Design your garden the way you want it and do it yourself to save yourself a lot of money and also have the satisfaction of looking at your garden for years to come, knowing that you "Did it yourself".
How I started
My garden was not looking very pretty and I was feeling very discontent with it overall. The lawn was on a slope so I couldn’t have any of the play equipment for my children that I wanted or the relaxing swing seat in the sunniest corner at the top. The grass was in poor condition because of the heavy clay soil and the plants weren’t doing much better. After wasting a lot of time and effort trying to treat the grass with expensive products only to find it ruined again every winter due to excessive water retention on the clay soil, I decided to do something radical. I decided to just get on with it. No more procrastination! The garden needed transformed and I was going to do it!
I sketched a few pictures of how I wanted my garden to look and function. Then I asked three gardening contractors round to give me quotes for the work. It didn’t take me long to realise that there was no way I could afford to get someone in to do it for me and also buy the play equipment, water feature, archway, plants, swing seat and trees that I’d sketched into my dream plan.
I decided to take on the challenge of doing it myself. I relish a challenge and thought it would be satisfying to be able to look at my garden in a few months time, knowing I’d done it myself – all the way from initial sketches and plans to the finished article. I also decided to save as much money as I could for the large luxury items I wanted by getting things like soil, sand, bricks, pebbles from freecycle. (a site where people give things they don’t want to others for free). I also salvaged some edging stones and plants that my neighbour was throwing away.
You need to set yourself a realistic time scale if you’re doing a big project like this yourself. Think about how much spare time you have, how much time you are willing to spare for the garden project and how many other people may help you (friends and family).
I decided to take a relaxed and flexible approach to my DIY gardening project. I didn’t want it to become a stressful event but rather an ongoing project. Since I didn’t have a whole heap of money to get started I just started with what I had but I also earmarked £500 as an emergency budget. I was hoping not to use it but I was soon to discover just how important that emergency budget was.
Published in: Gardening