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Budget-Friendly Garden Makeover Tips

Pink flowers in a pink pot - garden makeover tips
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

Transforming your garden doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a bit of creativity (and some strategic planning!), you can refresh your outdoor space without breaking the bank.

Imagine turning your garden into a vibrant oasis where you can relax and entertain, all while sticking to a budget. From clever use of recycled materials to simple DIY projects, you can achieve a stunning makeover that will make your garden the envy of the neighbourhood!

Here are some practical and budget-friendly tips to get you started on this exciting transformation.

1. Plan Ahead

Before diving into any garden project, take some time to plan. Sketch a rough layout of your garden, noting the areas that need attention and the elements you’d like to add. This will help you avoid unnecessary purchases and ensure you focus on the most impactful changes.

2. Use Garden Sleepers

Oak sleepers are a versatile and cost-effective option for various garden projects. They can be used to create raised beds, steps, or retaining walls. Sleepers are durable, easy to work with, and add a rustic charm to your garden. They’re an investment that pays off in terms of both functionality and aesthetics.

3. Grow from Seeds

Buying plants can quickly add up, but growing from seeds is an economical alternative. Many flowers, herbs, and vegetables can be easily grown from seeds at a fraction of the cost of mature plants. Plus, watching your plants grow from tiny seeds to flourishing greenery is incredibly rewarding.

4. DIY Compost

Composting is an excellent way to enrich your soil without spending money on fertilisers. Collect kitchen scraps like vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells (though be sure to double-check which scraps aren’t ideal for your compost heap), and add garden waste such as leaves and grass clippings.

Over time, these materials will break down into nutrient-rich compost that will help your plants thrive.

5. Swap Plants with Friends

Plant swapping is a fantastic way to diversify your garden without spending a penny. Connect with friends, family, or local gardening groups to trade plants, seeds, or cuttings. This practice not only allows you to introduce new varieties into your garden but also fosters a sense of community and shared enthusiasm for gardening.

By sharing your excess plants, you can also help others beautify their spaces. Attend local plant swap events or organise your own mini swap with neighbours to exchange tips and expand your plant collection.

6. Create a Focal Point

Adding a focal point can revitalise your garden without extensive renovations. This could be a striking plant like a colourful rose bush, a unique piece of garden art, or a serene water feature. Even simple additions like a birdbath or a well-placed garden bench can draw the eye and create a sense of harmony.

Focal points provide visual interest and can anchor the design of your garden, making the space feel more intentional and inviting. Consider the overall aesthetic of your garden and choose a focal point that complements and enhances your existing landscape.

7. Mulch Your Beds

Mulching is an affordable way to improve your garden’s appearance and health. It helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. You can use organic materials like bark, straw, or wood chips. Not only does mulching benefit your plants, but it also gives your garden a neat, finished look.

8. Get Creative with Containers

Containers offer a flexible and imaginative way to add plants to your garden without extensive landscaping. The possibilities are endless – use traditional pots, baskets, or think outside the box with repurposed items like old tyres, wooden crates, or even vintage suitcases.

These unique containers can bring character and charm to your garden. Grouping containers of different heights, sizes, and colours creates visual interest and makes a bold statement. By elevating some pots on stands or placing them at varying levels, you can achieve a dynamic and layered look that draws the eye and adds depth to your garden design.

9. Add a Vegetable Patch

Growing your own vegetables is a rewarding and cost-effective way to enjoy fresh produce while making the most of your garden space. You don’t need a large plot of land – even a small vegetable patch can yield a surprising amount of food. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, and herbs. These plants are beginner-friendly and can quickly provide you with a harvest, boosting your confidence.

When planning your vegetable patch, choose a sunny spot, as most vegetables require plenty of sunlight. Prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to enrich it with nutrients. Raised beds can be a great option for vegetable gardening, as they improve drainage and soil quality, making it easier to manage your crops.

As you gain experience, consider expanding your vegetable garden with more varieties. Peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and beans are excellent choices for intermediate gardeners. Rotate your crops each season to prevent soil depletion and reduce the risk of pests and diseases.

Happy Gardening!

By following these budget-friendly tips, you can create a beautiful and functional garden without overspending. Remember, the best gardens reflect the creativity and care of their owners, so have fun experimenting and making your outdoor space uniquely yours!

Tips on Improving Your Garden

This is a collaborative post

Our gardens can be spaces of tranquillity. They can calm us and make us feel a lot better. They are good for our well-being and health. The senses that they stimulate, sights, smells, sounds, even from the buzzing of bees, or a water feature, all help contribute to this feeling. However, to create a garden that generates this feeling, you need to put a lot of time and effort into designing it. Sometimes it can feel like an unforgiving task, but if you get it right, a garden can act as another room and not only enhance your well-being but also add a lot of value to your home. So, let’s have a look at a few tips for improving your garden:

recycled planter using an old tyre - improving your garden
Image by Jacek Abramowicz from Pixabay

The Lawn

A beautiful lawn with mowed grass, no patches or clumps of grass, can make you feel very calm and relaxed. However, it is not so easy to get this. If your garden has a lot of lumps and bumps, clumps of grass and bald patches, it may be time to have a professional returfing. If the garden is not so bad but needs a little work, then it takes the right tools and time. You need a lawn mower, a half-moon edger, a garden fork, grass seed, edging shears, and access to water. First, it needs a good mow, and then use the fork to dig up areas which are depressed and pull out clumps and all the imperfections. You could even go so far as to dig out all the little plants that grow, rale out all the dead grass, and use soil to fill in any holes in the garden; fertilizer is another great thing to use. Fill in all the bare patches now with lawn seed and water it. You can use garden shears to clean up any edges. Over time this process should make the lawn look a lot better. 

Create Zones

This may be particularly good for large gardens with a lot of space. It is a method of creating a multipurpose garden that looks and feels fantastic. There are many ways to create a zone, from using raised borders and garden trellises with creeping plants to dividing off sections. You can have arched walkways covered with creepers, too, to make a secret garden feel. You may want to decide what you want the zones to be before you create them, perhaps you want a large zone for the children to play in with a climbing frame, etc., or maybe you want a peaceful meditation zone or a space to entertain guests. Decide what you want, and then that can influence your idea on the size of each zone and whether or not it can have a floral overhead covering. 


All good gardens need flowers. There is a wide variety of choices, of colours, shapes and sizes to choose from. Perhaps you are thinking of having borders on the edges of your garden where you can plant tulip bulbs and other bright-coloured flowers. Maybe creeping plants over trellises is more your thing. If you have a small green in the city, then it may be worth getting a lot of potted plants and hanging baskets to give your space that colour and life you are after. You are wise to choose a mixture of annuals which dies after blossoming the first time and perennials which blossom for a few years. Planting flowers in the spring is always the best bet; planting both types means that you will get a blossoming garden the first summer, even if the perennials take a full year to blossom for the first time.

Garden Features

A great way to improve the look and feel of a garden is to add a few garden features. Again this is something that you have a lot of choice with. Perhaps you want a few garden ornaments, silver balls, or sculptures; you can even make your own if you are that way inclined. Maybe a water feature and a garden path. A lovely garden bench is a good thing to have, too, especially on those warm summer afternoons. If you do have a small garden space, then garden mirrors are a fantastic option. It gives you the illusion of more space. If you have walls surrounding you, then how about a garden mural painting on one of the walls to give you a better garden experience? Garden features are in abundance these days, so it is fun to go out and look for things that resonate with you.   

Keep your Deck Beautiful: Decor Ideas for an Elegant Outdoor Space

Summer house with outdoor deck area
Image by Dave Murray from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

A beautiful deck décor can turn any drab space into a comfortable and functional outdoor area. The key to improving aesthetic appeal and cosiness is combining ornamental items, furniture and other niceties. In this article, we will explore tips that will boost the appeal and functionality of your outdoor space.

How to Decorate a Deck

The idea of decorating your deck is not entirely different from that of interior decoration. It begins with a cohesive colour combination and adding furniture that aligns with your deck size and preferences. For instance, if you need a deck for hosting friends and relaxing, it will require cosy seating arrangements, tables for cocktails or nibbles, and an outdoor rug to connect them. Ensure you choose deck accessories and furniture suitable for external use and are weatherproof.

Hang string lights

String lights are popular for their ability to create a relaxing ambiance. Ensure the string lights you choose for your deck are designed for outdoor use. If your deck has no cover, you can add poles to hang the lights over your outdoor area.

Add deck furniture

Get some furniture items to add a stylish appearance to your deck. Place flower pots, house plants or even candles on accent tables. You can opt for battery-powered lanterns that resemble candlelight or position candles in cylinder vases to shield them from the breeze.

Set up a deck dining area

If you are interested in al fresco dining, you can allocate a section of your deck for that. Ensure you opt for a durable outdoor table with a parasol if the area is exposed to the sun. If you are going to host lots of people, consider outdoor benches instead of chairs. Adding fluffy cushions will raise the comfort level of the area

Cosy seating

To enhance the cosiness of the deck, add cushy seats and colourful pillows. You can simply replace these pillows anytime you want to refresh your deck appearance. Opt for outdoor linens in bright colour combinations and add a protective agent to withstand dirt and moisture.

Frame your deck

This is a popular deck idea. It entails beautifying your deck and improving its privacy is by adding a trellis or panel. Trellis is particularly important in defining the seating zone in outdoor spaces without distorting its open appearance. To add privacy, plant clematis or hydrangeas over the trellis.

Colourful outdoor rug

To improve the warmth and comfort of your deck, add an outdoor rug. This will help improve the cosiness and appearance of your deck. Opt for low-maintenance materials such as polypropylene as it is easy to clean dirt from them.

Beautiful potted plants

Potted plants can enliven your decking area and can be positioned beside the seating area or balustrade. Opt for ceramic pots in lovely colours or apply a coat of brightly-coloured paint to clay pots. In each pot container, you can add ornamental plants and soil. Ensure you water them regularly to help the plants thrive.

Add decorative shade

Protect your deck from the sun by adding a beautiful-looking umbrella. It should have a thick base that can be easily adjustable to shield sun rays during the day. Today, you can find outdoor umbrellas that can match your deck aesthetics and preferences. They are available in a variety of colours and designs.

Stylish deck furniture

When choosing deck décor, you should consider comfort as well as beauty. An important quality of outdoor living is relaxation. Since you are spending a considerable amount of time on your deck, you need to choose furniture that will make the place cosy and meet your needs.

Grow a garden on your deck

You can still grow a deck garden even if you don’t have a spacious yard. The simplest and most affordable way to do this is through potted plants. They can personalise your deck and accentuate it. You can also plant different species of flowers and plants to imitate a verdant landscape. Opt for a lightweight fibreglass container to ensure your garden is movable.

Garden Art pieces

With beautiful art pieces, you can elevate your garden to a private exhibition. You can opt for a garden clock, statue, bird feeder or even painting. Just ensure that they can withstand the elements. Garden art pieces can create an elegant vibe and showcase your creativity.

Tips to water your garden in an effective and healthy way

Image donations welcome from Pixabay 
This is a collaborative post

When and how well you water your garden often leads to how healthy or diseased your plants will be. It is important to water your garden effectively so that you do not waste water and provide the right water to your plants that do not have harmful chemicals. 

The following gives you some tips on how to water your garden effectively:

Water at the correct time

It is important to water at the correct time if you wish to get the best results. Watering in the morning results in leaves being able to dry when they get wet. When you water at night time, plant foliage can remain wet for longer. Therefore plan to water your garden at the right time.

Try watering in the root zone

Image by jwvein from Pixabay 

You should try and avoid spraying water upon leaves. When watering plants try and water only in their root zone. You may not have known this, but wet leaves are able to give you an environment where diseases, like fungi, can thrive. This will not be healthy for you and for the plants as well. 

Allow the plants’ roots to have a good soaking. When you pursue light and daily watering, this results in shallow root systems. When there is long and less frequent watering, the soil can remain wet around 6-8 inches below the surface. You need to make sure that you water enough. 

Consider drip or even trickle irrigation as it gives good results when it comes to home gardens. When you water by hand, this lets water go to the places where it is only needed. 

Tyr and use rainwater to water plants

If you care about the environment, you will want to try and use rainwater for different purposes. It is a good idea to use this within your garden. This is because it will not have the chemicals that are present in treated water. It will therefore be better for your plants. 

You can get a water pump that will help you harvest rainwater. For instance, you can consider a garden pump which is usually employed for irrigating gardens. A water pressure pump can be used as a rainwater harvesting system. You can get this and use the water to water your plants. This encourages healthy living as you are helping conserve a precious resource. 

It is possible to counter plant diseases when you know how to water your garden effectively. You should consider using rainwater for this if you want to avoid your plants coming into contact with many chemicals. If a plant gets a disease it can spread and cause other plants to also die off. This is why you need to avoid this. Invest in a good pump that can help you store and use rainwater. You should know when to water your garden and do this at the right time. If you want to pursue a healthy lifestyle, it is important that your garden be a place that has no germs, diseases, etc.

How To Transform Your Garden into a Wonderland

Turning the outdoor space into an extension of the home and your personal garden oasis may sound like a steep hill to climb, but, in reality, it takes much less than you may think. Regardless of the size of your patio, garden or backyard, even a few little changes can go a long way towards transforming the entire place into a cosy, loving, relaxing, and inviting space you will never want to leave!

Here are some ideas to get the wheels inside your mind turning:

Idea #1: Add a water feature

water feature in a garden wonderland

Besides good Feng Shui, adding a water feature is also an easy and quite fast project to even handle yourself if you love doing things with your own hands. Want to hear some good news? You don’t need to be an avid DIYer to get this job done. In fact, you can assemble it in a single day.

Start with creating a fountain around a stone from which the water will flow out into a reservoir that you could fill with gravel. Then, get a pump to circulate the water back up via the rock. Don’t forget to drill a hole through the rock (a rotary hammer drill will be perfect for this job) or hit the local stone suppliers and get a pre-drilled rock instead.

The best of it all? The fact that this type of fountain does not need a collection pond also makes it a low-maintenance project. And, if you locate it someplace where the sun’s rays do not reach it, you will also minimise algae growth (hence, help keep the water fresher too).

Idea #2: Install a screened porch

A screened porch is an excellent option for the summer months when you want to feel the breeze while keeping mosquitos and other bugs out. Again, you may take matters into your own hands and get it over with all by yourself in a few days or hire professionals. If you are comfortable building sheds or decks, the straightforward construction plans make this task perfect for you. And, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

Opting for standard dimensional lumber and having open soffit and/or exposed rafters (avoid complex joints and heavy beams) is often all that is required to have an eye-catching and professionally done screened porch.

Idea #3: Build a conservatory/sunroom

Now, this is probably a project to let professionals handle as it requires quite a lot of expertise so that you have a visually appealing, functional, and practical outcome. Nevertheless, a conservatory/sunroom from someone like First State Building and Design, who you can click here to find out more about, will allow you to extend your indoor spaces, add value to your home, and enjoy your garden throughout the winter. Not to mention how much more cost-effective of an option it is compared to any other extension if executed correctly. 

One of the most common issues conservatory/sunroom owners have is the temperatures inside. In the summer, it gets too hot; in the winter, it is too cold. This is due to poor roofing insulation. Another problem is the glare in the summer and winter, which can be unbearable. To eliminate these problems, consider tiled conservatory roofs, which are created to solve both issues and deliver supreme performance, efficiency, and fast-tracked building application.

Idea #4: Put up a hammock

hammock in a garden wonderland

Most of us have a fun memory at the back of our heads that involves a swing or hammock and cherished people around. You could help your children and loved ones create more happy memories by putting up a hammock in your backyard, which will instantly transform it into a relaxing place.

Idea #5: Make it your personal sanctuary

To add some privacy and not feel like your outdoor space is on display, you could consider using plants to define a more private area. There are many easy DIY ideas to implement, such as plant privacy walls; an affordable and easy-to-create solution. Alternatively, you could block unwanted views and create a sense of enclosure with lattices, fences or pergolas.

Extra Tips:

fire pit

  • Having a fire pit or installing a fire bowl will add a touch of cosiness to your backyard.
  • If you lack large trees, you can create some shade with curtains if you have a BBQ gazebo, conservatory or sunroom.
  • Add to the ambience of your garden with strands of light. There are so many different ways to hang them that you will be spoilt for choice (i.e. suspend them from a pergola or dangle them from a tree)!

Creating your own hideaway and personal retreat does not always take much work, time or money. Sometimes, the small, simple things make a profound difference.

This is a collaborative post

New Border – Getting Out In The Garden

The weather has been a bit changeable lately. For example, yesterday it was really lovely and sunshiney. Today it’s very dull and quite cold.
Yesterday I did some digging to prepare my new border. Today I wanted to go and buy plants for that new border and maybe grab a new drop saw to start some woodworking for the garden, but decided I just wanted to stay in the warm house instead!

New Border

Ant laid turf in this space last year after he’d finished the new patio and cover. He wasn’t very impressed when I said I was going to dig it up to make a border!
I’m going to plant some Dragon’s Blood sedum plants in the new border. It’s a creeping plant that has green leaves in Spring and Summer which turn to red in Autumn and Winter. It also has red flowers in Summer.

We’ll be changing the border edging soon but I’m not sure what type of edging to choose yet.

digging the new border
new border ready for planting

Low Maintenance

The plan for the garden is to get it as low maintenance as possible. I’ve been checking out some landscaping ideas to help me with the plans.
When I’ve got this border done, I’m going to tidy up the pond area and get some creeping plants put in that will suppress the weeds.
After that, we’re going to create a herb garden border next to Ant’s BBQ and then we’ll dig over the border by the fence and plant fruit bushes.

Top Of The Garden

Ant spent a few hours yesterday burning a lot of the garden rubbish we created last year. There’s still some rubbish left and he’s planning on getting it all gone this week.

When all the rubbish has gone we’re going to move the butterfly bush then dig the whole area. It’s going to be covered in thick black plastic and left until Autumn 2019.
We’re going to be planting fruit trees up there then turfing the ground.

Ant's bonfire
Ant's bonfire
Bonfire remnants

Lots To Do

It’s a big job but breaking it down into smaller areas has stopped me from getting overwhelmed! I feel confident that the garden is going to look loads better this year 🙂

Nearly Spring – Time To Get In The Garden

Last year was supposed to be the year of the garden. We did get the patio and cover done which was a big job. We also got my raised bed completed. However, my vision of having a nice lawn and a new border near the fence didn’t come to fruition.
It’s nearly Spring so it’s nearly time to get out and get some hard work done.

Nearly Spring, Time For a New Border

This year I want to get the border next to the fence done. Last year we took out all the shrubs so we could plant fruit bushes. We bought the fruit bushes from Poundstretcher while they were on sale for 50p each. It should have been a great bargain but after putting them in a bucket to soak, I then totally forgot about for them for days probably more like weeks if I’m totally honest and they died. Our bargain turned into a complete waste of money!

I’m definitely going to get the fruit bush border completed this year.

new border coming soon!

The Lawn Needs Work

The lawn was completely neglected last year. It’s now in a terrible state and needs some love and attention. As soon as we get some dry days, we’re going to strim then mow the lawn.
When we moved in it looked lovely and we’re going to make it look that way again!

Look how nice our lawn was when we moved in!

Look at it now!

Patio Furniture

There is currently a mishmash of furniture on the two patios. We have a bed settee that’s seen better days but we have to keep it because Kaycee and Ella love sleeping on it in the summer. I’m going to cover it this year to make it look nice again.

All the other furniture, except for our big table, needs replacing. I love the look of rattan garden furniture sets but Ant’s not too keen so I’ve been searching online for an alternative.

I found a wooden 4 piece coffee set on Garden Camping that looks even better than the rattan sets I’ve seen. Every year I say that it would be lovely to sit out with Ant on a summer morning, having a coffee and watching the activity in the wildlife pond.
This set would be perfect at the side of our garden pond 🙂

Manhatten 4 piece coffee set from Garden Camping

Top Of The Garden

The top of the garden is going to be the biggest job of all. We cleared it last year with the help of our family but over Autumn and Winter, it’s got nearly as bad again.
It’s full of rubbish and all the plants/weeds/bushes etc that we cut down last year.

Our plan was to dig it over, plant some fruit trees and put down some lawn seed. I don’t know if we’re still going to do this but seeing as we’re going to be doing it last, we’ve got time to change our minds!


messy garden

it all feels a little overwhelming but we’ll get there!


Vegetable Gardening Tip For Forcing Squash To Grow In The Direction You Want

Forcing Squash

This article is going to look over some tips regarding squash and how to force the direction it grows. I will provide you with my personal tips and ideas. Let’s get started.

I wasn’t going to put the squash and zucchini in the main vegetable garden because it can take up so much space but decided to, last minute.

squash flower - forcing squash

I planted the rows in my vegetable garden east to west, and for the squash, I gave them three feet on either side, north, and south.

The thing is the squash are unlikely to grow in a circle as I’d like to conserve space and so they don’t crowd our other vegetables, so I had to help them a bit.

As they started to sprawl, in the wrong direction, I just took rose canes we had cut down along our property fence, cut them into about 8-inch lengths, and used them to peg the squash vines in the direction I want them to grow.

Pegging The Vines

As you can see in the image below, I have moved the vine in the direction I want and then put a peg on either side of the vine to hold it there.

using canes to force the vines to grow where you want them

Since I have just purchased a pond liner and pump from Oase (see photo below), I believe it is important to mention that you should avoid planting your Squash seeds too close to your garden pond (if you have one). They are better spread within an area that is hillier, if possible.

garden pond

I didn’t push the vines and further than they would move without tension so as not to damage the vines. I will continue to do this using the pegs I used earlier and will just keep forcing them to grow in the directions I want. This should allow me to keep them in the area I provided.

My first few years growing squash didn’t do as well as I had planned and hoped, but I did learn that slugs aren’t good for my squash as I watched each new blossom fall off overnight. I was wasting time using natural remedies I found online for the second year and still didn’t win the battle against the slugs.

Slug B Gone

slug b gone

I used Slug-B-Gon which seems to have worked. If you don’t have any locally, try eBay for a product to help you get rid of slugs and snails. Spread it around and under the leaves and the slugs lost interest in my squash plants. I managed to get more squash that we could eat last year and I hope to do the same thing again this year.

This was a quick guide providing tips on how to force squash to grow in the direction you prefer. If you want more tips, visit this interesting article. I wish you well with your gardening.

This is a collaborative post

Finally Finished – Patio Cover – Garden Update

Finally Finished

Finally finished
finally finished - new patio roof

The roof over the patio is completely finished and the guttering is up. It’s taking Ant longer than he’d like but each week a bit more is getting done.

He bought some screens and attached them to the sides. He wants to be able to roll them up on nice days and drop them when it’s windy to make it feel cosier.

finally finished the new roof on the patio

We bought another water butt earlier in the year. Ant’s put some cement down to make a base for it. He’s going to place it next to the new patio so the all the water from the roof will go into the water butt.
This water will be used to top up the pond when the level drops. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep it topped up all year 🙂

finally finished patio roof

More garden posts

Overgrown Again! Garden Update

Overgrown again!

It doesn’t seem that long ago since the family was last here helping in the garden. From the look of the garden today, you’d think it had never been done!

It’s getting overgrown at the top again and will soon be just as bad as it was but with the added pile of rubbish we created last time!
Ant’s been working hard on the cover over the patio. I’ve been too busy working to get out in the garden so it’s being left to grow as it pleases.

Hopefully, once Ant’s finished the patio cover, we’ll be able to find some time to clear the piles of stuff from the lawn and mow it. Just getting that job will make a world of difference.

patio cover


patio cover

The raised bed plants are doing really well. I hadn’t been out for a while and was surprised to see how much they were spreading and filling out.

raised bed


raised bed


raised bed


raised bed


raised bed plant

This is the area that was nearly cleared when the family last came up. Those blackberry bushes don’t give up without a fight!

overgrown again


overgrown again


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