A professionally-curated garden is a pricey affair, that’s for sure. The design and materials themselves can be costly, and you might have to hire additional manpower to get everything done in time (which would further add to the cost).
But what most people don’t know is that sprucing up a garden can be easily done on the cheap – if you just know what you’re doing.
Here are some of the things that you can do to make your garden look nice on a budget.
1. Spring-Clean and Declutter
It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but this is something that most people tend to overlook. Sometimes, transforming your garden is just a matter of clearing up the clutter. Got old bicycles, rusted tools, and broken plant pots lying around? Well, better throw them away pronto. Remove all the things that don’t belong outdoors from your garden, recycle what you can, and chuck the rest in the bin. If you have a patio, give it a good scrub or a fresh coat of paint. Also, get rid of the weeds – they make your garden look messy and uninviting.
2. Be Smart When It Comes To Your Plant Purchases
Instead of annuals, try to invest in herbaceous perennials and shrubs (like astrantia, geums, and geraniums). These are probably one of the most cost-effective plants you can use in your garden since they grow and spread every year. Six geranium plants for example, is enough to fill up an average-sized garden if you’re patient.
The timing of your purchases is important to. Bare root trees and plants are a whole lot cheaper in the autumn and winter, rather than during the spring or summer when they are grown in containers. However, bulb plants are usually priced lower in the autumn.
3. Use Recycled Planters
Brand new planters and plant pots can be quite expensive. But with a little bit of creativity and recycling skills on your part, you can easily make your own without spending a dime. Here’s a particularly ingenious idea: cut off the top ends of used plastic bottles (i.e. the ones where fizzy drinks come in), punch out a few holes on the bottom, fill with gravel for drainage, and paint with your colour of choice (you can also leave them clear and unpainted if you prefer). Voila, you now have sturdy plastic planters at no cost. If you’re particularly handy with tools, old wooden pallets are also great material for planters.
Other common objects that you can recycle into planters include old pots and pans, wooden drawers, teapots, old tires, tin cans, mason jars – basically the only limit here is your imagination. Here is some more inspiration from Garden Lovers Club.
4. Use Gravel
For paths and terraces, you can easily use gravel (especially the self-binding kind), instead of the more traditional stones and bricks. Gravel costs a whole lot less than natural stone (one large bag can already cover an area of 20 square yards ), and the labour costs are much cheaper too. In fact, you can lay the material down yourself. All you need to do is to mark out the area that you want to be covered, level the ground, remove loose soil and grass, then lay down a permeable membrane over the whole area (this is to stop weeds and grass from growing). Then spread your gravel over the membrane; try to aim for a depth of 2 to 2.5 centimetres.
5. Shape Your Lawn
The best thing about this trick is that it will work on practically any size or type of garden with a lawn. It also costs absolutely nothing, labour and money-wise. First off, you need to decide on a specific shape that will work for your lawn. Square, circle, oblong – it doesn’t matter as long as it is well-defined and fits the aesthetics of your garden. Then, mark out the area with a string (or spray paint), and with an edging spade, dig out the excess grass. With this shaping method, you’ll soon find yourself with a garden that is uniquely yours.
And here’s some tips to keep your lawn green and healthy:
6. Don’t Forget The Lights
Garden lighting adds a nice splash of character to your home and garden. String some outdoor fairy lights round some shrubs, or suspend them from decorative canes stuck in the ground, and you’ll get a pretty glow through your garden at night that is as romantic as it is beautiful. If you’re worrying about your electricity bill, fret not, there are various solar-powered options that you can purchase off eBay or Amazon at a low price.
7. Add a Bird Feeder
A bird feeder isn’t really something that can drastically change the look of your garden… but having one can drastically lighten up the mood and ambiance of the area (especially if you can hear the birds happily chirping around your feeder). All you need to invest in is proper bird feed – there’s no need to buy a dedicated feeder since you can easily make one of your own. Just make your own out of old milk cartons, tubes, plastic bottles, pots – it’s up to you. And hang it somewhere where the birds can easily access it. Just make sure that the feeder is placed somewhere out of reach of other critters like rats and your cat.
8. Create a Focal Point
A focal point in a garden can be anything that is interesting and catches the viewer’s eye. This can be a small water feature, some interestingly-placed colourful planters, or unique-looking benches. It’ll also add a touch of uniqueness and whimsy to your garden, setting it apart from others.
9. Use Mirrors
Mirrors are often utilised by interior designers to make a smaller room look large. This is a handy trick that you can use too especially if you have a small garden. Hang a medium-sized mirror on a wall or fence. Not only does it add an interesting element to your garden, it will also help bounce off natural light so that your garden looks brighter. The reflection will also make the whole space feel larger too.
If hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you’d like me to take care of your garden then please head over to my garden design in Cheshire page.