Garden Design for Under $500

With a $500 budget, you can invest in key pieces to design and update your garden and yard.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Kathryn Brown Photography

Photo By: Photo courtesy of King Landscaping

Photo By: Image courtesy of Gardener's Supply Company

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Serenbe

Photo By: Photo courtesy of The Home Depot

Photo By: Photo courtesy of River Root Gardens

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Gardener's Supply Company

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Starlite Patio

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Good Ideas

Accentuate Your Entryway

With $500, you can get the most bang for your buck if you focus on a particular area of your outdoors. This home is on a Georgia lake, and adding plants in containers, topiaries and a new doormat enhances the entryway for weekend visitors.

Say 'Yes' to a Sculpture

Select a sculpture that is harmonious with the look of your garden, whether you have Japanese-inspired design or a whimsical folk art style.

Electric Chipper

Clean up the yard and create mulch at the same time with this $199 15-amp chipper. Branches and twigs become moisture-conserving mulch in minutes and the bag detaches so you can spread the love immediately.

Pressure Wash Paving to Remove Grime and Algae

A strong jet of water from a pressure washer will quickly clean paving around a garden landscape.

Make Way for Mulch

Surround plants with mulch of straw, grass clippings or pine needles. Mulching inhibits weeds and conserves moisture.

Take a Seat

Gardening is hard work, but take time to relax in your outdoor spaces with a cafe table and chairs. Scour consignment shops and garden centers for stylish yet affordable tables. If you already have the table and chairs, update them with new seat covers and roll out a new outdoor rug underneath.

Create a Serving Area

Start to turn your garden into an entertaining space, by buying an outdoor bar cart or spending the weekend on a DIY bar project. Set off the spot with a crushed gravel or stone path.

Select a Statement Piece

A full landscape do-over is difficult with $500, but you can invest in a signature item for your yard. Think handcrafted and unusual, such as the birdhouses and planters made by River Root Gardens, a Texas company. Jeanette Lara-Lewis uses roots from trees in Latin America for her creations. The birdhouse retails for $300-$325.

Start Growing

You can start working on your garden, by building or buying raised beds. These from Gardener's Supply Company range from $178-$239. Also take a portion of your budget for fresh mulch or pine straw.

Colorful Globe Thistle Blooms Impact Garden

Add a distinctive texture to a garden by sowing globe thistle flowers. They are a great addition to the cottage garden or a mixed perennial garden. The flower heads provide good color before opening.

Daylilies Add Color to Bedding Borders

Focus on the borders of your beds by planting flowers that add shape and definition.

Think Life and Light

Having a $500 or less budget won't enable you to makeover your entire yard, so experts suggest bringing in a collection of ceramic pots and adding accessories that fit your style. This trio of torches, along with potted plants, can turn a boring concrete patio into a more interesting space.

Conserve Your Water

Use part of your $500 budget to invest in key pieces with future impact, like a rain barrel. With so many rain barrels on the market, you can invest in one that fits the style of your garden or adds architectural details. The Savannah Rain Saver by Good Ideas retails for less than $200.