It does not necessarily take much money to make a garden look beautiful and interesting--just a little imagination. Garden plants and decorative items can cost next to nothing, and sometimes nothing at all, with some enterprise. A lovely garden is its own reward, and it is relatively easy to achieve while having fun in the creative process.
Don't be afraid to ask friends or neighbors for cuttings of flowers that you admire. Most gardeners are willing to provide cuttings free of charge, especially from plants that grow profusely. Cuttings can be made at any time, but many gardeners thin out their plants regularly, which is when there are abundant cuttings for the taking. Geranium cuttings are particularly easy to plant and grow. They are a colorful addition to any landscape. A combination of red and white geraniums looks very attractive in the garden or at the front of the house.
Keep an eye out for "volunteers" (plants that have rooted in the ground by accident) to transplant to a garden. Experienced gardeners recognize what type of plant a volunteer is just by looking at the leaves. Learn to look for them, and be ready to scoop them up if they are growing in the open and not on private property. Transplant these volunteers to your garden and nurture them. In the case of fruit trees, their fruit will taste even sweeter because it is free.
Painting is one of the least expensive ways to dress up a garden. Consider painting a special backdrop on the fence, or mount a painted backdrop there to create an interesting effect. For example, a painting of the Eiffel Tower and the Paris skyline would look lovely behind a bed of tulips, which were introduced there to wide acclaim. Or paint a scene with an Asian theme to complement a bed of chrysanthemums which are native to China.
Clay or plastic flowerpots routinely house ornamental plants and flowers, but they can look a little plain. Dress them up with inexpensive accessories that can be glued around the outside of plain pots to give them color, sparkle and character. Bits and pieces of broken glass and tile can turn plain pots into designer pots. Glass containers for food products like jams and jellies are perfect, as well as glassware that is chipped and no longer safe.
Create a trellis for all seasons to celebrate every holiday with a change of scenery. Look for a basic trellis at a garage sale. For example, a bamboo trellis is very hardy and provides a lot of scope for vines and for decorating. Leave it natural, or spray paint it green so that it becomes a "tree" on which to hang holiday ornaments. Old glass Christmas tree ornaments will look great on a tree trellis. So will Easter, Fourth of July and Halloween ornaments.