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How To Transform Your Backyard On A Garage Sale Budget

Updated on March 5, 2011
Dollar Store trinkets and garage sale finds
Dollar Store trinkets and garage sale finds


With Spring just around the corner, now is the time to start planning your backyard transformation. When my husband and I first bought our house 6 years ago the backyard was just a plain backyard with no character or charm. There was a broken down swing set, dry brown grass and no character whatsoever $6.Not knowing a thing about gardening and wishing I had of helped my grandmother all those years ago to learn a thing or two, we managed to transform our garden into a backyard oasis. Friends and family say it looks like it should be in a magazine. They can't believe we did it all on a garage sale budget!

 We purchased the house in March, just when all the garden centres were displaying all their beautiful spring wares. I started one by one purchasing pots, ornaments and little nick nack things each paycheck and putting them away. I had no idea about flea markets in the beginning and spent more money than I should have. I browsed through garden magazines, and drove around nearby neighbourhoods to get ideas from other experienced home owners. I soon discovered the difference between a peony and a pansy, a petunia and a impatien, a perennial and an annual, what thrives in the sun and what requires shade to grow beautiful blooms. So if you know absolutely nothing about gardening, don't worry it takes no time at all to learn the ropes. Your local garden centres are all there waiting and ready to answer any questions you have. Take a pen and paper if you need to and keep notes. You can also go to your local library to get great ideas if you are on a budget( the garden magazines can add up).

Take a look at your backyard and if you can keep track of where your sunny areas are and your shaddy areas. You may have to do this on a weekend if you work during the week so that you get a good idea of where these areas are. Remember too, that they will vary depending on what time of day it is and what month it is! A good rule of thumb to remember what flowers need sun and which ones don't is to take a look at the picture on the package the flowers come in. This often gives a detail of the type of conditions required for the plant to flourish. If the picture shows blooms than most likely it needs sun, most times there will be a picture of a sun or half sun indicating the conditions for optimal growth. Most plants come in a pack of four and have little or no flowers yet so it is somewhat challenging in the beginning to know what the blooms will look like but don't worry, once planted they will flourish and have beautiful brilliant flowers.

Once you have an idea of what look you're after you can now start to add the finishing touches. This is where my husband and I have learned that we don't have to spend big money to have a backyard getaway that friends and family love to come and relax in. This past year I purchased mirrors for 3 dollars, a basket for 50cents, a box of candles for 2 dollars and placed them all outside. I hung the mirrors on the side of the brick and placed the basket and candles on the table. The new trend is to take indoor objects and place them outside...outdoor living spaces are the "in thing". My sister was throwing out an old metal shelf, I took it and placed it on the side of the fence with a potted plant and as it weathers and rusts it looks even better! Remember that another man's trash could be your treasure! Have a look on the side of the road and don't be afraid to stop and pick stuff up, the owners will be glad you did! With a little coat of paint or even "as is" these objects can look amazing when placed in the right spot. The old Mexican planter on the side of the fence in the photo above I grabbed from a man walking it to the curb for garbage, I stopped and asked him how much he wanted for it and he said "open your trunk, you can have it".

So you see, when designing your backyard on a budget anything is possible! You just have to be a little creative and imaginative and have an open mind! See the bigger picture and you will have an incredible backyard done on a garage sale budget! Good Luck and Happy Gardening!


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    • jetta17 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great article. Every spring, I always wonder how I am going to fund my garden adventures, I never thought of a garage sale. Thanks for the idea.

      Just for a future tip, your paragraphs are a little daunting to most readers. I would suggest you split them down into smaller sections! Good luck to you on hubpages.


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