Easily Design Garden on a Budget
Before you begin, set a budget in your mind. You don’t have to break the bank to redo your landscape, so stick to the budget to make sure you don’t overspend. If you hold on to the seeds from your previous seasons (flowers and vegetables) you can allow the seeds to dry over the winter and as the spring comes then you can plant the seeds in seedling trays, making sure you keep them near a window for warmth and sunshine and tend/water them regularly. Don’t panic if you haven’t thought that far ahead and you didn’t manage to save any seeds from last season. If so, why not try going and asking your neighbours or family members if they have any spare seeds saved from their gardens – if not then look out for the bargain buckets, sales and discount days at your local garden centre to get inexpensive seeds.
Save Seeds this Seasons
Don’t be afraid to ask. If you like the look of something that is growing in someone else’s garden, why not ask whether they would mind you taking a cutting sample from the plant so you can grow your own. Most gardeners are very pleased to be asked this and will happily let you collect cuttings – flattery gets you everywhere! Remember that botanical gardens often have mid-winter to early spring pruning clear outs in rose gardens. Phone up to ask when this is happening and to see whether members of the public are allowed to come and get the off cuttings, as these can often be very expensive/healthy plants, just remember to avoid picking the diseased/rotten cuttings!
We might be ready and raring to go, but hold back until the frost has gone! Then take the seedlings outdoors and continue watering them in their trays. Do this for a few weeks in order to help them transition from the indoor environment to the outdoor one.
The best way to trim your water bill is to conserve rainfall in your very own rain barrel. What’s more, salvaged materials are often less expensive than new and add unexpected character to garden, so why not shop around for someone who’s giving away an old rain barrel? If you have a landscape finance plan, be careful what you pay out for, use your money wisely with ideas to spend less and save even more.
Plan, plan, plan
Create a garden plan on paper – this will help you restrain yourself in the same way that a shopping list helps you to curtail lavish expenses which we don’t need and can’t afford (which we are guilty of every now and again). Draw in the flowers, the vegetables, the ornamentals, and the decorations that you would like to have in your garden this year, in their exact place, so that you know exactly how much you need to buy and where it’s all going to go!
You don’t need to buy expensive resin plant pots; why don’t you make your own garden decorations rather than buying decorative items for the garden? Recycle and reuse household items to create new and amazing garden sculptures and water features. Don’t waste money on expensive terracotta pots – buy a plastic imitation one and paint it with a mixture of natural yoghurt and water for a weathered effect. You can be as imaginative as you’d like and rope the kids in to help too – bird feeders are a great way to bring nature to your garden and get your children to witness the wildlife first hand.
Keep it simple, pretty and useful – if you are struggling for inspiration then why not go and visit the local garden centres/allotments to give you some ideas on what you could potentially do in your very own garden! There is nothing more attractive than a well-weeded, well-tended garden. Regardless of your budget you can achieve your goals – it’s possible, it just takes a bit of hard work and commitment.
Nowadays we are all on Facebook, it’s the social hub of everything, from party invites, to selling pages – all you need to do is find local garden selling pages near you. For example if you type into the top bar in the middle ‘Garden selling page Cambridge’ you will get a list of the top pages for Cambridge. You can get some total bargains on there – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Plants for free! Sounds a bit too easy doesn’t it? Freecycle is the fantastic website where people offer their unwanted property, from furniture and electronics, to posting job adverts, and what we are most interested in: plants and many other garden related items, which are given away for free every day! Freecycle is a relatively new concept, it’s an online organization that connects people who are looking for items or have possessions they would like to give away – the rule is, everything must be free.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The building blocks of any thrifty gardener’s patch are seeds, and seeds you must collect! They will save you money year after year. Seeds store for much longer than the sell-by date on the packet and the best way to store them is in the fridge – yes the fridge! As odd as it sound, if you tape up even just a half used packet of seeds, they will work just as well next year and the year after, just remember to keep them in a container!
Karen is a keen grower of many vegetables which can be found in her vegetable patch at the bottom of her beautiful cottage garden. When she is not all ‘green fingered’ with her pals from All Seasons she enjoys spending time with her family and running her two businesses.