While an unlimited budget to handle garden makeovers would be nice, for most of us we really need to work to something more realistic. Here's our guide to making over your garden - on a budget!
The arrival of spring encourages us all to spend more time in our gardens. You’ll often be keen to tidy up and then improve on what you have. Of course, if you had an unlimited budget, you could easily spend a fortune there.
But most of us simply don’t have such resources.
So, the key here is ‘affordable’ - finding inexpensive ways to add to the look, style and enjoyment you can gain through your garden makeover.
First steps into the new season
There are a range of starting tasks to complete before considering making some changes:
- Treating your garden to a spring clean is an obvious starting point - Like a publisher being handed a manuscript, your first step might be a little ‘editing’. This means removing – or perhaps simply relocating to better-suited positions - those plants that you have noticed have been struggling in recent times.
- Repainting as necessary - If your fences are looking tired or drab, a couple of coats of a proven dark (many experts choose black) outdoor paint will make them look impressive and also provide an excellent backdrop to show vibrant foliage and colours to best effect. Decking might also appreciate a light pressure wash and a fresh coat of oil. Plants pots and containers can also be refurbished in this way.
- Wash-down other hard surfaces - Carefully pressure wash stone, concrete or timber; use a light touch to remove surface muck. Depending on the style you have chosen, the same process might refresh your garden furniture.
- Carry out any manageable bush and tree-trimming actions - Expert help may be needed for taller and broader trees, but removing decayed or damaged branches is one part of the exercise. You might also remove some lower foliage to provide lights for ground plants underneath, or trim into a tidier, cleaner shape.
Undertake some rearranging
There are several inexpensive ways to achieve such improvements:
- Well-established perennial plants have often spread further than you imagined. Many such species can be dug up and moved to a better place. A quick check can confirm which of your plants are also suitable for splitting. These can be divided to create several plants where there once was only one. You might then spread these across a single area, to give a better overall effect, or place them in different parts of your garden where the tidy-up has provided some space.
- If your lawn is a bit straggly around its edges, a simple reshaping can deliver what seems like a major improvement. You might choose a square, rectangle, or circle design, or waves around the edges where borders meet grass. Simply use some string and a few canes to mark your route, and use a spade to edit out the excess. The result will be both sharp and professional-looking! You might even consider adding some stone or brick edging – either to the lawn or your borders.
Spend a little for great effect
If your gardening budget is limited, then consider choosing from the following actions that would best add to your garden:
- Give your garden a proper bio or composted dark mulching - This delivers a great background to allow your plants to stand out and helps to prevent weed growth. This mulch delivers vital nutrients, and also helps maintain soil temperatures and moisture retention. If you have trees in your lawn, digging a small ring around them and then adding a few inches of mulch adds to the effect.
- Consider adding a veggie patch in an unobtrusive corner - A few dollars spent now can both save money in the shops later and help the family appreciate the real taste of properly fresh vegetables. It’s not unknown for kids who hate any task involving the garden to adore having their own growing patch!
- An alternative way youngsters can often become involved is if you create a small raised veggie or flower border, which also adds a different aspect to your garden. Cover the current surface (lawn or soil) with a piece of tarp or membrane, build up the outside with cinder blocks or bricks to your chosen level, and then fill with a nutrient-rich soil.
- Break up your lawn with a path - Or you could add one round the edges between the grass and border. Simply remove grass (or soil), add a membrane to prevent weed growth, and then spread your choice of gravel, stones, wood, or flagstones. Choose a shade that best reflects the planting of your garden.
- Finally, consider adding an internal picket fence to separate specific parts of your garden.
A couple of terrific final garden makeover touches
- Think of ways to decorate your garden. You might choose a small fountain or pond, wind chimes or fairy lights strung between tall bushes or trees.
- Invite the world of birds into your garden with a birdbath, feeders, and even nesting boxes or a birdhouse. This adds life, colour and stress-reducing birdsong.
Spend your budget wisely
Our expert team here at The Garden Men are ready to help stretch your garden makeover budget to deliver the greatest impact in your garden for the season ahead. And if you are considering something more major like a lawn, garden or landscaping project, we can help with that too.
Feel free to contact us for some obligation free advice.