Having a garden, lawn, or outdoor space can really be a game changer. It’s like your own personal oasis where you can enjoy nice weather and nature.
However, if your garden doesn’t feel very homey or welcoming, you’re probably less inclined to spend time in it. But giving your yard a makeover can seem like a very daunting task.
Before you spend a ton of money on garden renovations, try channeling your creativity and exploring some unique gardening ideas that are inexpensive and easy to execute.
Keep reading to discover 14 gardening ideas to change and customize your space for the better!
Things to Consider
When determining what gardening ideas you want to explore, it’s important to be realistic about your space.
What do you have room for? What kind of climate do you live in? Do you have pets or kids? Is the soil in your area fertile enough?
Gardening ideas that work on a large lawn may not fly on an apartment terrace, and vice versa.
You also need to be conservative with your budget. Big landscaping projects can get expensive, especially if you need to hire a professional to help.
Instead of overhauling the whole thing, why not try some smaller DIY gardening ideas to bring some new life to your outdoor space?
What You Might Need
Though many gardening ideas are DIY-able with the things you have lying around your home and garage, you still will probably need some tools around to help you out.
Required tools and materials might include:
- A spade
- A rake
- A hand shovel
- Scrap metal, wood, or concrete
- Plenty of soil
- Preloved materials and furniture
- A whole lot of creativity!
On a Budget
1. Easy DIY Garden Path
Creative gardening ideas really don’t come easier and more budget-friendly than a DIY garden path.
If you play your cards right and are good at opportunity spotting, you can even tackle this idea for free.
The steps of your garden path can really be anything that suits your fancy, such as discarded bricks and concrete slabs, old decking slats, stones, or for a more whimsical look, tree stumps.
Garden paths add some structure and organization to your yard or outdoor area without compromising your space, as fencing, a trellis, or other dividers might.
It’s a low-effort, low-cost, high-impact gardening idea that can quickly upgrade your space without really trying!
2. Alternative Planters
When decorating your outdoor space with potted plants, the costs can add up quickly.
Planting from seed is a more inexpensive option by a long shot, but that isn’t accessible or possible for everyone.
In a potted garden, soil, planters, plant food, and of course, the plants themselves can make for quite a pricey shopping list.
But really, almost anything can be a planter!
From coffee tins to paint cans to teapots and even old shoes, your likely have plenty of planters lying around ready to be upcycled.
Not only is this a creative, quirky gardening idea to spice up your outdoor space, but it also saves you a few pennies!
3. DIY Outdoor Couches
You can’t hang in your newly decorated space without some garden furniture!
But, acquiring it can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re after larger pieces like a couch.
With just a few materials and elbow grease, you can DIY an outdoor couch instead!
If you’re familiar with DIY projects, you’ll know that used wooden pallets are pretty easy to get your hands on and often extremely cheap, if not totally free.
Finagle a few of those together, weather seal the wood, add some comfy, washable cushions, and you’ve got yourself some lawn furniture.
With this gardening idea, you’re upcycling some materials, saving yourself some serious money, and customizing your furniture to your liking.
What’s not to love?
For Small Spaces
4. Planter Gallery Wall
If you live in an apartment or maisonette, your garden space might be rather limited. In fact, you may not have a garden at all and are improvising using your balcony or terrace.
If this is the case, you’ll likely find yourself with a whole lot of potted plants and planters. And as much as you love them, a potted garden isn’t the best use of space.
One way to combat your garden’s spatial limitations is creating a planter gallery wall.
This gardening idea will look a little different for everyone, depending on what walls or partitions you have to work with.
But regardless, utilizing your vertical space to display your lovely plants is an efficient gardening idea that can save you a whole lot of mental energy as you organize your outdoor layout.
Not to mention it looks pretty cool, too.
5. Cocktail Container Garden
One of the best things about having a sizable lawn and garden, if you should be so lucky, is being able to grow your own food.
However, if you’re short on space, that may be a challenge.
If you don’t want to let size constraints keep you from sowing your oats, then why not try a cocktail garden?
A fun take on an herb garden, a cocktail garden is your own personal supply of cocktail garnishes like mint, basil, rosemary, and lavender.
With this gardening idea, you’ll save space, get the satisfaction of growing your own food, and have a boatload of ingredients to try in a new yummy drink recipe.
6. Creative Companion Planting
Companion planting is the practice of growing plants together in the same bed that are complimentary or mutually beneficial.
This could mean growing flowers that attract a certain type of pollinator alongside a vegetable that needs that pollinator to flower.
Or, you can use companion planting for organic pest control by planting one plant that is resistant to a certain type of pest around a plant that struggles with it.
Rather than requiring separate beds for every single plant, you can group plants that grow well together in the same area, saving you ground space.
Some examples of plants that grow well together include cruciferous vegetables and mint, carrots and leeks, and tomatoes and marigolds.
However, this gardening idea doesn’t just save you some inches of soil – it also looks beautiful!
Companion planting creates a varied bed of different colors and textures. You can very easily companion plant artfully as well as efficiently.
7. Old Chair Planters
Upcycling old household items make for some of the best creative gardening ideas!
There are tons of different used and preloved items that can serve a purpose in your garden, and likely a few you’ve never even considered.
Did you ever consider using old dining chairs as outdoor planters?
Though maybe not the most obvious choice, they work surprisingly well as planters and add a vintage feel to your outdoor decor.
8. Wine Cork Plant Markers
When first starting an herb and vegetable garden, the seedlings and sprouts can look very similar to one another before they flower and grow.
But plant care isn’t one size fits all, so it’s important to know which bed is which so you can adequately tend to your budding crops.
If you’re in the market for some plant markers to keep your vegetable garden organized, try upcycling some wine corks!
You can easily paint them, write on them with a marker, or draw on them to more clearly mark your garden.
Plus, it’s a totally customizable gardening idea, so you can decorate them or leave them as plain as your heart desires.
Cork, in general, has a lot of upcycle value, so it’s always good to hang onto old wine corks and bottle stoppers – you never know when they could come in handy!
9. Colander Hanging Planters
When it comes to caring for your potted plants, proper drainage is extremely important.
An excess of water in the bottom of a pot or planter can lead to root rot and potentially wipe out the whole plant.
Drainage holes also help to aerate the soil properly. All in all, they’re pretty crucial to the health of your plant.
Even so, there are plenty of hanging planters without drainage holes out there.
If you need some better drainage options, look no further than a basic colander.
You can find a plethora of pre-loved ones at thrift stores, dollar stores, yard sales, or even in your own pantry.
Creative gardening idea tip: make sure the holes in your colander aren’t too big or that you have a water-permeable liner you can use to keep everything compact.
10. Wildflower Patches
No matter which way you slice it, we would be nothing without pollinators.
The food we eat and the clean air we breathe are thanks primarily to the actions of pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds.
That’s why, when exploring different gardening ideas, it’s important to include some that are pollinator friendly!
One easy way to start is to do some research into the wildflower species in your area and create a wildflower bed specifically for your local pollinators.
This gardening idea looks beautiful and unique, and all the while is helping the ecosystems in your community to thrive.
11. DIY Raised Beds
Another way to ensure that pollinators can benefit from your creative gardening ideas is to introduce some protected, raised beds into your space.
Not only does this look neater and adds some structure to your outdoor space, but it also protects those precious plants more effectively.
When planted in a raised bed, flowers and other plants see less competition for resources and are better protected from pests.
This leads to higher production and more stable growth.
An awesome way to introduce raised beds into your garden is by making them yourself!
Old scraps of metal, planks, or even concrete slabs make for great protective material for a raised bed.
For Newbie Gardeners
12. DIY Garden Shade
There’s nothing better than hanging in your outdoor space on a beautiful summer day.
But sometimes, it’s hard to enjoy it without some shade and relief from the bright sun.
Thankfully, creating your own garden shade is super easy!
All you need is some large scraps of fabric, some poles, and something to hold it all together.
This gardening idea is particularly fun because you totally customize your shade however you want to compliment your garden.
It’s stylish and fashionable and makes spending your day outside a bit more bearable.
13. Fairy Garden
Another simple gardening idea to add some character to your space is a fairy garden.
Fairy gardens are small, enchanted worlds that you can build inside any ordinary pot, planter, or terrarium.
Typically, you’ll start with some succulents and moss, add some miniature decor like small houses, rivers, and critters, add some accent plants, and voila!
This is a fun gardening idea to tackle with the whole family and adds some whimsy to your garden without too much time, effort, or money.
14. Easy Water Feature
Water features are a cool, unique gardening idea to diversify the plant and insect population in your outdoor space as well as draw the eye to an exciting focal point.
However, getting one set up can seem a bit overwhelming.
They can be expensive to purchase and have a landscaper install and intimidating to put together yourself.
So why not try a gardening idea that fits the bill but is a bit simpler than some of the grand stone fountains you see in gardening magazines?
With some stones, a metal tub, and a water pump, you can fix yourself an easy water feature in no time.
Wrapping Up the Guide to Unique Gardening Ideas
Making your garden feel more like you doesn’t require a huge investment and hiring a landscaping company to do.
There are plenty of simple, creative gardening ideas and changes that can transform the feel of your outdoor space to reflect your home and your interests better.
Want more garden content? Visit our gardening page for in-depth guides, explainer posts, and great ideas!