Are you looking for ways to give your garden a fresh look without drying up your savings account? There are plenty of ways to add some colour and style to your yard without mowing over your budget and staying economical. With summer in full swing, here are a few budget-friendly tips for making your green thumb aspirations a reality!
Get creative with containers
Give new life to your old cookware by turning them into stylish planters. Old stock pots work perfectly for this. Just punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage and you’re good to go. To personalize your planters, spray-paint them in bronze or copper or do your own designs in acrylic paint.
Want a raised bed for your tomatoes, without the cost of lumber? An old bathtub is the perfect solution! Sinks can be put to similar use, as pedestal-style planters.
Do you have a porch light, walkway lights or decorative strands of lighting on your patio? There are many opportunities to use solar lighting in your yard, all of which will lower your power bill. To give an outdoor dining area a warm ambiance, twist a strand of fairy lights into a large glass jar. This can then be used as a centerpiece or hung up with hemp rope as a lantern.
Re-purpose furniture and indoor items
Have you been wanting to buy a new potting table? No need to splurge at the garden center—simply find an old cabinet! A kitchen island is ideal, as they usually come with shelves, drawers and hooks. In a pinch, upgrade a small dresser with some vintage-looking hooks on the side for hanging your tools. You can also take out one of the drawers and turn the space into a shelf. Dresser drawers can also make unique window boxes, adding some charm to the façade of your house.
Chairs are another great way to make your garden space unique. Use them as a plant stand for your flowerpots. Or, remove the backs to use as trellises.
If you lament the cost of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, try incorporating some into your gardens. Sure, this may be restricted in some urban areas, but even small-scale is better than nothing! Do you need a tall, vine-like plant to hide an ugly fence? Plant a few scarlet runner beans; their eye-catching flowers brighten up any space. Many herbs have pretty flowers, as well as multiple uses. Lavender, for example, has beautiful flowers which can be dried for potpourri or used to make tea (or ice cream!). Mint and chives are other easy-to-grow herbs.
Did you know that you can even eat some flowers? With their peppery flavor, nasturtiums add a little kick to any garden salad. If you have a large number of rose bushes, collect their petals to make decadent rose petal jam. Berry bushes like elderberry or blueberry can be used for landscaping, and their berries for making jam.
Keep critters away naturally
Eco-friendly pest control is a key part of minimizing the environmental impacts of gardening. Luckily, there are number of DIY options for avoiding expensive chemicals. For deer, hang white strips of cloth or plastic bags at their eye level on trees or posts. These act as a deterrent by mimicking the tail-flashing used as a warning signal by white-tailed deer. If you have planted bulbs, protect them from squirrels by covering them with chicken wire. When it comes to repelling insects, make your own spray using items such as chili pepper, garlic or liquid soap.