How to save money when kitting out your garden this summer

Prune down your costs by sourcing garden items cheaply or even for free.

Spruce up your outdoor space on a budget
People holding seedlings Spruce up your outdoor space on a budget (Alamy Stock Photo)

Garden makeovers can transform an outdoor space into something the whole family can enjoy over the summer months.

Some people may have even been inspired by the designs and floral displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to get to grips with their own outdoor space. But while a freshened-up garden can be much more easy on the eye, it’s not always so easy on the wallet. But, there are ways to keep costs down.

Remember, while you’re giving your own garden a makeover, others will be too – so keep an eye on community noticeboards and local social media groups to see what garden items people in your area may be trying to get rid of.

There may also be a local garden club in your area, where people are passing on a few plants if they have too many themselves.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

Second-hand platforms, where people are selling on unwanted possessions or even giving them away for free, can also be a treasure trove for items that can be upcycled or repurposed.

“If you have a clear vision, are willing to get crafty and creative and have a little patience, there are a number of ways to keep costs down,” says Hannah Rouch, a second-hand expert at Gumtree.

She says basics such as wooden pallets, turf and tins of paint can often be sourced for free. Pallets can be painted up and repurposed as colourful screens or planters.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

May was the peak month last year for people searching for patio furniture on Gumtree – so you may find you’ve got some strong competition.

To boost your chances of bagging specific items, Rouch suggests to “set search alerts for the branded items you are looking for”, so you don’t miss out.

Sourcing items second-hand also means you can be a bit more creative and give your outdoor space a bit of added character.

Rouch suggests, for example, transforming old sinks into bird baths. Shower trays could also be repurposed into beds for flowers or vegetables.

Supermarkets and open gardens can be another way to source plants cheaply.

Vintage household items can be used as plant containers
Vintage household items can be used as plant containers (Alamy Stock Photo)

Plants bought from budget supermarkets can be made to look like they cost much more by displaying them in an eye-catching pot. And pots don’t always have to be expensive either – it’s worth keeping an eye out at local charity shops and car-boot sales for a bargain. Even broken pots can sometimes be repurposed, as the chips can be placed inside other pots to help with drainage.

Savings can also be made by buying smaller plants, which will grow over time, rather than purchasing big “showstopping” foliage from the outset.

There may also be existing clumps of plants in your garden that you could split to fill out a border, rather than buying more. Try to make sure when splitting plants that the roots are also split fairly evenly, to help them regrow.

Or maybe you could do a few swaps with a neighbour so that you’ve both got a bit more variety.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

Perhaps you could also create a small herb garden or plant up some herbs in a pot which could be used fresh if you’re planning a few barbecues this summer, saving on a few trips to the supermarket too.

Growing your own plants from seed is another way to make savings – and then sit back to watch your garden flourish.