I'm a garden expert – how to transform your outdoor space for no more than £20, and make a huge difference | The Sun

TRANSFORMING your outdoor space into a peaceful haven can be great for your wellbeing – as well as your house price.

But if you're on a budget, it can be really hard to know what you can do that requires minimum funding but still has maximum impact.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to transform the look and feel of a garden on a tight budget, especially if you're prepared to invest a little elbow grease and spare time instead.

Here, Chris Bonnett, founder of Gardening Express – one of the biggest online plant retailers in the UK – shares his top tips to transforming your garden, and for no more than £20…

On the fence

First tip to create a big impact is to paint drab fences – they don't have to be boring brown, and can be lifted with a bit of colour.

Chris says: "Choose paint that’s meant for outdoor use and make sure the fence belongs to you, or get approval from neighbours first.


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"Find the best bargains by looking for discount weekends and sales, or keep an eye out for dented tins at reduced prices.

"Garden retailers often mark down leftover stock towards the end of the season to make way for Christmas stock."

Pallet-able furniture

Garden furniture can be pricey, but it doesn't have to be.

Chris says: "If you want to transform the garden by replacing the furniture, keep an eye on local community recycling groups.

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"You may be lucky and get a set of garden furniture that’s no
longer wanted and may just need some cleaning and refurb.

"Alternatively, grab giveaways of timber pallets and build one of the numerous modern pallet furniture designs that proliferate online.

"This can make a huge difference and will enable you to sit back, relax and enjoy your space."

Go potty

Adding some pots or planters can be a great way to spruce up your garden on a budget.

Chris says: "Keep an eye on social media selling pages [such as Facebook Marketplace] where you can get pots for almost giveaway prices.

"Get creative and think about any other old containers from around the house that could be used too – even old furniture.

"You’ll want to invest in decent compost to ensure your plants grow well, but consider filling them with cheerful fast-growing annuals scattered in from seeds, such as Calendula or even mixed salad leaves.

"There are tons of plants you can buy from markdowns in stores, or venture online and seek out eBay auctions or £1 lines from retailers."

Grand designs

The next cheap and easy way to make a big impact is to make changes to the design and layout of your garden.

Chris says: "If you've got a patch of grass with a couple of borders, you could divide this up into different zones.

"Make flower beds, a seating area or a winding path through different areas.

"A mini veggie patch where you can grow salads might be a good idea as well, and it will help with the cost of living crisis."

Plant the seed

If you want to fill your garden with plants and flowers on a budget, it’s all about starting from seed.

Chris adds: "It can be extremely satisfying to raise plants from seedlings to blooming adult plants.

"And don’t forget those all important veggies too – you can even save seeds from shop bought veg, such as peppers and butternut squash.

"I’ve done this in my own garden this year with great results – we’ve even got watermelons growing well thanks to the warm

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"Another good tip is to choose plants you can easily propagate and multiply yourself.

"Sedums would be one such example."

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