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Pretty garden patio with pink rug, lots of green plants and a garden bench

7 Budget-Friendly Ways To Update Your Garden This Spring

Pretty patio with a bench, green plants and a pink outdoor garden rug

It’s the perfect time of year to give your outdoor space a makeover – and, yes, you can do it on a budget. Here's how

The weather may be somewhat erratic, but that’s no excuse not to get outside - after all, if we waited for the mercury to hit double figures, we may never leave the house again. 

RSG co-founders Lucy and Jane both love time spending time in the garden, finding it therapeutic on many levels

‘It’s a great way to de-stress,’ says Jane. ‘I always feel completely levelled out after a day of gardening, especially after a busy week at work.’ 

Lucy finds inspiration in the colours, and that time spent outside is like a budget aromatherapy session

‘Whether it’s bluebells in spring, roses in summer or pine in winter, I love immersing myself in nature just for the way it smells,’ she says. ‘I like to imagine all those lovely phytochemicals energising my body and brain.’ 

Jane and Lucy apply much the same thinking to creating gardens they love as they do to styling their homes, which is to say, they let their individuality shine through. 

‘The great thing about a garden is that it’s always renewing itself,’ says Jane. ‘It’s the ultimate work in progress. The garden you create this summer isn’t the one you’ll have next year. I love the feeling of constant evolution.’

So how to make the most of your great outdoors this spring and summer – without spending a fortune? The elements outlined below will help you create a dream garden on a budget and vastly improve its appearance, so give them a try. We promise you won’t look back!  

1. Tidy up

Basic, yes, but necessary. Mow the lawn, rake up the cuttings, tidy up the flower beds (give a good dig over and put fresh mulch / woodchip / gravel down if needed – although just turning over the soil will make beds look significantly better). Sweep steps, decking or patio and give them a blast with a jet wash. Cut back and / or deadhead the shrubs and flowers that need it. It’s amazing what a difference a simple spring clean can make, and apart from any materials you use on your flower beds, it won't eat into your budget at all - all this task will cost is your time

2. Add planters

A super-quick way to refresh your space and create a focal point to your garden is to use planters. Fill with fast-growing shrubs or an abundance of flowers (take cuttings from friends and family to keep costs down) and arrange your planters in such a way that they create a framework for a space that’s perfect for entertaining. Use planters in different colours and styles for variation and visual interest, styling smaller pots in groups of two or three. Vary the shrubs and flowers you plant so you get lots of colour and vibrancy, and keep an eye on your garden budget by considering perennials to reduce the need to replace your plants every year. 

3. Add an outdoor rug

This is a fantastically budget-friendly option if your decking or paving stones have seen better days. Use either as a picnic rug or as a focal point to arrange seating around. Outdoor rugs are both hardy and portable, so simply roll up and move to another spot if the mood takes you (or the weather gets too bad). 

4. Repurpose and upcycle

Have a look around your house for items that can be repurposed or upcycled for use in the garden at no cost to your budget. Old furniture, crates, pallets and containers can be transformed into planters, seating, or decorative accents with a fresh coat of paint or some creative modifications. For instance, you can scrub clean old large plant pots, give them a lick of paint and turn them upside down to make seats with timelessly rustic appeal. It's a creative and cost-effective way to breathe new life into items that would otherwise gather dust in the shed or garage.

5. Add lights

Solar lights are budget-friendly and a sustainable way to create a warm, inviting atmosphere long into the evening. Lanterns placed along pathways or festoon lighting styled amongst foliage make striking additions to your outdoor space both during the day and at night, while the soft lighting they provide as the evening draws on illuminates proceedings beautifully. Add as many to your space as you can comfortably fit – after all, you don’t need to worry about either the electricity bill or the cost to the environment

6. Use mirrors

Outdoor mirrors are an investment, it’s true. But their ability to create an illusion of space in a smaller garden, or on a terrace or patio, is unrivalled. They’re also great for bouncing sunlight around, or reflecting the magical twinkle of fairy or festoon lights in the evening. They’re forever pieces, too, so if you can stretch your budget, an investment made now will be used season after season. 

7. Add accessories

Finally, the great outdoors wouldn't be so...well, great, without a little bit of comfy squishiness. Invest in accessories like cushions that are designed for outdoor use and you'll treasure these for many years to come. They make everything feel that little bit more lounge-worthy, of course, but they also effortlessly elevate any garden setting and bring a feeling of chic elegance. Magical. 

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