Garden for less – 9 tips for saving money on your garden!

According to Good Housekeeping, the average Brit spends £345 per year on year on their garden! So (as always) I’m here to help you save money, with my thrifty tips for creating a blooming beautiful garden for less. 

Garden for less - 9 tips for saving money on your garden!

Up until the last few years, I’ve never been particularly interested in gardening. We had a small and underwhelming garden in our last house. It had horrendous clay soil that killed everything – including my back on the rare occasion I attempted to dig it!  

I’m not quite sure what happened, but when we moved into the townhouse something just clicked when it came to gardening. Maybe it’s just something that happens in your mid-thirties, when weekends are spent in your own garden, rather than a pub garden!

Funnily enough, the garden was actually something that put me off the townhouse house initially. It’s set on a steep hill and is split into several smaller terraces – not exactly child friendly! But last summer we worked tirelessly on it, with the help of my lovely Mum and Mum-in-law. It really transformed and I started to really enjoy being out there!  

Check out the view from level 3  – our ‘Pimm’s terrace’ – you can see all the way to the Ashdown forest up there – AKA the home of Winne the Pooh!

Garden for less - 9 tips for saving money on your garden!

Now, I find myself flicking through Modern Gardens on regular basis and saying things like ‘oh I’m glad it’s raining, the garden really needs it’. I visit Garden Centres to look at the plants rather than browse the homeware and smell all the gorgeous scented candles (although I may still do that too).

But one thing I’ve noticed is how expensive it can be! You pop a few plants in your basket and before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune. Now that I’m a little more garden savvy, I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way to have a lovely garden for less.

9 tips to help you garden for less

1# Get cuttings from friends, family & neighbours

If you’ve been admiring a plant in your friends garden, ask to take a cutting! It’s easier than you might think.

  • Trim a shoot with no flowers around 10cm long.
  • Remove most of the leaves, with just a couple remaining so that you can easily tell if the plant is still alive
  • At the base of the cutting scratch away a little of the stem, this help the roots to shoot
  • Fill a pot with potting mix and pop the stem in, cover with the mix
  • Add a little mulch in the top to help protect it and drench with water
  • Don’t forget to water daily!

It’s a great way to add lots of beautiful plants to your garden for less.

2# Grow from seeds

It’s so much cheaper! Now granted it does take a little more skill and obviously you won’t benefit from instant colour, but it can save you so much money. I’ve bought a couple scatter and rake packs from Aldi for just £1.49 each and it includes over 15000 seeds.

Garden for less - 9 tips for saving money on your garden!

3# Plant perennials

Instead of using bedding plants, plant perennials that will return year after year.  You’ll get much more bang for your buck! My favourite easy to maintain perennials in my garden are lavender, Japanese Anemone and Peonies.

4# Research the local garden centres

Garden centres seem to vary widely in terms of the prices they charge, so shop around and compare prices. Often local independent garden centres charge less than larger chains. It’s also worth checking if they offer any reward schemes that might save you money over time and are free to join.

5# DIY your garden furniture

If you’re dreaming of a plush garden day bed to soak up the sun, but think you can’t afford it – think again! You can make the most incredible garden furniture from palettes and crates. From corner sofas to outdoor bars, there are so many tutorials online. I have a pinterest board with lots of palette inspiration, check it out here!

How amazing is this DIY outdoor bar made from crates?

(image credit Torrie Jayne)

6# Split plants that have grown large and replant

If a plant has grown rather large, consider splitting it to relocate to another more sparse area. This is more straightforward than it sounds and all you need to do is carefully dig the plant up, then using a spade divide in half or quarters. Then simply replant in the new locations.

7# Check the reduced section

Lots of garden centres now have a reduced section for plants that are looking a bit worse for wear. All they need is a little love and attention to nurse them back to full health! I’ve found some brilliant bargains this way, a hydrangea for just a few pounds.

8# Use gravel instead of paving

Paving slabs can be costly and you may need to hire someone to lay them. Using gravel is a much cheaper option and you can do it yourself.  In our garden we have a small section in the corner paved to provide level ground for our bistro table and the rest of the area is gravel.

Garden for less - 9 tips for saving money on your garden!

9# Pick the right plants for your garden

It sounds like an obvious one, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who picks up plants impulsively because they look great only to discover that they just don’t work in our garden. Really pay attention to the type of soil and amount of sun the plant will respond to. If you put a plant in that doesn’t seem to be thriving, try moving it to a different location.

Want more ideas for a beautiful home on a budget? Check out my post about decorating on a budget!

How do you garden for less? I’d love to know – let me know your budget friendly tips in the comments below.

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    Lane Beck
    April 28, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Beautiful post, Caroline. I love the photography. I enjoy photographing the wondrous natural beauty of flowers… the vibrant colors, shapes, sizes! I think I get that from my mother and grandmother who always had gardens. Please don’t tell my buddies any of this! 😉

    1. Reply
      April 28, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Ha ha, your secret’s safe with me. The photos are all from last summer – I planted over a hundred of these marigolds!!

  2. Reply
    Anne Marie
    May 1, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the tips Caroline! I love the photos and the colours in your garden!

    1. Reply
      May 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks Anne Marie, once we’ve had a chance to so a little more out there I plan to do a garden tour blog post.

  3. Reply
    Anne Marie
    May 3, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Wow! That’s a lovely idea. My garden tour post would be very short : ) ; )

  4. Reply
    Karis | SYT.
    May 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Such useful ideas here, we always spend too much at the garden centre, although this year everything is in full bloom. Your post made me chuckle at the ‘garden really needs the rain part’, My inner teenager kick me hard every time I say it, ?. New follower of your blog. Karis x

    1. Reply
      May 13, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks Karis and welcome! Garden centres are lethal, I can’t be left unsupervised or else I will spend a months wages on plants and candles, ha ha. xx

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