Senior Resources » 11 Thrifty Landscaping Tips That Don’t Look Cheap

11 Thrifty Landscaping Tips That Don’t Look Cheap

11 Thrifty Landscaping Tips That Don't Look Cheap

Looking to spruce up your landscaping but worried about spending too much money? Retirees need not worry! Creating a beautiful outdoor space doesn’t have to drain your bank account. With a little creativity and planning, you can transform your yard into a stunning oasis without breaking the bank. Here are 11 thrifty landscaping ideas that will make your neighbors green with envy.


1. Go Native

black-eyed susans

A plant is considered native if it has a history of growing in a particular region without human introduction. Choosing native plants over exotic ones for your landscape adds more natural-looking beauty and also reduces maintenance and watering costs. How? Native plants are already adapted to the local climate. This means they’re generally used to growing on their own where you live, so they’ll require less care. has a native plant database where you can find all the best plants for your particular area!

2. DIY Mulching

hands fluffing mulch

Mulching is an easy and affordable way to add instant curb appeal and minimize maintenance. Spread it around your flower beds and tree bases to suppress weeds and retain moisture. Head to your local garden center and grab a few bags. The average price of mulch is only $2 to $5.50 per bag!


3. Repurpose and Upcycle

flower garden in painted tires

Get creative and repurpose items lying around your house or from flea markets and garage sales. Transform old wooden pallets into vertical planters, use crates as plant containers, or turn discarded tires into colorful flower beds. By giving new life to old objects, you can save hundreds while adding personality to your landscape!

Read Next: 9 Thrifty Gardening Hacks for Retirees Who Love to Play in the Dirt (that will save you HUNDREDS!)

4. Grow from Seeds

planting from seeds

Skip the expensive nursery plants and start growing from seeds. You’ll be amazed at the variety and cost savings that come from nurturing your plants from the very beginning. Plus, watching them grow from tiny seeds into flourishing plants will give you a much larger sense of accomplishment!

5. Rocks Rock!

landscape rocks

Incorporating rocks into your landscape design can add texture, depth, and a touch of Zen. This tip is so thrifty, it can even be free! You can collect rocks from around your property, from the woods, or ask neighbors if they have any lying around. Create a rock garden, build a rock pathway, or use them as decorative accents around your flower beds. This will add so much organic, natural beauty to your outdoor space too!


6. Make Homemade Compost


Forget about buying expensive fertilizers and create your own compost. Start a compost pile with kitchen scraps, yard waste, and leaves. Over time, you’ll have nutrient-rich compost that will keep your plants happy and healthy, all while reducing waste and saving money. Using kitchen scraps for houseplants works too!

7. Use Solar Lights

edison lights on outdoor patio

Outdoor lighting can transform your landscape into a magical wonderland, but it can come with a hefty cost! Opt for solar-powered lights. They’re eco-friendly and super cost-effective. Strategically place them along walkways, around trees, or near your favorite outdoor sitting area to create a warm and inviting ambiance. We LOVE these solar-powered Edison lights!

8. DIY Garden Accents

DIY garden accents

Paint colorful designs on terracotta pots, craft homemade wind chimes using recycled materials, or build a birdhouse from reclaimed wood. These handmade touches will add some personal character to your landscape without costing a fortune.

9. Consider Lawn Alternatives

clover lawn

Consider alternatives to traditional grass lawns to save on maintenance and water bills. How? Plant a clover lawn. Clover requires less water, fertilizer, and maintenance. Plus, it’s naturally pest-resistant! Just be careful, because clover tends to stain clothes easier.

10. Define Your Spaces


Creating defined outdoor spaces can give your landscape a high-end feel without the high-end price. Use inexpensive materials like gravel, pavers, or wooden pallets to section off and define different areas in your backyard like dining space or seating. This will also add some more functionality to your yard!


11. Plant Perennials

backyard trees

Perennials come back year after year. While they may cost a bit more upfront, they’ll save you money in the long run since you won’t have to buy new plants every season. Choose a variety of perennials that bloom at different times to enjoy a vibrant landscape throughout the year. Bonus points if you plant perennials that are native (psst! Tip number1)!

Thrifty Landscaping Tips That Don’t Look Cheap

spring garden

Creating a stunning landscape on a budget is all about thinking outside the box, repurposing materials, and embracing your DIY spirit. So, grab your gardening gloves and unleash your creativity!

Looking for More Thrifty Tips?

money jar grow

Get more Thrifty Tips here:

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Originally published May 17, 2023

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