Us Brits love spending time in our garden and you can pretty much guarantee that as soon as the weather permits, we’ll be out there BBQ-ing, sunbathing or just pottering around. Problem is, most of us have probably neglected our garden a little over the miserable months and if you’re anything like us, you’ll probably have an unruly mess of a jungle on your hands. Whether you are working with a huge lawn, a small terrace or even a balcony, here are Savoo’s top 10 tips for making your outdoor space summer ready- without spending a fortune.
1. Have a gardening party
Unless you are a green-fingered goddess, clearing an overgrown and neglected garden is probably NOT your idea of a good time. So instead of going it alone, try and rope as many friends and family in as possible to get the job done in a day. Stock up on beer and food as a bribe, crank up the music and fire up the BBQ to turn gardening into a party.
2. Just get the basics done
A bare garden might not be pretty, but stripping it back to basics is infinitely better than a messy weed infested outdoor space. Create a blank canvas by cleaning hard surfaces (like patios and decking) with a high-pressure hose, weeding all the flowerbeds, binning any rubbish and digging up the soil ready for new plants.
3. Sort out the grass
A lush green lawn is the cheat’s guide to gardening on a budget- it doesn’t cost much to set up, doesn’t take much time and once the lawn is established it is really easy to maintain (promise!)
As a general rule, if you have a small area with a bit of money to spare then laying turf is the quickest option. But for larger areas, sowing grass seeds is a much more wallet friendly option. If you already have grass that is yellow and patchy, cover it in seeds during late spring and water on a daily basis; this takes time but is much cheaper than laying turf.
For great deals on the latest lawnmowers why not check out these Gtech discount codes and find out how we got on when we ‘grass-tested’ the latest cordless Gtech lawnmower.
4. Choose the right plants
Ok now we are getting into the complicated part of gardening: choosing the right plants for your outdoor space. Novices might want to do a bit of research into which plants will grow in their garden and which will fail miserably- some plants hate the sun and others can’t get enough of it;a and certain soil affects plants differently.
For maximum value for money, look out for plants with more than one season of interest. Choose varieties that will not just flower in the spring, but will give colour and structure all year round- we recommend climbing ivy, evergreens and perennials. Check out this post Chelsea Flower Show Inspired Gardening – Deals & Tips for Going Green for some great recommendations of starter seeds for fruit and veg from You Garden.
5. Shop for bargains
Filling your garden with plants doesn’t have to be expensive, you just need to know the right places to look. Ordering plants online is the best way to buy in bulk: YouGarden.com has a fantastic range of bulbs and flowers, and make sure that you check out their regularly updated Sale section. Remember, local independent garden centres are often better places to find a bargain than chain stores, and are usually owned by plant enthusiasts with specialist advice.
6. Try fun garden planter ideas
Rather than spending your budget on lots of little cheap plant pots, create impact with a few large planters instead; you will fill the space more quickly and your money will end up going further. And for added creative impact use other containers as well as traditional pots. Fun ideas include:
Flip flops and mugs
If you are lucky you can find most of these in a charity shop, junk-yard or even a skip.
7. Second hand furniture
What’s the point in having a new and improved garden if you can’t sit and admire it with a glass of wine? Sadly, garden furniture can be pricey. If you aren’t in a particular hurry then it is worth waiting for the end of summer when the sales start, and you’ll be able to pick up a bargain. Alternatively, start scouting out pre-owned pieces from charity shops, car boot sales and online, which will scrub up nicely with a clean and a lick of paint.
8. Get painting
Replacing decking, fences and sheds is not only expensive but also time consuming. Instead, give them a makeover by sanding the wood down, wielding a paintbrush and a coat of protective oil.
9. Fairy lights
Fairy lights will turn the most mundane garden into a twinkling paradise, and create the perfect atmosphere for parties in the long summer evenings. You can pick up solar or battery powered fairy lights cheaply from a number of stores like Homebase and B&Q– string them up around trees, through bushes and around decking.
10. Vertical garden
If you are limited on space, start planting upwards instead out outwards! Ideal for balconies and small terraces, a ‘vertical garden’ can be put together on a budget using recycled paint cans, a trellis, paint and some zip ties. Here’s how:
Drill four drainage holes in the bottom of each can
Coat cans with weather shield paint
Allow to dry
Fill cans with soil and plants of your choice
Attach to a trellis and secure with cable ties
What are your tips for making over a garden on a budget? Let us know!