heights: Combine tall, stately trees with mid-sized shrubs and low-growing groundcovers to create a layered effect. This adds depth and dimension to your landscape.
  • Mix and Match Textures: Don’t limit yourself to just green foliage. Introduce plants with interesting textures like feathery ferns, spiky succulents, or ornamental grasses. This adds visual variety and creates a more captivating landscape.

11. The Art of Repetition: Create Cohesion and Elevate the Look

Strategic repetition of design elements can create a sense of cohesion and elevate the look of your landscape. Here’s how to incorporate it:

  • Echoing Colors: Choose a color palette for your plants and flowers and repeat it throughout your yard. This creates a sense of unity and visual flow.
  • Repeating Shapes: Plant trees or shrubs with similar shapes in different areas of your yard. This creates a sense of balance and adds a touch of formality.
  • Pottery Parade: Use a collection of similar planters, varying only in size, throughout your landscape. This creates a cohesive look and adds a touch of elegance.

12. Embrace the Vertical Landscape: Utilize Walls and Fences

Don’t neglect the vertical space in your yard! Walls and fences can be transformed into beautiful and functional features. Here are some ideas:

  • Vertical Gardens: Create a living wall on a blank fence using planter pockets or hanging baskets filled with vibrant flowers or cascading greenery.
  • Climbing Vines: Train climbing vines like clematis or ivy to grow up your walls or fences. This adds visual interest, softens hard lines, and provides a habitat for pollinators.
  • Espalier Magic: Espalier fruit trees against walls or fences not only saves space but also creates a visually stunning and productive element in your landscape.

13. Create a Destination Point: A Place to Relax and Unwind

Every great landscape should have a designated spot for relaxation and reflection. Here are some ideas for creating a budget-friendly haven in your yard:

  • The Hammock Hideaway: String up a hammock between two trees for a serene spot to unwind with a good book.
  • The Reading Nook: Create a cozy reading nook with a comfortable chair or swing placed under a shady tree. Add a small side table for your book and a cup of tea.
  • The Meditation Zone: Designate a quiet corner of your yard with a comfortable cushion or bench for meditation or simply enjoying some quiet time in nature.

14. Water Features: The Soothing Sound of Serenity (Without Breaking the Bank)

The sound of trickling water adds a touch of tranquility and luxury to any outdoor space. Here’s how to incorporate a water feature without a hefty price tag:

  • DIY Pond Power: Create a small pond using a pre-formed liner, a pump, and some decorative rocks. You can even incorporate aquatic plants for added visual interest and a natural ecosystem.
  • Fountain on a Budget: Instead of elaborate store-bought fountains, consider a DIY version. Upcycle an old pot or container as a base and use a small pump to create a gentle water flow.
  • The Bamboo Symphony: Create a simple yet serene water feature using bamboo. Fill a container with water and arrange different sized bamboo stalks to create a tiered effect. Let the water gently trickle down the bamboo, creating a relaxing sound.

15. Mirrors, Mirrors on the Wall: Expand Your Space and Reflect Beauty

Strategic placement of mirrors can create the illusion of a larger and more expansive space. Here’s how to incorporate them into your landscape:

  • Reflect the Best Views: Position a mirror to reflect a particularly scenic view from your property, like a beautiful flower bed or a calming water feature. This doubles the visual impact and creates a feeling of spaciousness.
  • Bring the Indoors Out: Place a mirror strategically near a patio or seating area to reflect interesting elements from your indoor living space, blurring the lines between inside and outside.

16. Embrace the Power of Fragrance: Aromatic Plants for a Sensory Experience

Incorporate fragrant plants into your landscape design to create a multi-sensory experience. Here are some ideas:

  • Blooming Beauties: Plant flowers known for their delightful scents, like lavender, roses, lilies, and hyacinths. Strategically place them near seating areas or pathways to fill the air with their fragrance.
  • The Herb Garden Symphony: Don’t underestimate the aromatic power of herbs! Create a dedicated herb garden with rosemary, mint, thyme, and basil. These not only add visual interest but also enhance the culinary experience when used in your cooking.

17. The Finishing Touches: Small Details that Make a Big Difference

The final touches can elevate your landscape from good to great. Here are some budget-friendly ways to add a touch of polish:

  • Path Edging: Define your pathways with edging stones, bricks, or even recycled materials like plastic bottles filled with sand. This creates clean lines and adds a touch of formality.
  • Garden Art with Personality: Add a touch of whimsy or personality with unique garden art pieces. You can find affordable options at flea markets, thrift stores, or even create your own with recycled materials.
  • Lighting the Way: Solar-powered path lights not only guide your way after dark but also add a touch of magic to your landscape. Choose styles that complement your overall design.

18. The Power of Repetition: Paving a Path (Literally)

Repetition extends beyond plants and can be effectively used with hardscaping elements like pathways. Here’s how to create a cohesive and visually appealing path system on a budget:

  • Repurposed Pavers: Instead of buying brand new pavers, consider using salvaged or recycled materials. Bricks, flagstones, or even large, flat stepping stones can be found at demolition sites or landscaping supply stores at a discounted price. With a little cleaning and TLC, they can create a charming and unique pathway.
  • DIY Stepping Stones: Get crafty and create your own stepping stones! Use pre-made molds and concrete mix for a classic look, or get creative with stepping stones made from poured concrete embedded with pebbles, seashells, or even broken pieces of colored glass.

19. Embrace Native Plants: A Sustainable and Budget-Friendly Choice

Native plants offer a plethora of benefits for your landscape and your wallet:

  • Cost-Effective Champions: Native plants are adapted to your local climate and require minimal maintenance, saving you money on watering and fertilizer.
  • Eco-Friendly Powerhouses: Native plants attract beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees, promoting a healthy ecosystem in your yard.
  • Beauty that Lasts: Native plants are naturally resistant to local pests and diseases, reducing the need for pesticides and ensuring a thriving landscape for years to come.

20. Natural Mulching: A Sustainable and Cost-Effective Option

While traditional mulch offers benefits, consider exploring natural alternatives for an even more eco-friendly and budget-conscious approach:

  • Leaf Litter Magic: Fallen leaves from your trees can be shredded and used as a natural mulch. This not only saves you money but also returns valuable nutrients to the soil as the leaves decompose.
  • Grass Clippings Power: Instead of discarding grass clippings, chop them up and use them as mulch around your flower beds. This provides essential nutrients and helps retain moisture in the soil.

21. Attract Feathered Friends: A Bird Sanctuary on a Budget

Creating a bird-friendly haven in your yard not only adds visual interest but also benefits the local ecosystem. Here’s how to do it without spending a fortune:

  • DIY Bird Feeders: Get creative and craft your own bird feeders using recycled materials like old bottles, tin cans, or even pine cones.
  • Bird Bath Bliss: A simple bird bath made from a shallow dish placed on a sturdy pedestal provides a refreshing spot for our feathered friends. You can find affordable bird baths at most garden centers or even repurpose an old container.
  • Native Plant Paradise: By planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers that produce berries and seeds, you’ll create a natural food source for birds, attracting them to your yard.


Try incorporating these 21 cheap landscaping fixes to transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and inviting haven without breaking the bank. Remember, a successful landscape doesn’t require expensive materials or elaborate designs. It’s all about creativity, resourcefulness, and utilizing these budget-friendly solutions:

These are just a starting point! As you embark on your landscaping journey, remember:

  • Planning is key: Before diving in, sketch out a plan for your yard. Consider the amount of sunlight different areas receive, the overall aesthetic you want to achieve, and the functionality you desire from your outdoor space.
  • Do your research: Learn about native plants that thrive in your climate. This not only saves you money but also benefits the local ecosystem.
  • Maintenance matters: Even a budget-friendly landscape requires some TLC. Regular weeding, watering, and trimming will keep your plants healthy and your yard looking its best.
  • Enjoy the process: Landscaping your yard should be a fun and rewarding experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment, get creative, and personalize your outdoor space to reflect your style and personality.

With a little effort and these budget-friendly solutions, you can transform your yard into a beautiful oasis you’ll love spending time in. So, grab your gardening gloves, unleash your creativity, and get ready to cultivate a stunning outdoor space that’s easy on your wallet and a joy to behold.