How to design a small garden on a budget

Small garden design ideas

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Designing a small garden need not be an expensive proposition. You can create a beautiful small garden on a budget by using creative ideas and some inexpensive materials.

This article will walk through the top money saving recommendations learnt from experience building hundreds of gardens. There are some great very small garden design ideas if you are on a budget and DIY garden ideas for smaller spaces.

If you are looking for an article more focused on the design principles than the practical ideas them you can check out our garden design articles.

Be realistic with your expectations

Our company specialises in creating amazing, Pinterest worth gardens. They bring joy and increase house values, but… they are expensive.

Being honest, if you have £2000 you are not going to get a an amazing garden installed by professionals using high quality materials, but don’t give up hope. There are plenty of things you can do which have maximal impact for minimal cost.

First you will need to ditch the idea of having porcelain paving, rendered white planting beds, composite decking or Siberian larch slatted fencing.

These things are really expensive and will use your whole budget on a small area. Start looking towards creative ideas using cheaper materials.

You are not alone in your search for cheap but effective garden ideas and thousands of people all over the UK have come up with amazing ideas and shared them online.

Recycle furniture

Old wooden chairs can be given a new lease of life by being painted and used as garden seating, or converted into planters. An old dresser can be turned into a handy storage unit for your garden tools, or a bed headboard can be made into a beautiful garden feature.

If you are a bit more DIY handy then you can even make your own furniture out of pallets, logs or other sturdy but useless items,

You may even be able to pick up some great deals on Facebook market place or other communities. The old saying “one mans junk is another’s treasure” is certain true when it comes to gardens.

Go for cheap materials

If you’re not too fussed about having a perfect finish, you can use cheap and free materials to create your garden. Fallen logs and stones can all be used to create features and borders in your garden. You just need to be a bit more creative in how you put them together.

Mulch is one of the most inexpensive ways to dress up your garden. A layer of mulch will help to retain moisture in the soil, and it will also add colour and texture to your garden.

Rocks and other decorative materials can be used to create borders and pathways. This is a great way to add interest without spending a lot of money.

If you know any local landscapers or builders you may be able to get first dibs on paving, bricks and stones which they are throwing away. Get in touch and even offer a small amount of money for them and you could get a real bargain!

Add garden art for interest

Even the simplest garden can be made more interesting with a few well-placed pieces of garden art. You can find all sorts of garden art in charity shops and second-hand stores, or you could even make your own.

There are lots of great tutorials online for making your own garden art from recycled materials. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in saving you money.

Art can be anything, as long as you love it. There are hundreds of ways you can decorate your garden for next to no money if you are creative enough.

Use painted brick instead of render

Many expensive items can be replicated with much cheaper methods. One key example of this is white rendered planting beds. This Mediterranean trend has taken hold in the UK but the reality is that these features are very expensive.

You can create a very similar effect by painting brick or breezeblock with course masonry paint. A few coats should leave a nice result at a fraction of the cost.

Get friends and family to help out

1/2 of the cost of most garden projects is labour and other overheads. For skilled work such as paving and decking its a good idea that you pay someone to do this. However there are lots of things which can be done by almost anyone who is in good health.

Pro tip: Statistically people are more likely to help out if its a sunny day and there is a BBQ involved at some point. This is real science, honest…

Use height

When it comes to small garden design its all about maximising space. To do this you need to consider height. Trellises, obelisks and other structures to grow climbers up. This will not only add interest but also help to disguise any less attractive parts of your garden.

If you don’t have a lot of space for planting beds, consider using hanging baskets or wall planters. These can be used to create an interesting display.

Green walls are a new but growing trend which brings planting into a whole new dimension. Check out out other articles to find out more about green walls for small gardens.

Use pots and containers

Containers are a great way to add interest and colour to your garden on a budget. There are all sorts of containers available, from traditional ceramic pots to more unusual options such as galvanized steel drums or old boots.

Old vases litter charity shops up and down the county. These may look dated inside a house but they can add to the magic and wonder of a well designed small garden.

You could even take to creating your own pots with a mixture of concrete and fiberglass. This method can be used to make unique and odd shaped pots which you won’t see anywhere else.

Small gardens are all about maximizing space. To do this, you need to consider height and think creatively about how to make the most of what little space you have available. There’s no reason why your garden can’t be an oasis with a bit of creativity! Smaller budgets don’t mean that your small garden should look cheap or unappealing . With a bit of thought and some inexpensive solutions, you can create a beautiful and functional garden which will be the envy of your neighbours. So get creative and have fun with it!

Thanks for reading! I hope this gives you some ideas for your own small garden. happy gardening!

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