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7 ways to spruce up your backyard on a budget

24th May '19 • By Georgia Budden

Backyards are the most flexible of living spaces. They are used for everything from outdoor dining to kids play areas and just about everything in between. One common misconception when it comes to backyards, is that it takes a lot of money to keep them looking great. The opposite actually holds true. You don't need deep pockets. Instead you can have a stunning backyard on a budget. Just follow these seven tips to make it happen.

1. Regularly mow backyard grass

It is very rare that you will see a backyard that doesn't have grass. As a result, the lawn is invariably what everyone sees first, so it is vital to keep it looking healthy and maintained. Chances are, if you feel your backyard is looking somewhat worse for wear, then bet the lawn hasn’t been taken care of. Set a lawn mowing schedule to keep it neat and tidy.

Cutting it weekly in Summer is best but this can change depending on the type of grass and time of the year. Just doing this can give you that backyard inspiration you need.

Tip: Talk to a backyard equipment expert at any hardware store to find out which lawn mower is best suited for your area. There are many electric and petrol options available and using a suitable mower will save you time and effort.

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2. Create a garden

A garden is a welcome addition to any backyard. They add much-needed colour and flair and can really bring some “pizzazz”. It can also be used as a source for fruit and vegetables, should you opt to plant them. There is also something satisfying in seeing a garden transform from a patch of dirt into a vibrant space or focal point.

Tip: Avoid opting to create your dream garden in the middle of your backyard which tends to be a high traffic area. Instead, hire a gardener to place it to one side, where people will be less likely to walk and can admire from a distance.

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3. Plant perennials

Perennials are a type of flower that are planted once and will bloom every season for at least 3 years. There are lots of different options available to suit your taste. These flowers can give your backyard some much-needed zest. The most popular perennial in Western Australia is the Kangaroo Paw, which is easy to grow. The colourful flower also happens to be the state emblem. Another perennial to consider is lavender, which is an adaptable and hardy plant.

Tip: Remember that while annuals are cheaper to buy, they only bloom once. This means you will have to buy new bulbs every year. Your gardener will also be able to suggest the best flowers to suit your backyard.

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4. Use repurposed items for backyard furniture

Buying backyard furniture can be very expensive. It seems a bit counter productive to spend a lot of money on furniture, which is only suitable when the weather is nice. You’re better off finding unusual items and repurposing them as backyard furniture. Wine barrels make unique tables, whilst pallets are a simple seating solution.

Tip: Don't be afraid to get creative when it comes to reusing items. There are plenty of things that can be used to spruce up your backyard. Take a look around your home as you may be surprised what you may find.

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5. Throw up some outdoor lights

A nice string of spa, garden and swimming pool lights can create a wonderful evening spot, where you and your friends can relax. There are numerous ways you can set these up to ensure it looks great in your backyard.

Tip: Don’t add too many lights. Having a space that is too bright ruins the ambience and can annoy neighbours. Look at solar to save on power and consider the various styles to suit your budget.

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6. Install a gravel patio

A cement or stone patio area may look amazing, but they can be pricey. An inexpensive alternative is gravel. You can create a nice patio area in your backyard using gravel or other popular bases like rubber and brick deck tiles. Pair it with “re-invented” or vintage furniture to create an antique look that needs minimal maintenance.  

Tip: Outline the shape of your gravel patio with edging to prevent it from spilling over into your lawn.

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7. Don’t match the decor

Matching elements are a necessity when it comes to interior design. However, the opposite holds true in backyard design.  A mix-and-match backyard is not only cheaper to create, but has a timeless, rustic appeal that will be a standout.

Tip: You should have fun sprucing up your backyard. Be prepared to experiment and be only limited by your imagination.

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Finally, always keep your eyes open for new items to use in your backyard. Visit flea markets and second-hand shops to find unusual objects that can be used as planters, furniture or decorations. 

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Further reading:
6 best backyard trends of 2019
5 gardening tips to increase property value
10 most beautiful gardens in the world
Outdoor Living Design Inspiration

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