Backyard Apartment Ideas

Backyard Apartment Ideas

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Want to create a lush backyard garden without breaking the bank? No matter the size, layout, or style of your rental home’s back garden, there are many ways to transform it into a stylish oasis. 

So, for those with limited funds, time, or expertise, here’s some of the easiest - and cheapest - ways to spruce up your apartment’s backyard.

What is a cheap way to cover dirt in your backyard?

If you’re not looking for drastic apartment backyard ideas and instead just want a quick and inexpensive way to cover up the dirt in your garden, you have lots of options.

While you can pave it, fill it in with stone slabs, cover it in a real or artificial lawn, the most affordable way to fill in the dirt in your backyard is to cover it with crushed concrete or mulch.

Mulch can be inexpensively sourced and usually costs less the more you buy. It’s also made more affordable in that it doesn’t require any labor costs or maintenance.

It can also be a great way to nourish your soil and preserve it for future planting. As it’s made of organic material, when it starts to decompose it will actually strengthen your soil.

How to transform a garden on a budget

To go further than this and give your front yard a makeover (while still on a budget!) there are lots of inexpensive landscape designs you can follow to bring color, vibrancy, and creativity into your back garden no matter its size or shape. Here’s some of the best backyard ideas for those saving their pennies.

Plant wisely

Plants – be they vegetables, flowers, or full-bodied shrubs – are such a fantastic and inexpensive way to instantly transform an outdoor space into a luxurious, tropical, and interesting space. One of the cheapest ways to bring plants into your garden is by growing them from seed. 

Related Post: Low-Maintenance Tropical Landscape Plants

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your local garden center for clearance sales of stock and purchase wisely. Or, to reduce costs even further, ask friends and family for cuttings from their own plants that you can transplant into your own backyard.

When choosing what plants to use in your garden design, perennials are always a good idea for those on a budget as they will grow back year after year, saving you both time and money.

After planting, divide

Once you’ve sourced your seeds, cuttings, or perennial plants, be sure to divide them to get more bang for your buck. This works particularly well with clump-forming perennials like geraniums and astrantia.

Dividing your plants essentially means you’ll get a bigger and more impressive display for less money. Simply pull apart each plant into two or three parts – all with roots and some stalks – and plant them separately in your flowerbed. Once they’ve grown after a year or so, you can dig them back up and repeat the dividing and planting process so you have even more flowers to enjoy.

A fresh lick of paint

Instead of buying new furniture, plant pots or other garden items, spruce them up with a new coat of paint for an inexpensive but effective garden transformation. Choose a bold color to achieve a more dramatic impact or stick to a classic black for a clean and sophisticated look that will stand the test of time.

This is also great for those searching for budget small garden ideas as it doesn’t require any extra equipment or space but instead rejuvenates what is already there.

Simple landscaping ideas for rental property

Finding ideas for a rental-friendly backyard makeover can feel tricky but there are actually simple steps you can take to create temporary but transformative gardens in your rental property.

For example, rather than planting into the ground, using pots and containers to house outdoor plants, vegetables, and flowers is a great temporary landscaping idea that brings interest, color, and vibrancy without permanency. Browse the plants available at here.

This is also perfect for patios and paved areas that don’t afford lawn space for planting. To maximize space in small areas, use tiered planters – or even just repurpose an old ladder – to add height and a living wall.

Recycling indoor furniture and repurposing it for outdoor use is another easy way to transform a rental space into a beautiful landscaped garden. Paint your furniture for further personality and, while it won’t last forever, you should get good use out of it while renting.

Related Posts: Best Planters for Balconies

Patio shade ideas for renters

To create a shaded area in your rental’s patio, you have several options. The first is to choose an awning. This could be retractable, coming usually in a long, vertical box that can then be attached to an exterior wall.

A temporary awning is another option which won’t create any damage or change to your rental property whatsoever. The good thing about a temporary structure is that you can bring it with you when you choose to leave your home.

Finally, rather than needing whole shading for your area, you can always use umbrellas or canopies for spot shading across your patio.

Worried about what shading will do to your patio plants? Read our guide to the best shade plants you can plant in your outdoor space here.

Sloped garden ideas on a budget

If looking to landscape a sloped garden, there are lots of ways to make the most of this topography without spending a fortune. Using stone slabs - which you might already have lying around your garden anyway! - to  create a slabbed staircase is one way to turn your sloped garden into a garden feature.

Contrast this by planting wildflowers, which you can grow from seed inexpensively, and require little maintenance. Stone steps bordered by plants creates an interesting and pleasing effect that won’t break the bank. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to backyard ideas for rental properties. With a bit of creativity and a can-do attitude, you can create an outdoor oasis on a shoestring budget. So roll up the sleeves and get cracking!

Check out other ideas for landscaping smaller outdoor spaces with our guide to townhouse backyard patio ideas here.

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