Gardening on a budget

Salvaged and found objects can add personality and a sense of history to a garden. They are especially perfect for finishing an old fashioned cottage garden. [Photo: Courtesy]
Many believe that a great looking garden is an expensive venture. This is not true. Given time, everything is possible.

Here are a few tips:

Come up with a plan

Brainstorming and planning may not magically save you extra shillings, but it will reduce your chances of running into costly mistakes.

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A good plan helps you get the most out of a limited budget. Define the boundaries of your garden and decide what goes where.  Planning also involves researching your requirements and evaluate your options carefully. Many people pump in money into items that don’t really add value to their outdoor lifestyles.

The most common culprits are extensive and inefficient precast concrete parking that are seldom fully utilised and unnecessarily huge boundary walls.

Look around you

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If there is a bare spot on which you need to replant, look within the garden before you head to the nursery. It will surprise you how many plants can be propagated from parts of existing ones.

If, however, you have to head to the nursery, go for bare root seedlings as opposed to potted seedlings. They cost a lot less but require a little more care during handling before planting.

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Many objects can also often be reused directly or modified into garden elements and décor.

Shoes, broken crockery, old furniture and fittings such as bathtubs and wash hand basins can be converted into planters. Kitchen waste and lawn trimmings make free fertiliser when composted.

What’s more? Salvaged materials from a disused building can find new life when used to construct a garden structure at a fraction of the cost of new materials.

Do it yourself

Why not, there are many garden chores that you can easily execute by yourself without hired labour.

Pruning and harvesting fruits and flowers make for good exercise during the weekend.

There are hundreds of Do-It-Yourself books, magazines and websites, which give instructions on how to put together garden structures and features.

Go through some of these and find out what you can pull off on your backyard.  

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