Cheap ways to upgrade your garden
So many of us love our outdoor spaces and want to make the most of them. If you are growing tired of your garden and would like to give it a revamp for less, there are lots of ways you can go about creating something fresh without breaking the bank. Read on for our top tips for cheap ways to upgrade your garden; from utilising what is naturally found in your space to harnessing the power of creativity, there is so much that can be achieved.
Make use of natural resources and let nothing go to waste
For those really keen to revamp their gardens without breaking the bank, making sure that you utilise what is naturally found in your outdoor space and salvage discarded items will be key. There is so much that can be achieved with this two-pronged approach and Elizabeth Waddington, a qualified garden designer at Horticulture.co.uk, spoke to us about how:
“I have two key tips for those looking to revamp their garden on a budget,” Elizabeth explains. “Firstly: look around and make sure you are making use of natural resources. Secondly, make use of things that would otherwise be thrown away.
“First things first: compost at home. Dry leaves, grass clippings and prunings from your garden are valuable resources that can help you get started with home growing and maintain fertility in your garden over time. You might set up a separate composting system. But you can also create new growing areas by composting in place. Save on the cost of materials by using organic matter and homemade compost to make new beds.”
Additionally, Elizabeth advises: “Layer cardboard over your soil or lawn, then add layers of brown (carbon-rich) materials like dry leaves, and green (nitrogen-rich) materials like leafy prunings and grass clippings. Top with homemade compost and you have new beds for free.
“You can also use natural resources to make new bed edging. For example, you might use pruned branches to make a low wattle fence around growing areas. You might also use logs from larger mature trees to edge your beds. Cob bed edging, made using the soil in your garden, could also be an interesting solution to consider.”
Finally, Elizabeth offers a tip for transforming miscellaneous items into something new: “Reclaimed materials can also be used to edge new beds and growing areas. Consider reclaimed wood, stone, bricks, blocks and more. From seed trays and pots to tools and garden supports and structures – reuse is a great eco-friendly choice. When you look around for natural and reclaimed materials, you will find that you need to buy far less than you may have imagined for your garden.”
Use pots and containers
Do you have a patio at home and not much more? Fear not as you can still create an area brimming with life, even without a lovely lawn or myriad flower beds. By utilising pots and containers to house beautiful plants and flowers, and then strategically placing them in the space you have available, you can create a truly peaceful environment to enjoy. You could consider hanging baskets to bring even more colour and life to your patio, picking up a few of these handy containers for relatively little and hooking them on a wall or fence for a transformative impact.
Plant a tree or statement plant
You will be surprised by how much a tree or two can transform your space, providing a completely new dynamic to your garden, a new spot for birds to enjoy and a shady area to sit under. Planting trees isn’t a particularly expensive endeavour either. You could opt for something like a crab apple tree, an ever-popular choice, and perfect for small gardens. They look lovely throughout the seasons, with lovely pink and white flowers in spring and then culminating in striking maroon apples in the autumn.
When speaking to us about her tips for cheaply upgrading a garden, Alison, from the gardening blog The Blackberry Garden, shared that the inclusion of a tree or statement plant would provide the most impact: “A couple of shaped bay trees in nice pots each side of the front door can look amazing. I would look to maybe create a topiary hedge or a statement topiary tree that would lend itself to being shaped. You will get the benefit of extra green in your garden and visitors will notice and comment on how wonderful it looks.”
Give fences and sheds a lick of paint
Sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all it takes. While you may think that your garden needs a complete overhaul, that things need to be knocked down or dug up, often it can be the simplest facelift that can have the biggest impact. For those who want to pinch a few pennies and give their garden a new vibe, why not consider taking a paintbrush to that garden shed or fence?
Melanie, from the interior design blog Melanie Jade Design, recommended this simple approach when speaking with us: “I think a lot of people forget about how transformative paint can be in the garden! We are quite happy to update our homes with new colours, but have you ever thought about painting your fence or shed a different colour? Try sage green, dark blue or black for a dramatic effect. You don't have to stop there either. Give your old garden furniture a spruce up with paint or even consider painting your plant pots to give them a complete refresh and new look.”
Install bird feeders
Introducing birdlife to your garden is one of the greatest things you can do to revitalise your outdoor space. Wildlife thriving in your garden brings an entirely new vibe and energy to proceedings and can also provide the garden owner so much joy. It can be easily achieved by making your garden somewhere birds want to be by installing a bird feeder or two. Experiment with a few different types of feeders with different types of food as this will attract an array of birds to your garden. If you want to go further, add a birdbath so the local bird population can spend even more time enjoying your garden.
Website Gardening Etc has the following to say, including some suggestions for bird feeders and a link to DIY ideas: “The sight of feathered friends flitting through your plot is sure to bring delight to everyone. Of course, the cheerful birdsong is a welcome bonus. So, for cheap garden ideas that instantly bring life to any garden, invest in one of our best bird feeders or two. Or why not try making your own? It's simple to do with our guide on how to make bird feeders.”
Make a homemade garden bar
If you would like your garden to become a space better suited to enjoy with friends and family, why not delight one and all with the introduction of a homemade garden bar? You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on something pre-made from a retailer, with a few DIY skills, some building materials and tools, you could try your hand at your own creation. Really all you need is to repurpose an old table or cabinet. If you don’t have something at home, peruse the local charity shops for a bargain, give it a lick of paint, install it in your garden and then kit it out with glasses and a bottle or two of your favourite beverages.
Make a DIY pond
Water features can have a dramatic effect on any space, and they don’t have to be expensive endeavours. By making yourself a DIY pond, you can introduce a calming focal point to your garden and provide local wildlife with a new watering hole. Good to Know’s Emily shares: “You don’t necessarily need to break the bank to add a water feature to your garden. Keep it simple with a birdbath or if you’re up to the challenge try adding a pond. It’s surprisingly cost-effective and can be assembled by even the shyest of DIYers.”
All you need to do is dig a small hole in your garden, add a pond liner to protect the bottom, collect some rocks to section it off with, and then add water. Nature will do the rest and you can enjoy the results.
Utilise outdoor lighting
Another cheap way to give your garden an upgrade is to utilise some outdoor lighting. You can create a space that you will want to sit out in during the evenings as a lovely alternative to the living room. You could opt for solar lights that will power themselves, lanterns, outdoor battery lights or even fairy lights draped around your fence or seating area. It’s a lovely cheap solution to a drab garden and will illuminate any existing seating area with a warm and inviting glow.
Create a vegetable patch
If your garden could do with a bit of a transformation, why not consider creating a vegetable patch? Dig up a patch of existing grass, corner it off, prepare the soil, and start planting. Not only will this have a visual impact on the space, but you will provide yourself with your own supply of delicious vegetables to eat. From carrots and beans to chilis and parsnips, there are so many options. You never know, you might even discover a new favourite hobby to enjoy and there is no question that food grown at home tastes just a little bit sweeter.
Affordable ways to revamp your garden
- Make use of natural resources and let nothing go to waste
- Use pots and containers
- Plant a tree or statement plant
- Give fences and sheds a lick of paint
- Install bird feeders
- Make a homemade garden bar
- Make a DIY pond
- Utilise outdoor lighting
- Create a vegetable patch
As you can see, there are so many ways you can look to upgrade your garden for relatively little or nothing at all. If you are looking for a few supplies to start your garden transformation, be it fencing or a range of decorative aggregates, please browse the RGB website.
For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog page.