How to Add Fun with Frugal Garden Decorating


If gardening is an art form, frugal garden decorating is the paint!

We all want healthy, beautiful gardens that delight the senses. But there should also be an element of fun tucked between the greenery.

a white garden trellis with a ceramic yellow and tan bird on top

A shopping trip to the local gardening store may cause severe shock to your checkbook. Some of those precious gardening gnomes really need to come with its own pot of gold. You may be able to afford one, but several? Not so much.

This is when a frugal gardening ‘shopping trip’ around your home and yard may come in handy. Or you may want to check out flea markets, garage sales – or maybe even sneak a peek into your sister’s stash of goodies.

Just so you know: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!

frugal garden decorating thinks outside the box

Frugal Garden Decorating Thinks Outside the Box

I use everything. One piece is a simple birdbath made from overlooked objects. A small glass bowl was glued to a painted glass luncheon plate. The bottom of a glass vase was glued to the underneath side of the plate. The vase slipped easily over a piece of rebar, which was spray painted.

I added a few small pebbles to the bowl and added water. Birdseed was sprinkled on the plate. Not only did I add a bit of fun to my garden, it helped to attract bees, butterflies and some beautiful birds.

a green pot with yellow and orange flowers, a white enamelware pot with purple petunias, a sun dial, and a gray container with bright pink hydrangeas

My dad loved the color, texture and shape of rocks. Throughout his travels, he would often pick up a larger one. Over the course of time, he had enough to place around a small flower bed on his deck. My daughter claimed the rocks as hers when he passed away.

She was young at the time, so I ended up with them. As I was building my herb bed, three of them were used to anchor one side of my bed. They will accent the planned planting of lavender.

It is amazing what will look good as decorative elements in your garden. Just look around, test it out, and find the next thing.

fountains as frugal garden decorating

Frugal Garden Decorating Artwork


Place a tilted pot in your garden. Anchor the base with smaller rocks to keep it safely tilted. Fill with dirt and plant some type of trailing plant. Thyme, mint and vining petunias work well.

Think Whimsically Elegant

If you don’t already have some, head to garage sales or thrift stores and find purses of all shapes and sizes. Punch drainage holes in the bottom, and fill to 1” deep with small gravel. Add soil and plants. Then place strategically around your garden. Be sure to elevate some on rocks or pedestals to add more fun and interest to your garden!

Old Andirons

Put a board or piece of expanded metal, cut to size, across the anvils. Place colorful pots on the metal and plant with flowers, herbs or even garlic (the blooms on garlic are amazing!)

Victorian Fire Grate

These are heavy cast iron pieces that held coals. At one time, they were fairly common at flea markets. They are the perfect size for three small, or two medium size pots. Paint it a cheerful color, and add contrasting flowers. I painted mine white, and placed pots of bright red geraniums in it.

light your garden with frugal garden decorating

Light it Up!

Having a garden party?  Use battery-operated tea lights or solar-powered canning jar lids and place them in vintage canning jars.  Place them along the edge of the flowerbed or tuck them into the greenery.

a rusted old plow leaning up against a tree

Rusty Pieces

Almost any metal item that has rusted or has holes is a perfect gardening art form. Hang a watering can from a metal hook. Thread the holes with fishing line and string each one with crystal beads. Use a small enamelware bowl and place it on a flat rock. Fill with marbles and add water. A short metal stool is perfect to hold a pot, a birdbath or even a piece of sculpture.


Find an old pump stand that no longer works. You can create a small garden around this piece alone! Paint it a fun color, or just leave it rusty. Either way works great!

how to make a scarecrow

Mini Scarecrow

Make a smaller version of the traditional scarecrow and place it in your garden. You can use this post for a full-size scarecrow and adapt it to a smaller version!

Tree Stump

Nothing says gardening art form like nature itself. Find a piece of a tree stump in the height and circumference that works for your space. Top it with a colorful pot and plant.

Farm Equipment

Most rusty and unused pieces of farming equipment can be fun additions to your garden.  Use hooks and cotton scales to hold hanging plants.  Large gears make great backdrops. A tractor seat can hold a pot, and an old plow is the perfect accent piece.

traditonal frugal garden decorating

Traditional Artwork

Traditional pieces work well for frugal garden decorating.  Snap up a cement bunny,  birdbath base, or even an old garden gnome at a garage sale. Create a bottle tree using colored glass bottles and an old branch or metal stand.

Almost anything can be used for frugal garden decorating, as long as it is weatherproof, fun, and low to no-cost. Learn to think outside the box. View the items in your shed or barn from a gardening perspective. Take your gardening art form to a whole new level using frugal garden art as your canvas.

garden markers made from painted white wood with a green frog and bright pink wiindmill

Build Your Own Frugal Garden Decorating Items

Trellises and garden row markers are easy items to build. To learn how to make them, just follow the links to the DIY posts!

How to Build Garden Row Markers

How to Build a Garden Trellis

Now that you are filled with Fun Ideas…

It is time to head outside to do some ‘shopping’. Look in every closet, storage shed, and even ask your friends and family if you can dig through their junk piles. There is no telling all the great things you might find.

And be sure to share photos of your fun and frugal garden art!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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