Ever felt like your garden is more high-maintenance than your actual relationship? Between the weeding, pruning, mowing and general upkeep, keeping your outdoor space in check can feel like a full-time job. The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way.

There are plenty of low-maintenance landscaping options that won't break the bank or your back.

In this article, we'll share our top 10 tips for giving your garden a makeover on a budget. From drought-resistant plants to hardscaping with gravel, you'll find creative solutions to cut down on the time and money spent keeping your garden looking gorgeous. Best of all, these budget-friendly ideas mean you'll have more time to actually enjoy your outdoor oasis rather than constantly tending to it. Ready to transform your garden without the stress?

👉 Read on for our favourite fuss-free and affordable landscaping ideas. Your new low-key garden is just 10 tips away!

Go Native: Use Low-Maintenance Native Plants

Going native with your landscaping is one of the easiest ways to save time and money. Native plants are naturally suited to your area's climate and soil, so they require minimal maintenance once established.

Choose species indigenous to your location for the best results. Do some research on plants native to your region and pick ones that match your desired look. Here are some examples of great natives for Australian backyards

  1. Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos spp.): Kangaroo Paw plants are iconic Australian natives known for their striking, tubular flowers. They come in various colors and are drought-tolerant once established.
  2. Grevillea: Grevilleas are versatile shrubs with unique flowers and foliage. They are excellent for attracting birds to your garden and thrive in a range of climates.
  3. Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.): These plants are famous for their bottlebrush-shaped flowers, which are a magnet for nectar-feeding birds. They require minimal pruning and can handle dry conditions.
  4. Lomandra Grass (Lomandra spp.): Lomandra is a tough and drought-resistant grass-like plant that adds texture to your landscape. It's virtually maintenance-free once established.
  5. Dianella (Dianella spp.): Dianella, also known as flax lilies, offers striking blue-green foliage and small blue to purple berries. They are very hardy and need little attention.
  6. Eucalyptus Trees: While some eucalyptus species can be large, many dwarf varieties are suitable for smaller gardens. They provide excellent shade and are low-maintenance once established.
  7. Westringia: This hardy shrub features small, white, star-shaped flowers and grey-green foliage. It's well-suited for coastal areas and requires minimal pruning.
  8. Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra): If you prefer native grasses, Kangaroo Grass is an excellent choice. It's drought-tolerant, low-growing, and provides a natural, meadow-like appearance.
  9. Banksia: Banksias come in various sizes and shapes, making them adaptable to different garden styles. Their unique flower cones are a standout feature.
  10. Native Violet (Viola hederacea): If you want ground cover, Native Violet is a great option. It forms a lush carpet of green with delicate purple or white flowers.

Native plants also support local wildlife like birds, butterflies and bees. By providing food and habitat for these important pollinators, you're helping your local ecosystem.

Another perk of native plants is that they tend to be drought-tolerant since they've adapted to your region's rainfall patterns. Less watering means lower utility bills and less time spent maintaining your yard.

When planning your garden, group plants with similar light and water needs together for easier care. And be sure to leave adequate space between plants as they mature.

An added benefit of native plants is that they often require little to no fertiliser. Because they're well-suited to your area, they can usually get all the nutrients they need from your soil.

If you're looking for an easy, eco-friendly landscape that's gentle on your time, budget and the environment, native plants are the way to go. Transforming your yard into a natural paradise has never been simpler.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch: Mulch Beds to Reduce Weeds

Mulching your beds is one of the best ways to keep weeds at bay and reduce your yard work. Mulch acts as a weed barrier, keeping sunlight from reaching the soil and preventing new weeds from sprouting. It also helps the soil retain moisture, so you don’t have to water as often.

For the best results, apply 90mm to 100mm of mulch around plants and in empty areas of your yard. Organic mulches like wood chips, bark, and pine needles work great and will enrich your soil as they decompose. You can often get free mulch from your local arborist or utility company. If you prefer, inorganic mulches like gravel or rocks will also do the trick and last longer.

Aeration and Fertilisation

In addition to mulching, aerating and feeding your lawn will keep it lush and healthy with little effort on your part. Use a lawn aerator to create holes in the soil so water, oxygen, and nutrients can reach the roots. Fertilise in the early spring before the grass starts actively growing and again in the fall to strengthen the grass for winter.

Choose a balanced, slow-release fertiliser and follow the directions to determine how much and how often to apply. These two simple steps can transform a patchy, lacklustre lawn into a dense, vibrant carpet of grass. Less mowing, weeding, and watering required!

With some upfront investment in mulch, aeration, and fertiliser, you'll have the greenest lawn on the block and gain back your weekends. A low-maintenance yard really can be within your budget if you focus on the fundamentals.

Drip Irrigation: Save Water With a DIY Drip System

A drip irrigation system is an easy DIY project that can save you time, money and lots of water in your garden. Rather than spraying large areas, drip irrigation delivers water slowly at the root zone of plants.


To set up a basic drip system, you'll need:

  • Drip irrigation tubing or tape
  • Emitters or drippers to control water flow
  • Connectors to join tubing together
  • An adjustable timer to control the water schedule
  • A filter and pressure regulator


Lay out your tubing along the base of plants and secure in place with stakes. Attach emitters every 150-300mm for most plants. Join sections of tubing using the connectors.

Connect your tubing to an outdoor spigot using the filter and pressure regulator. The filter removes debris and the regulator reduces water pressure to the ideal rate for your drip system.

Programme your timer to water plants for 15-30 minutes, a few times a week. The key is to water infrequently but deeply. Adjust emitters and timers based on your climate and plant needs.


Drip irrigation has many benefits for your garden:

  • Targeted watering. Drip systems deliver water precisely where it's needed at plant roots. No water is wasted.
  • Healthier plants. With the right amount of water and nutrients, your plants will thrive.
  • Fewer weeds. Since you're only watering specific plants, fewer weeds will sprout up.
  • Less disease. Drip irrigation reduces excess moisture on leaves that can lead to fungal diseases.
  • Lower water bills. Using a drip system can save 30-70% of water usage compared to sprinklers.

With some basic equipment and a little time, you can install an efficient drip irrigation system in your garden. Your plants and your wallet will thank you!


You've now got some handy ideas for transforming your outdoor space without breaking the bank or needing to set aside hours each week for maintenance. Whether you go for gravel, mulch and potted plants, a raised bed veggie patch or a paved patio, you'll be able to sit back and enjoy your garden without worrying about the chores.

Your neighbours will be green with envy at how you've created an oasis of calm and natural beauty so affordably and effortlessly. So get out there, roll up your sleeves and start making over your garden this weekend. You'll be so glad you did!