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Gardening on a budget: small improvements that make a BIG impact

by LaurettaCWright
Gardening on a budget

It’s National Gardening Month and with the weather finally warming up in good old blighty, it’s a good time to turn your attention to your outdoor area and garden. But don’t fear – if money’s tight, here’s a round-up of small improvements that you can make when you're gardening on a budget, along with tips and advice to improving your garden on a budget from Eden Project horticulturalist, Lucy Wenger.  

New research of 2,000 home owners conducted by National Garden Gift Vouchers has revealed that 72% believe a presentable garden adds value to a home; that’s 20% to the value of the property according to the Home Retail Group.

So, why is a garden such a must-have for home buyers? A scruffy and un-kept garden can be extremely overwhelming to a potential buyer; it can even deter them from viewing a house altogether.

According to the research, 35% of us would invest £100-£500 in our garden over the course of a year. However, the changes you need to make to your garden for potential buyers only need to be simple and small investments, meaning they can be rewarded with higher property values.

Here, Lucy Wenger, a Horticulturist from the Eden Project, gives us her expert tips for improving your garden on a budget.

If you have £5…Add an instant splash of colour to your front garden with a tray of bedding plants.

Gardening on a budget

  • A tray of Tagetes or Antirrhinum (snapdragons) will add instant colour to your front garden. These flowers come in a range of bright oranges, reds and yellows and both will bloom beautifully throughout the summer.
  • For an absolute stunner, look out for Argyranthemums, their bright and cheerful daisy flowers bloom in lots of different colours. These plants will look great in the garden or in big flower pots. They are easy to keep looking great and they are perfect for busy people.
  • Be sure to feed them weekly with tomato food in the summer and keep them well watered in the heat – snip off any dead flower heads to keep them looking tiptop. With the right care they should be packed with flowers until early autumn.

If you have £10…Make the approach to your front door fresh and inviting with a fragrant hanging basket.

  • Hanging baskets are easy to make and look stunning. Make sure you use multi-purpose compost; you could also add water-retaining gel to reduce the chore of watering.
  • For a sunny spot use sun loving Surfinias and Bacopa, their trailing habit will brighten up any corner. For a more shady corner try Lobelia and trailing Fuchsia to create a lush display which will tumble down the sides disguising the basket.
  • Alternatively, for a hit of scent try the fragrant Surfinia Rose or Blue Vein. Hanging baskets are easy to keep looking great and perfect for busy people. Be sure to feed them weekly in the summer with tomato food and keep well watered.

If you have £25…Feed and seed your grass to defeat unwanted moss and create a greener lusher lawn.

  • During the summer you'll want to keep your lawn in good condition, regular mowing will keep it healthy.
  • If you want to add lushness to your lawn between May and August pick a cool, moist day and apply a summer lawn fertiliser or chicken manure pellets.
  • Broadcast them across your lawn and lightly water. They are both high in nitrogen so this will create a lusher, greener lawn and set off the flowers in your borders.

If you have £50…Revitalise wooden fences, gates and sheds by giving them a lick of paint.

  • This is an easy way to create a great outdoor space. Use paint specially designed for outdoor use as this will help preserve the wood, meaning the colour won’t fade.
  • Create a bold statement with your trellis or shed by using bright oranges for a hot Mediterranean feel, often seen in show gardens. To focus attention on the plants themselves use a colour to divert the eye away from fences and gates such as holly green.
  • This will make them melt into the background. Not a difficult job, just get on your old clothes, grab a good paintbrush and you’re away – this is a great way to make a real difference to the overall feel of your garden.

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