small backyard ideas

Small Backyard Ideas on a Budget for a Backyard Sanctuary

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Did you know that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors? It’s a startling statistic that becomes even more worrisome when considering a nationwide decline in mental health.

backyard ideas on a budget

A journal published by the National Library of Medicine shows how nature-based interventions and activities that get people outside improve the mental health of adults. The key is to “engage with nature in a structured way.” 

Going horseback riding or mountain climbing every day to get that serotonin fix may appeal to some, but for others, it’s just not feasible. Luckily, there are ways you can transform your backyard into a sanctuary for health and well-being. And the best part? These backyard wellness ideas will fit your budget. 

Small Backyard Ideas on a Budget

You can transform small backyards into personal sanctuaries with careful planning and creativity. In this section we’ll cover small backyard ideas on a budget to help you create a healing space in nature. 

1. Smellscapes 💨

Our sense of smell affects our perceptions and understanding of space. It influences our feelings and behaviors. Smells play a vital role in how we engage with and remember places. You can use smellscapes to heal in nature in your backyard sanctuary.

Vertical Planter

You can create a smellscape on a vertical planter for a small backyard. Plant aromatic herbs such as lavender, mint, rosemary, and basil. Or, if you prefer something more floral, use fragrant flowers like roses, jasmine, gardenias, and lilacs. 

Outdoor Candles

If you don’t have the space for a planter or aren’t confident in your green thumb, you can try a different DIY backyard idea, like outdoor candles using essential oils. Citronella is an excellent choice for its scent, and it repels mosquitos. 


Incense or Aroma Diffuser

If you prefer something simpler, place an outdoor-safe incense holder or essential oil diffuser in a secluded corner. Choose calming scents like sandalwood or lemongrass. 

Crafting a smellscape offers numerous possibilities, regardless of your backyard’s size. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create an environment that soothes your senses and promotes well-being.

2. Soundscapes 🌊

According to Physiopedia, one study that compared people’s responses to sounds of nature and technology found that nature sounds were always well received while technology sounds had negative effects.

The sounds of nature have a calming effect and can reduce stress and promote relaxation. The following small backyard ideas on a budget will help you elevate the nature sounds in your backyard sanctuary.

DIY Wind Chimes

You can make wind chimes using budget-friendly materials like seashells or bamboo. Their gentle sounds will create a peaceful atmosphere for healing in nature. 


Bird Feeders

Install bird feeders to attract more birds to your backyard sanctuary. Their chirping will provide a natural and relaxing soundscape. 

Water Feature

Another DIY backyard idea is to create a small tabletop water fountain. The sounds of running water create a soothing ambiance. 


Wind Barriers

Ornamental grasses like Pampas rustle in the breeze and can provide a gentle, soothing sound. If you don’t have enough space for a wind barrier, make flower arrangements with ornamental grasses.

Designing a soundscape for your backyard sanctuary doesn’t have to be complex or costly. With some creativity and thoughtful placement of elements, you can create an outdoor space on a budget filled with the therapeutic sounds of nature. 

3. Meditative Spaces 🧘‍♀️

Meditative spaces foster relaxation and mindfulness and are especially effective in nature. They can take many forms, but their main goal is to create a tranquil environment that promotes peace, concentration, and introspection.

Meditation Corner

This small backyard idea on a budget only requires you to find a quiet corner and place a comfortable cushion or mat. You can also add a small table for candles or incense. 

If your neighbors can see into your backyard sanctuary, consider adding a privacy screen so you aren’t distracted during meditation.

Zen Garden

A Zen garden works even in a small space. You can create a mini Zen garden using a shallow container, sand, and a few stones. Raking the sand can be a calming, meditative activity.


Hammock or Swing

If you have the space in your backyard sanctuary, a comfortable hammer or swing can be a peaceful spot for relaxation, reading, or meditation.

Outdoor Yoga Space

Lay down an outdoor mat for this simple backyard idea on a budget. You can add some potted plants to connect your yoga space with nature or add an outdoor shelf for equipment storage.

This yoga space will be a serene place in your backyard sanctuary to connect with nature and your body.

Curating a meditative space for healing in nature is a deeply personal and rewarding journey. Every moment spent in your haven, big or small, is a step towards nurturing your mind, body, and spirit. 

Create Your Backyard Sanctuary with LiveWell Outdoors 

If you’re ready to take your backyard sanctuary to the next level, we’re here to help. With over 20 years of experience building exceptional outdoor spaces, we create pieces of paradise right in your backyard. Check out our Portfolio to see examples of our work.

Don’t risk settling for less when it comes to your dreams. We’re here to provide guidance, options, and clear communication every step of the way – from the moment you dream it to the moment you live it. Schedule a consultation today, and let’s start creating the backyard sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of.

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Check out our free luxury Outdoor Oasis Dream Guide with some amazing ideas for building your luxury experience.
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