17 Curb Appeal ideas | On a budget


17 Front yard curb appeal ideas on a budget. Plus our front yard makeover before and after. From overgrown grass to colorful Spanish Lavender.

It feels like just the other day we moved into this house. But judging by our lack of curb appeal, it’s been more like four years.

This eye sore didn’t just happen overnight though. It started with the weeds popping up through the garden barrier. Then came overgrown monkey grass and faded mulch. It was the result of 4 years of sub par maintenance and the words “we’ll do it next year.” were said more than once.

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Next year finally became this year, but we had to do it on a budget! As much as I like those gorgeous before and afters of mature trees being planted and a professional landscaper being called in, this isn’t that.

This is two homeowners digging up giant monkey grass bushes and disagreeing about how much mulch is actually needed. Spoiler alert… one of us was wrong.

Overgrown monkey grass and weeds
Spanish lavender, black mulch and solar lights



  • Plan your budget
  • Decide what you’ll be reusing (potting containers, edging, keeping bushes)
  • Tear out old weed barrier
  • Dig holes or pot new plants
  • Lay new weed barrier
  • Mulch
  • Place decor; bird bath, solar lights

At one point and time I actually liked our monkey grass! However, we had let it become overgrown and it was time to move on. We also decided to reuse our edging to save a little money in the budget.

Reuse edging to save on budget

We tore up the old weed barrier and weeds and planted Spanish Lavender along the path.

Tearing up the weeds and planting Spanish Lavender along the walkway
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We secured the new weed barrier with garden staples and put back the old edging along the path.

New weed barrier and old edging going into place

After the edging was back in place, we mulched around our lavender and potted our new Mandevilla plants.

Purple Spanish Lavender with black mulch

Mandevilla’s are gorgeous vine plants that flower during the spring and summer. Since we have a large brick wall, we wanted some kind of plant or vine to fill that area. We decided to pot the plants in a container so that we could bring him in during the cold winter months.

Being that he’s a vine he needed something to climb on. We had two choices; we could buy a trellis or make a simple trellis. I had pictured a wood V shaped trellis connected with 2×2’s. The DIY project would have cost as much as buying one… until.

In the same aisle as the edging I found a pack of 6 long bamboo sticks for under $3. We bought some wire and made our own DIY trellis for under $5 each.

Mandevilla climbing a bamboo DIY trellis
Mandevilla in plastic barrel container with a homemade bamboo trellis to climb

We then added a bird bath and solar lights along the path.

Front yard bird bath

This before and after isn’t as drastic as some. But that’s kind of the point with DIY projects on a budget. It’s a modest update that needed to happen and was one that we could do ourselves in just a weekend.

At times you make compromises. For example, we thought about edging the pathway with stone. But in the end we decided our money would be better spent on buying nice solar lights instead.

Front yard before
Front yard after with Spanish Lavender, potted Mandevilla vines, bird bath, black mulch and solar lights

Not only do we love our modest update so do the birds and bees! We hadn’t even finished our project when this little guy came to visit.

Honey bee on purple Spanish Lavender

So who was right about the amount of mulch we needed? It was my husband. I was under by about 10 bags! We headed back to the home improvement store to get the extra bags of mulch that we needed, but isn’t that how home projects go?

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