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4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Turn Your Backyard Into a Summer Oasis


Love the comfort of relaxing in your own backyard? Here, four easy ways to turn the outdoor space into your own private getaway without breaking the bank!

Nab furniture for 50% less.

For homey touches like patio furniture, lights or trellises, head to Aldi. The supermarket chain famous for their bottom-dollar grocery prices also offers their own brand of low-cost outdoor living products. For example, they’ve offered a glass-top patio table that seats six for $69.99, and a double glider chair for $49.99 — 50 percent less than what you’d pay for similar items elsewhere. Also smart: “I buy most of our garden furniture and planters at,” says landscape architect Richard Schipul of Designing Eden. “It can be cheaper than buying direct from the manufacturer.”

Install a patio for 42% less.

Want to create a cozy patio area where you can sit and while away the summer? One way to build it is with concrete pavers, but that’s typically labor-intensive and pricey. “A good DIY alternative is a pea stone patio,” says Schipul. It costs up to 42% less per foot than patio pavers and is far easier to make: After clearing, leveling, and tamping the ground, simply lay down landscape fabric and add 2″–3″ of pea stone on top. For simple step-by-step instructions, visit Lowe’s website.

Skip on mulch to save big.

If you’re looking to cover a dirt patch or keep weeds from springing up around bushes, trees, and flowers, skip wood mulch, which you’ll need to replace year after year as it breaks down. Instead, plant living ground cover, advises Schipul. Plants like geum (avens), chrysogonum, liriope, phlox subulata (creeping phlox), and ceratostigma (plumbago) each cost about as much as one bag of mulch, but the flowers spread and continue to grow, keeping weeds at bay as they cover the ground. Plant them once and they’ll keep springing back on their own, saving you a bundle.

Buy 2 plants for the price of 1.

Purchase perennials that can be divided, urges Schipul. As they grow, you’ll be able to tease apart the roots of clumping crown plants (such as asters, daylilies and geraniums) and cut apart rhizome plants (such as irises) to make multiples of the same plant. For easy video instructions, visit YouTube and search “how to divide clumping perennials.” Another way to save: Head to IKEA to pay 20% to 50% less than at garden retailers. For example, Home Depot sells a 91 ⁄2″ majesty palm for $36; it’s just $14.99 at IKEA.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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