Tailoring the look of your home’s exterior is one way to create a space that reflects your personality. There are many cheap landscaping ideas you can tackle on your own that are high impact without a high price tag.

Creating a modern, beautiful yard doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, the gorgeous, million dollar contemporary gardens in the magazines are possible today thanks to creative designers with a desire to use materials and plants that were easily sourced and more environmentally sensitive. Landscapers and architects wanted to re-use creative materials that were low-maintenance, cheap or free and plants that required little care or water.

Get creative to come up with your own cheap landscaping ideas.

First, consider the space you have and what you will use it for. Do you have a large backyard that you like to spend time in? Does your front yard lack curb appeal? Determining what you want from your yard and what functions you’d like it to have will help guide your landscaping decisions. We’ve assembled a few cheap landscaping ideas to help you create a yard you’ll enjoy.

Make Geometric Patterns With Pavers and Ground Cover

A cheap landscaping idea that creates great visual impact is the use of pavers and ground cover. If you have unused ground space in your yard or bare earth you’d like to cover up, use recycled or broken pavers in a mosaic pattern of your choice. Plant moss or creeping sedum between the seams for contrast. The combination of the two materials means you need less of each, saving you money.

Creeping sedum is a light green perennial with yellow flowers that spreads on its own, thrives in full sunshine, and doesn’t need much water or maintenance to survive. Another great option for creating a fragrant path is the use of the herb lemon thyme in your mosaic pattern. It grows slowly, requiring minimal maintenance, is edible and releases a nice aroma when stepped on.

If you need to create a pathway through your yard, this also works as one of the best cheap landscaping ideas. While laying the stones on top of grass or the ground is an option, you can also dig shallow holes in the shape of the stones in order to ensure that they are flush with the ground.

Ask Friends for Cuttings

There are many flowers and plants that can grow from a small cutting of another plant. Before you head to the nursery to buy plants, seedlings or bulbs (which can be expensive), ask friends who have foliage that you admire for several small cuttings of their plants. Some beautiful flowers and plants like succulents and butterfly bush grow very well from clippings and will spruce up the look of your home’s exterior.

Add Planters to Your Cheap Landscape Ideas

You probably already have what you need in your home to grow flowers or vegetables, so you don’t have to buy raised beds or planters from a gardening store. Some great ideas for planters that you might already have on hand include wine crates or barrels, tires, or old pallets. Cluster repurposed planters at different heights to add depth and dimension, and give a visual focal point to your garden.

Another inexpensive but contemparary way to upcycle your planters is by painting them in a bold color. If you’re using terracotta pots, soak them in water for an hour before painting with water based paint.

Plant With Perennials

Perennials are plants that return year after year, while annuals are planted and live for only one season. For a budget-friendly flower choice, fill your garden with perennials. Great, modern perennials for your yard include:

–Allium (purple ball-shaped flowers shown in image above)
–Kangaroo Paw
–Veronica (spiked purple flowers in image above)

Decide on one of two different design approaches when landscaping with flowers — a one-color floral garden or a combination of colorful perennials.

Buying perennials might cost you a little more in the beginning, but it will be a one-time expense that will pay off in your garden — both financially and visually — year after year.

Use Ornamental Grasses For A Cheap but Contemporary Garden

A combination of grasses add texture, color and a modern look to your garden. While they can be a great, low-maintenance addition to your yard without breaking your budget, grasses help your landscape look high-design and expensive. Some grasses worth adding to your yard include:

–Blue Oatgrass
–Feather Reedgrass
–Flax (colorful)
–Little Bluestem (colorful)
–Zoysia (low and perfect for a soft ground cover)

Plant the grasses in clusters and add some perennials for an easy, year-round garden.

Use Gravel as a Cheap and Chic Garden Accent

Gravel is low-maintenance, durable and relatively inexpensive. Use gravel in spots where plants don’t thrive, there’s heavy foot traffic, drainage problems or an area where an architectural, modern look is needed.

Add Unexpected Materials to Your Garden

Corrugated steel, wood scraps, found objects and old copper can be artfully recycled into a unique feature in your yard. One of the easiest places to start is by adding unexpected materials to your fence or patio wall.

Get creative and add some of these cheap landscaping ideas to beautify your yard.