For those lucky enough to be enduring lockdown with some outside space, tending to the garden has been a bit of a lifesaver.
And as we're all looking to cut back on unnecessary costs and spending, experts at Hitachi Personal Finance share insight and handy tips to help create a simple and effective checklist for a low budget garden makeover.
Start with a tidy up
Although it won’t necessarily add anything new to your garden, giving it a good straighten up could help you give your outdoor space a new lease of life. Scott Chandler, former Kew Gardener said: “Many of us put off the nitty-gritty gardening chores, but de-weeding your patio, fixing that wonky fence panel or simply mowing the lawn will turn a scruffy garden into a purposefully rustic outdoor area.
“If you have grass, keep it short. If you have a patio or decking, use a pressure washer to spray away any dirt and slime, it’s much more pleasing on the eye and one less chore.”
Divide your plants
If you’re wanting to up the number of flowers and plants in your garden, without any additional cost, now is the perfect time to divide or split summer-flowering plants. By dividing your plants, you’ll be able to add more colour to your garden whilst also making your original plants healthier by making sure they don’t overgrow.
Primroses, daylilies, asters, geums, heucheras, hardy geraniums and Japanese anemones are all suitable for dividing. To separate your plants, dig up the clump whilst gently loosening the soil. Using a trowel or your hands (depending on the plant), carefully pull the plant apart, making sure each section has plenty of roots still attached. Then simply replant these new sections in your garden and water well.
Don’t forget about your garden buildings
The winter months can take their toll on your garden buildings so use this time to check your sheds and greenhouses and make sure they are still in good stead. A fresh lick of paint and regular ventilation now the weather is improving will help your garden buildings and plants within them stay healthy.
If you’ve used your outdoor buildings for extra storage in the winter, why not use this time to do a bit of decluttering and potentially transform the space to an extra home office or home gym?
Create ‘zones’ within your garden
Creating different zones within the garden can help make space feel bigger and provide a much-needed boost to your outdoor area.
Moving garden furniture such as chairs or outdoor tables into one section to create a seating space, and children's play items into another section to create a mini-play area, will help to ensure all the family can take time for themselves and geta much-needed break from the indoors.
Entice wildlife to your garden
Inviting wildlife into your garden is a really nice way to help break up the day and can even help to educate children whilst they are at home. From birds to bees, there are loads of free and easy ways you can open your outdoor space up to more wildlife.
Tying a bunch of hollow sterns like bamboo together with string and placing them in an old terracotta plant pot or open wooden box will create a lovely new bee hotel for your garden, helping to preserve the dwindling bee population.
Another easy way of attracting wildlife to your garden is to build a pile of dead wood in a shady area as a habitat for small mammals, amphibians and insects. And why not help out the hedgehogs by leaving any leftover dried fruit or cooked veg out in your garden? Make sure to avoid bread and milk as these items can make hedgehogs ill.
Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Personal Finance said: “With many now spending a lot more time at home, it’s important we don’t forget to take care of ourselves and our households. Whilst spending time in the garden can be beneficial for our overall wellbeing, getting everything in order can be overwhelming and also expensive.
“As many people look to reduce their expenditure, we wanted to offer some useful insight on how you can spruce up your garden without having to spend a penny, and make sure Brits are getting that much needed time in their gardens.”