A garden redesign does not have to cost the earth. Here are some ideas to help you get the best from a limited budget:
- Gain ideas from the very best places – gardens like yours. There are open garden schemes in most areas over the summer. Visiting them will provide ideas for how to transform your planting or redesign the space, in a way that will not demand costly changes. One of the things that is noticeable as you visit different gardens is that they have been designed for different uses, so the next tip is to –
- Be realistic about how your garden is used – there is no point in imagining a showpiece if the children and family dog enjoy a rough and tumble on the lawn. If you use your garden to sit out in and would like to eat there in fine weather, review the seating areas. Moving a bench or table and chairs to a spot in the garden which is more sheltered and has great views may cost virtually nothing, but will increase your pleasure and use of your garden.
- Use your initiative to find free or low-cost garden furniture, pergolas and garden sheds. There are a number of online sites where you can find free offers and, if you are looking for something specific, try posting a wanted ad. There are bargains to be picked up on eBay, and some of the DIY stores have great offers in the summer.
- Lighting can make an enormous difference to the look of a garden in the evening, allowing you to pick out special spots and highlight stepping stones across the lawn. Low maintenance solar lights will cost nothing to run and shed a soft and attractive light when the sun goes down.
- Ask friends for cuttings and plants. Friends who are enthusiastic gardeners often have seeds or plants to give away so, if you admire a shrub or climber, ask for a cutting. The pleasure of having “grown your own” when you see a plant flourishing in pride of place in your garden will far outweigh the time that it takes to raise it from seed or a cutting.
- Review the blank spots in your garden. There are often small changes that you can make to transform the look of your garden. If there is a corner which doesn’t get much direct sunlight and where weeds flourish, plan a makeover. Discover which perennials might thrive in those conditions and consider planting ground cover which will look attractive and help to suppress weeds. A bare wall can be an ideal backdrop for tall flowers in a herbaceous border or provide the setting for climbers like clematis and some of the old-fashioned sweet-smelling rambling roses.