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7 Backyard Makeover Ideas On A Budget

Updated on September 18, 2015

Today as I was leaving my house, I noticed a dried, dilapidated trail made up of the sad, brown pines of a Christmas tree long forgotten. The trail ran down to the curb where the sad, lifeless form of my neighbor’s dried out tree sat, awaiting its fate. Once I was able to overcome the initial feelings of pity and sadness for the abandoned tree, the shock of seeing a Christmas tree out on the curb at this point in April set in. And then it hit me; boy I can’t believe it’s April. In only two days we will be celebrating Easter, while we continue to inch into longer and longer days, as summer grows closer.

With spring comes much anticipated warmer weather, and with that warmer weather comes the inevitable backyard barbeque, late night get together, or just plain grill nights in the backyard. Living in southern California, I’m blessed to admit that our spring has been here for well over three weeks now, but with the actual passage of the spring equinox comes an innate sense of excitement for the coming months. And with those coming months? A sense of renewal. Something that--as I looked at the depressing, dried-out bristles on the ground before me—I realized my patio desperately needed.

With that said here are seven tips for sprucing up your backyard and getting it ready for those warmer spring nights and even warmer summer days.

Clean Up

Before you start your makeover, take inventory over what you already have. Make a KEEP and TOSS pile, something where you can see what can go and what can be made new again. Once everything is out of the way, sweep your patio clean, and scrub the places that need it. Consider using full-strength white distilled vinegar on grass and weeds that have popped up between cracks in the concrete or bricks. Use a broom to reach into the nooks and crannies and sweep out old spider webs (always be careful when reaching behind furniture or hoses in the backyard as it can easily be home to some nasty spiders). Don’t forget your windows; musty and dirty windows can dull an otherwise beautifully cleaned patio.

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Patio Furniture

Already have patio furniture that’s looking grungy and old? Grab some warm water, mixed with dish soap, and get to scrubbing. If your furniture has cushions that need to be cleaned, try mixing 1.5tsp dishwashing detergent with 1.5tsp Borax in one quart of warm water in a spray or old dish soap bottle. Spray the mixture directly onto the cushion, scrub with a dish brush, and blot clean with a paper towel. After the cushions have been cleaned to your liking, rinse clean with a cold hose and let air-dry in the sun. Not in the mood to get on your hands and knees and get to scrubbing? Consider visiting your local home store. This time of year there are great deals to be found on new spring furniture (including hammocks, but that’s just a personal preference).

Throw Pillows

So maybe you’re content with your patio furniture but not your cushions? Consider sprucing up your existing furniture with new throw pillows. Bright colors will last you through spring and summer, and with proper storage can even last for several years. Not to mention, when you’re hosting that spring-break cookout your guests will be infinitely more comfortable with some new pillows to rest their backs on.

Clean Your Grill

Over the winter it is likely that your grill will have collected dust and dirt from disuse. Investing in a top of the line grill brush will have your grill working like new each time. Try getting a brush with two different sets of bristles; one for dry cleaning and the other for steam cleaning. Start by heating your grill and scraping off loose food and debris that is crusted to the grates. Afterward, turn the brush head on so that it begins to steam and brush away to get those grill grates nice and shiny. If you aren’t able to invest in a brush with a built in steaming system, don’t worry! A spray bottle with water and a standard grill brush will do the trick.

Want To Get Started On Your Own Garden? Check Out This Video Here!

Feed the Birds

Invest in a birdfeeder, the birds will not only be appreciative but they will be a welcome and friendly sight for your newly refreshed patio. An added bonus is that your new feeder will bring birds near your flowers, helping them pollenate in the surrounding areas.

Living Spaces

Freshen up your flowerbeds by planting new bulbs and trimming any weeds that have become overgrown or popped up since before winter. Consider buying new flower boxes for windows, or vintage crates (which add character) to hold your new blooms. If you have a limited space, such as a small porch or a small balcony, you can still invest in some floral décor to make your area feel ready for spring. If you live in a shaded area where there’s not much sun, or you don’t happen to have a green thumb, try purchasing some succulents—the brown thumb’s best friend.

Start A Garden

If you have the space in your backyard, maybe it’s time to start your very own garden. Cost effective and a joy to maintain, a garden can be started just by putting together a couple of garden boxes. If you have more room, consider setting up three or four boxes. Now is the right time to get your garden started because some of the more popular seeds: zucchini, watermelon, berries, and jalapenos are planted in the warmth of spring to be harvested in the summer. Plant your garden now, and by the time June rolls around you’ll have a bountiful garden overwhelmed by ripe veggies and juicy fruit for your summer barbeques.

Hopefully with these tricks you’ll be on your way to a fresh new backyard and therefore, a spring and summer filled with friend and family gatherings. Unless of course you’re one of those people that actively try to avoid being with too much family—in which case, enjoy your little private, freshly done up oasis of a yard.


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    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 2 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Hi AskAsh,

      I agree--our yards are our own private piece of land that we are able to make as lovely as we want, more people should take advantage of that!

    • AskAsh profile image

      Ashley Baucom 2 years ago from Texas

      This post had some wonderful suggestions in it about how to make your yard beautiful. I don't think some people take as much pride in their yards as they might should. They take too much pride in technology to enjoy nature at times. It was refreshing to read this. Thank you.

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 2 years ago from Orange County, CA

      It's coming fast! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      mom 2 years ago

      Great! Let's do this!

    • profile image

      Cody 2 years ago

      I can't believe summer is almost here! Glad I found this list. Wonderful post!