Creating a beautiful garden on a budget

4th August 2019

It sometimes feels that you can’t do much to create a beautiful garden when you have a tight budget, but it is amazing what you can create with some new ideas and advice.

Garden ideas that won’t break the bank, DIY tricks from simple garden lighting, inexpensive outdoor garden furniture, colourful planting, and even some outdoor styling to create a welcome entertaining area for family and friends, or even a table and chairs to enable you to enjoy some alfresco dining.

Whether you have a large or small garden, a balcony garden, a patio garden or even a back yard, it is possible to make your garden great without breaking the bank and turn your garden into a tranquil haven, or an alfresco dining area.

Plan Your Garden

Make a plan and measure your garden, draw a sketch of how you would like your outside space to be. See if you can keep and re-use what you already have. Why not have a ‘garden party’ and offer your friends a BBQ and drinks if they will come and help you to clear the garden, build or paint a fence, dig over the beds and help plant the plants.

Shape Your Lawn

If you have a lawn, one of the easiest ways to transform your garden is to shape the lawn into a clearly defined shape, something like a circle, square or oblong.

Mark it out with string and use a spade to cut away the excess grass. It’s not a difficult job and should only take an afternoon - and the best part its costs absolutely nothing!

Filling Flowerbeds

The most cost-effective way to fill flowerbeds with good looking plants is to buy perennials that you can divide. Simply tip the plant out of its pot and pull it apart into two or three bits, each with some stalks and root.

Dig a hole and plant each part in your flowerbed, next year when they’ve grown and spread you can dig them up and pull them apart again. You’ll create a wonderful display in a couple of years for very little cash. SIx geranium plants are usually enough for a medium-sized garden.

Make Good Use of Recycling

Visit recycling centres for unusual containers rather than buying pots, reclamation yards make a good hunting ground for unusual items.

Grow your plants from seeds, and swap plants with friends and neighbours.

Recycle furniture, use unfashionable brown indoor furniture and paint it in a colour which will add style to your garden. Fold up furniture is useful if you have a small outdoor area, a table and chairs ideal for alfresco dining and then fold them and store them away when not in use.

Upcycle an old cabinet or kitchen cabinet into a potting table to enable you to repot plants. Add hooks to the side so you can hang trowels and other tools and store compost, pots and seeds.

Paint Sheds and Furniture

If you have a garden shed which you don’t use spruce it up with a coat of paint and use it for a sunny summerhouse or a garden playhouse for the children, somewhere where I am sure they will spend many happy hours. Impress your family and friends with an outdoor bar, instead of disappearing inside whenever anyone would like a drink set up your own bar outside.

You could repaint any old piece of furniture, be it a kitchen cabinet or even a table, find a large bucket or container for ice to keep drinks cool, giving you more time to enjoy with your guests.

If you have an old chest of drawers which you don’t use anymore, give them a new lease of life with a coat of colourful wood paint and use the drawers to create tiered planting space.

Brighten up your garden fence with a coat of wood paint. Instead of the usual shades of brown, why not create a statement fence by choosing a colour, a trellis and the garden shed could also benefit from the addition of some colour. Add some colour to any old garden furniture by adding colourful cushions and accessories.

Use Bedding Plants for a Splash of Colour

Add instant colour with bedding plants, be sure to feed them weekly with tomato food in the summer months, and keep them well watered. With the right care, they will be packed with flowers until early autumn.

For an unusual display use plastic bottles as containers, carefully cut the top of each bottle, add gravel for drainage, followed by soil and add plants of your choice. Brighten a wall with plants in picture frames.

Simple but hugely effective this easy make costs just a few pounds but is a smart way to bring colour to a dull wall. You will need some frames, chicken wire, paints and succulents and moss to fill them out.

Hanging baskets are easy to make and look stunning. Make sure you use a multi-purpose compost and feed them regularly with tomato food, and the plants will add colour to your garden all summer long.

Grow Your Own Vegetables

Have fun and grow your own vegetables - create a mini vegetable garden if you don’t have space or funds for a full-scale vegetable patch.

Plant your vegetables in a trug, or wooden boxes or even choose to plant vegetables in pots, using a different pot for each type of vegetable.

Creative Garden Features

Create a stunning garden feature with the help of step ladders. Tie two ladders together at the top, lay wooden planks across the runs to provide shelves to display potted plants, and/or lanterns. This is super easy to make.

Encourage Birds to Your Garden

Encourage the birds into your garden by creating a simple bird feeder with some small containers to hold birdseed and water. There is nothing more soothing than sitting in your garden and listening to the birds singing.

Interesting Pathways

When it comes to pathways and patios, gravel is a much more affordable surface than paving. To lay it in place mark out the area then scrape away any loose soil or grass.

Pin down a permeable membrane to stop the weeds coming through and spread the gravel over it. Add a flower bed border, one of the easiest and cheapest landscaping ideas. SImply add a stone edge and mulch to pretty up plain flower beds.

If you have a pile of old bricks in the corner of the garden that you have been meaning to move why not lay a garden path with them. Lay them long and sideways in a bed of gravel, mirror the shape of your flowerbeds with them to create a patterned curve.

Light Your Garden

Add some landscape lighting to your garden, not only is this aesthetically pleasing it also increases safety lighting up paths and any obstacles.

Outdoor fairy lights can be bought online all year round and they are quick, simple and a cheap way to add a pretty glow to your patio and garden. They can be arranged through trees or shrub branches or attach them to fences, decorate the outside of your garden shed with them.

The lights can be run from a plug inside the house so you don’t need an electrician, or some can even be run off ordinary batteries.

A creative and inexpensive idea to light up your garden is to use kitchen kilner jars, fill them with a set of solar powered fairy lights which will charge up during the day and give a pretty glow after dark. Place them around your garden to give that ‘fairy glen’ feel.

Decorating a Balcony

If you have a balcony garden, keep it simple. Match your planters with your garden furniture, freshen them all up with some colourful paint, old iron tables and chairs can look stunning with a fresh coat of metal paint

Make your small outside area feel relaxing and comfortable, not cluttered. A beautiful back yard doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a little effort and a lot of creativity, you can create a welcoming and exciting outdoor area.

Even if you don’t have acres of land you can create a garden anywhere you live.

If you live in an apartment create a container garden, if you live in a small terraced house create a raised flower bed in the back yard and fill with colourful flowers, and perhaps grow your own herbs, there is nothing more satisfying than popping outside and picking fresh herbs when you are cooking a meal.

Add Trees to Create Focal Points

To add some height and character to your garden consider purchasing a few small trees like an ornamental cherry tree or crab apple tree. Considering their longevity trees are very inexpensive and just by adding two or three you will make a huge difference to the look of the garden.

Water Features Always Look Nice

Not everyone has a pond or stream on their property, but creating a simple water feature is possible without spending a lot of money. DIY kits are available at a reasonable cost for use with any unusual containers or pots that you may have. The sound of trickling water can be very soothing when relaxing in your garden.

Take a look around your garden and home and see what you can recycle to create an individual feel to your outdoor space.

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