How to Transform Your Garden on a Budget

Petrol prices are soaring, the average weekly food shop has risen by up to 50%, and inflation has hit a forty-year high. The cost of living crisis that we are currently experiencing is forcing the nation to take into account what means the most to them and prioritise their spending – meaning that updating your home or garden may be at the bottom of your to-do list.

But, with more people spending time at home rather than spending money on days out or in restaurants, maintaining your personal spaces may be more important than you think…

garden office

With this in mind, the luxury outdoor furniture brand Harbour Lifestyle, reveals its affordable tricks to transform your garden on a budget. From solar lighting to alfresco accessories, you can make small, affordable, cost-effective changes and tweaks to your outdoor space to give it that luxurious look and feel you’re eager to achieve– and without breaking the bank!

Source used garden furniture

Transforming a garden on a budget with carefully chosen furniture can breathe new life into outdoor spaces. Start by scouring local thrift stores, online marketplaces, and garage sales for affordable second-hand furniture pieces. Look for sturdy items that can be repurposed or revamped with a fresh coat of paint. Wooden pallets can be transformed into rustic benches or tables, adding a touch of eco-friendly charm. Incorporate budget-friendly accessories like cushions, throws, and outdoor rugs to enhance comfort and style.

garden furniture

Consider upcycling old tires into colourful ottomans or side tables for an eclectic touch. Mixing and matching furniture styles can create an inviting and dynamic atmosphere without breaking the bank. DIY projects, such as creating a vertical pallet garden or repurposing old crates as planters, can add a personalized and green touch.

By combining creativity, resourcefulness, and a keen eye for bargains, it’s possible to achieve a charming garden retreat without exceeding a modest budget.

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Add light with solar lighting

When it comes to designing an outdoor space, lighting tends to be overlooked. Although it may not be needed during the daytime, as soon as the sun begins to set, your guests will be thankful that you aren’t expecting them to sit in the dark or move indoors.

solar lighting garden

So, to give your space a lavish vibe, why not incorporate solar-powered lanterns? Contemporary and elegant solar lanterns are the ideal lighting solution and accessory for your patio or deck. Simply place them in a corner or at the edge of a furniture piece for an angular look that feels chic during the daytime and cosy when the stars begin to shine.

Dress the floor with an outdoor rug

One of the simplest ways to make your outdoor space feel more opulent is to consider the comforts that we wouldn’t usually expect to find outdoors.

For example, if you already have a seating arrangement, why not add an outdoor rug?

Garden rug decking

The additional solace of not having to place your feet on a cold patio tile creates a sumptuous experience and a stylish aesthetic that will work wonders in your garden without having to splash out on a full new set. Choose a rug that co-ordinates with your existing furniture, and ensure you select one with hardwearing, weatherproof materials for a truly indulgent feel.

Add some shade with a parasol

If you’re looking to create a holiday vibe, there is nothing more reminiscent of a sunny, sandy coastline than a parasol.


Parasols are excellent additions to your outdoor space, as they are not only aesthetically pleasing but also pose multiple uses to improve your day-to-day alfresco living. From providing shelter if the unpredictable British weather becomes drizzly to creating shade when the sun comes beaming down in the heat of summer – parasols can enhance your garden to ensure you get the best use out of it, 365 days of a year.

For a chic, modern look, opt for a parasol that has a wooden pole and a canopy that coordinates with your existing furniture.

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Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

If you are happy with your current outdoor furniture setup, don’t forget that adding elegant accessories can enhance your space further to make it feel more put-together and welcoming. For example, adding throw cushions to your sofa set will help to create a lush yet cosy ambience for your guests, providing both comfort and additional visual interest.

garden cushions

Choose throw pillows that harmonize with your current setup, but be bold and don’t be too matchy!

Choose a pattern with mutual colour palettes, such as a botanical pattern if you have existing neutral-toned furniture. Be sure that the pillows you choose are weatherproof, breathable, and fade-resistant – you don’t want your pillows to become damaged after just a few uses. Remember, quality materials and manufacturing will always end up saving you money in the end, as the items won’t have to be replaced so frequently.

Create raised beds

Creating raised beds on a budget is a rewarding and cost-effective way to enhance your gardening space.

Start by sourcing inexpensive materials such as untreated lumber, which is both durable and economical. Consider using reclaimed or recycled wood for an eco-friendly touch. Another budget-friendly option is to repurpose materials like cinder blocks or old bricks, arranging them in a rectangular shape to form the raised bed walls.

raised beds

Upcycling old pallets is another creative and low-cost solution—simply dismantle them and reconstruct the planks to form sturdy sides.

Additionally, check with local garden centres or landscaping companies for discounted or leftover materials. To save even more, skip the purchase of pre-made soil and instead create your own by combining compost, topsoil, and organic matter.

By combining resourcefulness, a bit of DIY spirit, and savvy material choices, you can establish attractive and functional raised beds without straining your budget.

Add a Freestanding Fireplace

Creating a freestanding fireplace without spending a lot can be a rewarding DIY project that adds warmth and ambience to your space.

Start by researching and sourcing affordable materials. Consider using cinder blocks or bricks, which are budget-friendly and readily available. Sketch out a simple design for your fireplace, keeping in mind the dimensions and proportions. Use a fireproof mortar to secure the blocks or bricks together, ensuring stability and safety. For the firebox, you might find a second-hand metal insert or repurpose an old one from a discarded fireplace.

Check online marketplaces, such as Facebook marketplace or Ebay for such components. Additionally, consider using concrete board or other fire-resistant materials to create a hearth and mantel. Opt for a faux finish, like painting or using an adhesive stone veneer, to give the fireplace an aesthetically pleasing appearance without the cost of real stone.

Always prioritize safety by following proper guidelines for ventilation and fireproofing. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can enjoy the warmth of a freestanding fireplace on a budget.

Add a water feature

Adding a water feature to your garden or outdoor space on a budget is entirely possible with some creative thinking and resourcefulness.

Look for large containers or tubs that you may already have or can acquire inexpensively. Old barrels, tubs, or even large plastic containers can be transformed into beautiful water features.

Incorporate natural elements such as rocks and pebbles into the design. These can often be found for free or at a very low cost and add a rustic and organic feel to your water feature.

Create a simple water fountain using inexpensive materials. Stack bricks or rocks to form a tower and place a small recirculating pump at the top. This can create a charming and budget-friendly fountain.

Enhance the water feature with aquatic plants. These not only add beauty but can also help maintain water quality. Look for budget-friendly options at local nurseries or consider dividing plants from friends.

Garden Sanctuary - water feature

Paint the fence to create the wow factor

Transforming the look of your outdoor space on a budget can be as simple as giving your fence a fresh coat of paint.

Paint the fence

Choose a vibrant and contrasting colour that complements the overall aesthetic of your garden or backyard. Before you begin, ensure the fence is clean and free of any loose paint or debris. Opt for an exterior paint that is durable and weather-resistant to ensure longevity. If your budget is tight, consider buying misprinted or discounted paints from local hardware stores, which can provide high-quality options at a fraction of the cost.

A neutral base coat can be enhanced with stencils or painter’s tape for a decorative touch, adding visual interest without requiring additional expenses. This budget-friendly DIY project not only revitalizes the appearance of your fence but also serves as a quick and impactful way to breathe new life into your outdoor space.

Plant and divide

Planting on a budget requires a thoughtful approach that maximizes resources while fostering a thriving garden.

perennial plants

Start by selecting budget-friendly seeds or small starter plants instead of mature ones. Many local nurseries, community garden centres, or online platforms offer affordable options. Consider exchanging seeds or plants with neighbours or friends who share similar gardening interests. Utilize compost to enrich the soil, which can be made at home from kitchen scraps and yard waste.

Opt for perennial plants that come back each year, saving you money in the long run compared to annuals. Take advantage of seasonal sales and end-of-season clearance events, when nurseries often offer discounted prices.

Propagate plants through division or cuttings, creating new plants from existing ones. Group plants with similar water and sunlight need to optimize irrigation and minimize costs. By being resourceful, patient, and strategic, you can cultivate a beautiful and budget-friendly garden that reflects your passion for plants.

In summary

So, with four simple yet affordable tips on how to make a more luxurious outdoor space that won’t break the bank at your fingertips, which one will you be doing first? Whether you are looking to increase comfort with cosy accessories or ensure you can use your alfresco space 365 days of the year, these tips from the experts at Harbour Lifestyle will make your next outdoor transformation effortless.