gardenGardening is one those occupations that doesn’t require a fortune. Like many passions you can spend a lot of money on expensive tools, plants and landscaping, but alternatively you can simply spruce up your garden with the minimum of equipment and stay well within your budget. Here’s how:

1. Plant hedges

If your fencing is looking shabby but you still have to protect your garden’s boundaries take a look at some of the hedges on offer from ashridge nurseries.

Jasmine, for example, is wonderful as it will reward you with sweet smelling blossom in the summer and still act as a sturdy partition in the autumn and winter months. You can also plant hedges to separate one part of the garden from another in order to make your garden look more attractive.

2. Tools – keeping your costs down

Those bright new shiny tools at the garden centre may look magnificent but most of them also carry a hefty price tag. Expert gardener, Alan Titchmarsh suggests that you can save a fortune by scouring car boot sales and other outlets in order to track down some essential garden equipment.

You will need some shears, secateurs, a spade and a fork, but you don’t need to invest in expensive power tools. Just remember to keep your blades free from rust by giving them a good clean after use.

3. Plants for the summer

Instead of buying your summer plants during the months of June, July and August, buy them as seedlings or plugs in the spring. This is far more cost effective, and as long as you nurture your baby plants throughout the spring you should be able to sit back in the summer and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Invest in perennials; they will give your garden colour for years.

4. Seeds are wonderful

Another way of sprucing up your garden is to get rid of any plants that haven’t done well the previous year and replace them with seeds. You can grow the seeds in trays in your greenhouse, and then plant them in your borders or you can plant the seeds directly into the soil.

Always mark the area where you have planted the seeds and keep them happy with a good layer of compost as plant food.

5. Garden furniture on a budget

Eating outside during the summer months is an annual pleasure but old garden furniture can be expensive to replace. In order to get over this problem, instead of investing in brand new furniture look out for second hand tables and chairs on Gumtree.

Always store your furniture inside over the winter months; this will prolong its life. You can always strip your wooden varnish and then colour and re-varnish your furniture in a bid to give it a new lease of life.

6. Check your pots

Some pots are damaged by the frost, so it’s a great idea to ensure that all of your containers have survived the winter. The magazine Yours suggests painting your pots to give them a makeover.

7. Pruning is good

It’s surprising how much smarter your garden will look after a bit of pruning. As long as frost isn’t forecast give your shrubs and hedges a vigorous session with the shears. This will promote growth and make your garden look a lot smarter.