For big or small, residential or commercial buildings, a spruced up outdoor area creates a relaxed and welcoming feel to your home or establishment. It does not hurt to feel special when you drive or walk up to your home. After all, you are the king or queen of your castle, no matter how lavish or simple it may be. A common misconception is that landscaping is expensive. The truth is, it can be expensive, but it is also equally true that it can cost you next to nothing if you have the right ideas and leverage on materials and plants that are readily available in your area. Note that there is a very thin distinction between landscaping and gardening. Gardening is the growth of flora and fauna. Especially those that have beautiful flowers, as well as shrubs and trees with the aim of making a space beautiful.

Landscaping, on the other hand, involves growing of the same as well as the manipulation of the terrain and physical features of a yard for aesthetic reasons. Now, let’s briefly look at four simple and inexpensive landscaping ideas that have the potential to transform your yard.

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1. Utilize Your Fence

If you have a see-through wire netting fence, you can opt to plant a creeping plant such as bougainvillea, which will not only provide you with more ‘green’ in the compound. But it will also pepper your whole fence with purple flowers through the better part of the year. It works on a stone wall too. The stem and vines of this creeper are thorny and; therefore, it bolsters your fence security and privacy as it creeps all over your fence. Some of the best wall climbing plants include:

  • Star jasmine
  • Chocolate Vine
  • Wisteria
  • Moonflower
  • Climbing hydrangea

These plants are also fast growing and require minimal maintenance.

2. Landscaping Your Yard

Manipulating your yard landscape can be as simple as heaping up soil in a chosen spot in the yard to form a sizeable mound of earth that gives the impression of a small hill. This creates an undulating effect that tends to draw focus in your yard. You may opt to let the lawn grass run over the mound or you can have it serve as a little garden with an assortment of flowers and ornamental pebbles such as river stone or colored pebbles. You can also place a few boulders on it to give it a rocky feel amidst the colorful flowers.

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3. Footpaths And Patios

Footpaths are a great way to add flavor to your yard. They can be done using locally available materials. You can use gravel, but the drawback with gravel is that it needs a bit of maintenance as it can get dusty and often needs to be raked back into the footpath periodically. If you can access mazeras stones, that would even better as they can create a stunning footpath, thanks to their naturally grooved surface and color tones. A concrete footpath will also work fine and can be stained to match the décor or theme of your garden.

If you have cheap access to clay bricks, this makes for great material to use on your footpath, walkway, or patio. The rich brick color adds tons of character to your yard. The same materials can be used for the floor of a patio. If your space is very limited, you can opt to do a pot garden on your patio, veranda, and sections of the yard.

4. Birdhouse And Water Feature

The sight or sound of water, as well as plants, are known to have a calming effect. Creating a birdhouse(s) from a tin and hanging it in your tree is not only fun. But will encourage birds to live in your yard, adding yet another element of nature. A water feature could be a small clear and shallow pond in the yard or it can be a small fountain. A pond or fountain with a reservoir is a great idea as it just recycles the same water over and over again while bringing beauty to your yard at minimal construction and maintenance cost.


As you can see, you don’t really have to set aside a huge budget for your landscaping project. Just take a keener look at the yard and let its size determine the design that you would want to work with. You can use locally available materials. Most come at no cost while others are cheap at best. In the end, you will end up with a beautiful yard at little to zero cost.

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Eric Worral-Author Famio BlogEric Worral has owned and managed rentals for over 9 years. Currently, he does marketing for RentPrep’s tenant screening & credit check service for landlords and property managers. He’s also the co-host of the “RentPrep for Landlords” podcast where he shares tips and insights on managing your rental properties.