Garden patio ideas on a budget

Ready to bring your outdoor space to life? Whether you’re revitalising a dull back garden or creating a new patio, you don’t need a magic money tree at the bottom of your garden to make it happen.

Ideas cost nothing, materials can be inexpensive, and hiring the right equipment from your local HSS branch is always affordable. We’ve picked up lots of brainwaves from our customers over the years, so let’s explore some inspiring ideas for making a simple patio into a unique outdoor space.

Think beyond the box: curves 

If we had to choose one word to sum up every uninspiring patio we’ve ever seen, it would be “rectangular”. Lay paving in rigid lines to form a straight-sided patio, and you are creating a literal box—boringness beckons. But you can break free from that regimented look with a few sneaky tricks.

One easy solution is to introduce curves. Most garden centres sell paving in a variety of sizes and shapes, including circular. So, measure up your space and plan out a more attractive, less predictable patio.

Why not create a curved edge or sinuous path to complement your colourful borders or the lushness of the lawn? Alternatively, work around a central circle, lay hexagonal shapes in a honeycomb pattern, or use odd-shaped stones to add out-of-the-ordinary details. Better still, mix it up with a blend of curves, patterns, and textures.

Need to cut paving stones or slabs to a specific shape? We can help with that. You can pick up a superb selection of masonry cutting equipment at your local HSS branch.

Diamonds can be a garden owner’s best friend, too. For example, laying square slabs diagonally creates an elegant geometric pattern, and it’s such a simple way to make your paving stand out from the neighbours’. Another idea is to lay alternating stones in contrasting colours, resulting in a smart chessboard effect.

Conjure up your secret place

(Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz) URL:

Treat your patio as a retreat by creating a “me time” hideaway for reading, meditating, playing music, or just listening to birdsong. Pamper yourself by making the seats comfy with plenty of outdoor cushions, shelter it with an archway, and screen your secret spot from prying eyes with carefully positioned planters. You could even train some honeysuckle or climbing roses around your shelter to add even more fragrance.

Add a focal feature 

Think of your patio as a room that happens to be outdoors, and you’ll understand why it needs a focal point. Indoors that can be a fireplace or the TV, but there’s scope to be more imaginative in the garden. For example, if there’s a garden wall on one side, turn it into a living wall by encouraging small plants to grow in the joints or positioning a trellis for climbers.

Alternatively, paint the wall with a textured finish or a colour that complements the surroundings (hire one of our air compressors to make light work of painting walls and fences). Outdoor furnishings, such as showpiece clocks, barometers, sundials and statues, help to create character.

Level up 

A patio need never be just a flat expanse of paving. With the help of the proper clearing and digging equipment from HSS, you can create a multi-level patio to create different zones for multiple purposes — a raised dining area or BBQ ‘stage’, for example.

A raised flowerbed on or alongside your patio is another excellent way to create a sense of depth. Other suggestions for taking the eye upwards include adding a simple timber pergola. Roof it with rattan or fabric to create shade and shelter. Making the most of your verticals is especially recommended to make a small patio feel more spacious.

Blur the edges


(Credit: Copit) URL: 

If you are limited to a rectangular patio, a simple way to soften those hard edges is simply to let your garden plants and shrubs flow over the sides of the paving. Positioning pots and planters is another way to achieve the same informal feel, introducing splashes of colour.

Make light work

Lights that twinkle in the twilight on long summer evenings are an essential and inexpensive addition to every patio. There’s such a vast choice of options nowadays; your biggest problem may be settling on one! Hang fairy lights from your shrubs and trees or drape them over hanging baskets. Solar-powered lights are an option that ticks a lot of boxes as well — there’s no need for any wiring, and you’re doing your bit to protect the planet.

Repurpose and recycle 

If you’re aiming to stretch a small budget, reusing materials from elsewhere is a satisfying solution.

Bricks or stones salvaged from a demolition site or leftover from a building project can be used to pave your patio (if you have a lot) or create an inset feature (if you only have a few).

You could repurpose wooden pallets or crates as seats and tables. The seasoned and weathered wood complements carefully chosen cushions and fabrics to create a wonderful organic effect. You could even carefully dismantle the pallets and use the timber to build a decking area.

Ready for even more ideas? 

If your new or remodelled patio is part of a wider project, you probably need a few more ideas. That’s why we recommend exploring the rest of the HSS Hire blog. You’ll find a wealth of tips, tricks and simple instructions for every kind of home improvement task — and you’re in the perfect place to hire any equipment you need at affordable prices.

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Laila Naqvi

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