How to Make a Sunken Patio Garden on a Budget

OurNew Patio Garden

Sharing all the details about how to make a sunken patio garden on a budget for less than $150 with pictures.

I have always loved the look of an all white flower garden & decided that this new sunken patio garden was the perfect spot to create one. 

We were able to create this perennial white garden for less than $150 by doing the gardening ourselves by mostly transplanting & dividing plants we already had.

How to Make a Sunken Patio Garden

*this post contains affiliate links for more information check out my disclosure page here*

Sharing all the details about how to make a sunken patio garden on a budget for less than $150 with pictures. #patiogarden #gardeningforbeginners #gardeningonabudget

Before Picture of our Patio Garden Before

Here is the before picture of what the garden looked like after taking our deck down & after our retaining wall is done.

Our New Patio Garden - dirt

Pretty bare!

Because our new brick patio doesn’t go back quite as far as the former deck did we had a blank slate in some spots & a few overgrown shrubs in others.

The first thing we had to figure out was what to transplant & what to keep.

Our New Patio Garden - before

Evergreen Boxwoods as the Backdrop for this Sunken Patio Garden

The boxwoods were definitely staying but there were a few azaleas that we wanted to move & weeds we needed to pull. 

Thankfully, all but 1 survived transplanting and will hopefully fill in beautifully under our giant pine trees in another spot in our backyard.

Our New Patio Garden - yoshino cherry tree

Plant Trees for Future Shade on the Garden Patio

Because we need more shade for our new reclaimed brick patio we planted 2 more trees so we had a tree on all 3 sides of the patio. 

We kept our Yoshino Cherry that we had planted soon after we moved in to shade our previous deck & also our patio fire pit.

Our New Patio Garden - yoshino cherry tree

We transplanted a Kousa dogwood to a spot next to our hot tub. 

The tree was about 7 foot tall & has already started to shade our fire pit & hot tub at different times during the day. 

I also moved the stepping stones that were hidden under the pachysandra around our octagon garden shed.

Our New Patio Garden - hot tub stepping stone and kousa dogwood tree

The last tree we planted in the center of the patio is a Franklinia tree, FRANKLINIA ALATAMAHA – PLANT — APPROX 14-20 INCH – DORMANT .

Our New Patio Garden - Ben Franklin tree

Because we live just outside of Philadelphia I thought it would be fun to have a tree in our yard named after Ben Franklin who was so important to the city of Philadelphia as well as our country. 

These beautiful trees are pretty rare and tough to grow so I am crossing my fingers that it will be happy here. ūüôā

It will take a long time for this tree to grow before it starts giving us any real shade but I am willing to wait & give it a try.

Our New Patio Garden

Rhododendrons for Color & Greenery

We also bought 4 white rhododendrons like this one from Amazon, Cat Album White Rhododendron – Live Plant – Quart Pot  to give this patio garden more privacy & spring blooms.

Our New Patio Garden - white rhodedendron
Our New Patio Garden - back of our farmhouse

Transplanting & Dividing Plants to Keep this Patio Garden on Budget

I also transplanted & divided a lot of hostas, hydrangeas & ferns to fill in the blank spaces in this patio garden.

Beginner Gardening Tip – I ALWAYS have Hostas that need dividing so if you are just starting out with a new garden. Check with some gardening friends & chances are they have extra plants they can divide!

Our New Patio Garden - fern
Our New Patio Garden - white garden with hostas, ferns, pedestal

This gardening project took way longer than I ever imagined thanks to many underground roots from a former pear tree we took down last year.

walkway along the back of the farmhouse overgrown - patio garden before

Above is a pic of what this space looked liked before & what it looked liked a few weeks ago.

Our New Patio Garden - gaden walkway before

Even after cutting down this pear tree down it continued to send up water sprouts all over the garden next to our flagstone walkway and our diy post and rail fence.

Our New Patio Garden - tree roots

I filled more than one trashcan full of roots before we were able to finish this walkway & patio garden. 

After the roots were out we could add more hostas to this space.

Our New Patio Garden - transplanting hostas
Our New Patio Garden - stone walkway off of our farmhouse

It will take a few years for this patio garden to fill in and give us the privacy and shade we want but I can’t wait to watch it grow.

Our New Patio Garden
Our New Patio Garden

The garden has come a long way since we started this patio project.

Our New Patio Garden - diy arbor garden entrance
Our New Patio Garden - back of farmhouse

Our Backyard Patio is DONE. Stop by to check out the full reveal (HERE)

Sunken Patio Garden 3 Years Later

Here are some pictures of what our sunken garden patio looked like this past spring. I share more pictures of our patio garden in this post HERE.

I have started A LOT of gardens around our farmhouse & today I am sharing 6 of my favorites. These small garden ideas are simple to create & look beautiful! #gardening #patiogarden #smallgarden #gardenideas
I have started A LOT of gardens around our farmhouse & today I am sharing 6 of my favorites. These small garden ideas are simple to create & look beautiful! #gardening #smallgarden #gardenideas

Can you BELIEVE how beautiful this sunken patio garden as filled in after only 3 years. It has truly become a gardening oasis.

I hope our sunken patio garden inspires you to create a garden oasis of your own!

by Tara Lehman

For more gardening ideas you can always follow along on Pinterest!

Outdoor Summer Garden Hop

Gardening on a Budget – Free Mulch

Gardening on a Budget – Free & Discounted Trees & Plants

Some More Gardening Ideas you Might Enjoy

Sharing 15 of my favorite shade plants, perennials & shrubs to grow under trees. #shadeplants #landscaping #backyardideas #shadeperennials #shadegardenideas
If you have trouble with deer eating all your home grown fruits and veggies you might want to check out My Simple Trick for How to Keep Deer out of the Garden! #gardeningtips #gardening
We added a DIY Arbor & wire fencing to our raised garden beds. This DIY arbor was simple to build & brings a lot of character to our raised garden beds while the fencing helps keeps our chickens away from eating all the strawberries...And this project cost us less than $20 to build! #diyarbor #arbor #raisedgardenbeds #potagergarden


  1. It will be lovely! I adore the idea of an all white garden; my next plan is an all white/night blooming garden.

    Can’t wait to watch your garden grow.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comments about my new patio garden Christi! We are really excited to watch these plants grow too :).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.