Your own garden is the perfect retreat from the stresses of everyday life. How you can design a garden to feel good with low or medium cost and what you need to consider when planning your garden.
- Planning: designing a garden cost-effectively
- Using seeds and sowing them yourself
- Visit plant swap markets
- Propagate existing perennials by division
- Designing garden paths at a reasonable price
- Make your own garden fence from willow rods
- Grow your own hedges
Planning: designing a garden cost-effectively
The home has just been financed, the move has been completed – and the garden? It lies fallow for the time being. It is not uncommon for there to be no money left over for garden design at the beginning. Even with a small budget, a lot can be set in motion. Be sure to invest some time in the planning phase. In this way, you can compare different materials (e.g. for garden paths, fences), prioritise certain areas or projects and calculate the costs incurred.
The most important steps for successful garden planning are therefore:
- Draw a basic sketch for your garden At the same time, do not forget to enter the dimensions of the plot and the house. Then think about where to place individual flower beds or set garden paths. The best way to do this is to use a free garden planner.
- Check your desired project Go through each individual area of the garden and check what elements and building materials are needed for this. Are there any cost-effective alternatives? Which areas can wait a little longer if necessary? Is it possible to create a bed or a hedge for this purpose?
Selection of plants Let time work for you: Plant small trees or young shrubs (e.g. hornbeam or beech seedlings, forsythia, fragrant jasmine) for the coarse structure. These are significantly cheaper than adult specimens and become larger and more lush with each passing year. For the rest of the garden, the following applies: Limit yourself in a bed to a few plant species that fit the location and repeat this selection in several places.
Tip: Do you have a huge garden area? Then you can also concentrate on a manageable area (e.g. the front garden) that you want to prepare when designing the garden. The rest of the garden is already taken into account in the planning, but the design itself will follow gradually.
Using seeds and sowing them yourself
If you sow your own flowers, you can save a lot of money. The selection of seeds in the gardening trade is huge. In addition, there are many varieties that do not have to be grown on your own windowsill, but can be applied directly in spring: These include wildflower mixtures for larger areas or reliable flower varieties such as zinnias, ornamental baskets, perennial vetches or hollyhocks.
You can successfully sow summer flowers until mid-May. For this, it is best to adapt to a small rainy period. For large areas, it is worth using a non-woven material, which is first spread on the earth in order to retain moisture in the soil longer. Thus, the seed germinates quickly and reliably.
Visit plant swap markets
Another way to get cheap plants for your garden are so-called plant swap markets. In many communities, swap meetups take place regularly (usually twice a year), where hobby gardeners can exchange seeds, young plants or cuttings of perennials or buy them for little money.
Propagate existing perennials by division
Perennial perennials are great for inexpensive garden design, because they are unpretentious, perennial, winter-hardy and, depending on the variety, can grow very large. Perennials such as oregano, St. John’s wort or lady’s mantle as well as yarrow and ornamental leek species are particularly favorable.
Due to their penchant for duplication, a few specimens are enough to fill the entire garden with them. Spring is the best time to divide your perennials. The easiest way to do this is with a spade: So use a spade or digging fork to cut off a piece of a broad, healthy perennial and replant it elsewhere. Tip: Each cut should contain at least one healthy, strong sprout. They will usually develop so well after sharing that they will bloom in the same year.
Designing garden paths at a reasonable price
Garden areas that are to be paved are a major cost factor and rarely mandatory. Do you need a fully paved area in the garden or are smaller areas sufficient, e.g. for driveways or isolated tread plates to the garden shed? Gravel, grit and mulch (wood chips) are inexpensive alternatives for the design of water-permeable garden paths. Tip: Mulch will keep fresh longer if you lay a weed fleece underneath – the latter also prevents unwanted greenery from growing in gravel paths.
Make your own garden fence from willow rods
The more elaborately processed, the more expensive it is: the garden fence. But: There is no need for wrought-iron fencing – with wicker you have a material at hand that you can obtain very cheaply and easily use in many places. For this, in addition to bendable willow rods, you will need wooden arrows, a hammer and secateurs. And here’s how to weave your own fence from willow rods:
- Remove branches on the willow rods.
- Drive the wooden stakes into the ground with the pointed end at the same distance from each other.
- Braid the willow rods around the wooden stakes (always alternately in front of and behind the stakes) and push them together tightly in between.
- Cut off any protruding ends.
Grow your own hedges
A hedge of spire shrubs or other flowering shrubs will cost you almost nothing for the garden if you grow it from cuttings. Alternatively, you can resort to young plants from the local gardener. Hornbeams and European beeches up to 80 centimetres in size or yews in pots are available from as little as 2 euros each. If you are flirting with a box edging, you can plant it from unrooted cuttings from the end of June. The cutting should have a length of about 10 centimeters, and be freed from flowers and leaves. Then you can place the cuttings directly in the moist soil. Tip: Many other plants such as hydrangeas, lavender, lilacs, funkias, pelargoniums or boxwood can also be propagated via cuttings.