Cheap Landscaping Ideas
Affordable Landscape Designs

Many homeowners are interested in cheap landscaping ideas or inexpensive landscaping.

You might be on a limited budget, yet still want to have a beautiful landscape design. You can have this! You just need to know how to use less expensive landscape options in the best way.

With a little creativity, you can save money in almost all areas of landscape design. Details are nice, but I always feel that it is the landscape look and feel in its' entirety that will make a great design.

Whether you use asphalt for your driveway or pavers, whether you have a concrete patio or one of bluestone, the beauty is in the "design" details! Beautiful curves, spacious areas, some garden sculptures, etc. will provide a great design.The following are some professional ideas and examples of how you can work within your budget.


An inexpensive patio can be made of concrete as shown in this photo by Scofield. I think you would agree that it is very unique!

Concrete has a bad name. Yet there are striking projects done in this paving material. Good workmanship, especially in colder climates, is necessary.

Concrete patios can be designed very creatively and look lovely.

In addition, it is the entire landscape...not just the separate elements alone that make a successful project.

So give up on some of those "must haves" as they are not necessities for a beautiful landscape.

Success With Inexpensive Ideas

Here Is An Example

Let's say a homeowner spends a lot of money and installs a beautiful stone patio. But the surrounding plants are not healthy, or it is too small, or there is nothing lovely to look at in the garden. On the other hand, let's take a similar situation where someone has a patio made of an inexpensive material, such as concrete. Yet there are lovely plantings with lots of color, a beautiful small fountain nearby, and some comfortable chairs to sit on. Which would you rather have? To take this another step, let's enhance the concrete a bit without adding much onto the cost.
  • Let's make it a more interesting color rather than that typical "cement" color.
  • Perhaps a beige or even a very soft peach color would look great. This is done by adding color into the concrete. (I much prefer this than adding the color on afterwards.)
  • Now let's design an interesting pattern into the concrete...not a stamped concrete design, but just some interesting scored, squares of about 24" wide.
  • How about setting the squares on the diagonal?
  • The patio can be rectilinear, but it can also have beautiful curves to it also.
And so you have it... a lovely patio at a fraction of the cost of one made of pavers, brick, bluestone, travertine or other natural stone.

To read more about cheap landscaping ideas regarding concrete patios, please visit:
Concrete Patio Designs
Concrete Patio Pictures

Take a look at my helpful ebook filled with all sorts of landscaping costs!

Prices are based on my experience with project estimating and reviewing contractor's bids for my clients.

Inexpensive Walkways

Consider using loose stone or concrete to create a very nice but inexpensive walkway. Visit my page on concrete walkways to get some great ideas.

There are many types of loose stone that you can use for a walk. Pea gravel, small river stone, or even crushed stone are some nice options. It's advisable to edge the walkway when using this type of paving material so that the stones do not wander over to adjacent mulched or grassy areas. Steel edging is not too expensive. You can also create a border using brick or pavers raised up slightly above the walkway surface.

You can also use stepping stones...there are some really unique ways of using stones for walkways.


Loose stone or tar and chip are great driveway options. Visit the following to learn more about tar and chip driveways, which is one of the better cheap landscaping ideas.
Tar and Chip Driveways
Tar and Chip Article
Asphalt Driveways

Planting Designs

The big to save money on plantings and still create a beautiful design? What are some specific cheap landscaping ideas?

  • Trees provide s sense of scale and break up the monotony of shrubs. Start with quality but smaller trees to save on costs.
  • Evergreen shrubs provide greenery in the winter and also bulk. Use some of the less expensive varieties and purchase smaller ones...but not that small that they will take forever to grow!
  • If you are creating a foundation planting, 18 - 24" shrubs in the background will not be too small and grow to nice size in a fair amount of time.
  • Use lot of perennials!! These can be quite inexpensive and they grow quickly. The only downside is that most do not look great in the winter. Sometimes that is not important though.

Retaining Walls

Use concrete block as the material for your any retaining walls that you need. If the wall faces an area that you do not see, you are all set. If the wall will be seen, use lots of plants in front of the wall or at the top hanging over to soften and camouflage it.

Landscape Fencing

One of the least expensive types of fencing is black chain link.
Before you go "eeeeek!", consider the fact that it really does fade away in certain areas so that it is not very visible.

An example of this is where it is placed in front of or in a wooded area. Similar to block retaining walls, if it is very focal, use plants to cover and soften it. You may choose other types of fencing too, particularly if it is not that large of an area.

Swimming Pools

Vinyl liner swimming pools are much less expensive than concrete or gunite pools. Yet they can be designed so that one would hardly know that they are not a more expensive one. You can read more about this on my concrete and vinyl pools page.

To get an idea of the different costs of various paving materials, visit my page paving costs for more cheap landscaping ideas. Here you can learn about pricing for both cheap landscaping ideas and the higher end materials also.

Landscaping Costs
Find out what actual parts of a landscape cost. Plants, different paving materials, steps, pools, ponds, lighting, and more are all listed along with many photos to show examples! Get familiar with cheap landscaping ideas.

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Cheap Landscaping Ideas

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