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    Former MSE Lee
    The Great 'spruce up your garden' Hunt
    • #1
    • 17th May 10, 4:24 PM
    The Great 'spruce up your garden' Hunt 17th May 10 at 4:24 PM
    MSE Update 15 May 2014:

    This Great Hunt was started in 2010 but it's evergreen.. or is it perennial?


    British weather isn't always condusive with keeping your garden prim and proper, but with a potentially warm & sunny summer on the cards it may be time to get on your knees and get your garden into shape.

    So we're looking for ideas to clean up and add some life to your gardens on the cheap. May it be through good value flowers, homemade outdoor furniture, economic use of garden waste, or even calling in Alan Titchmarsh's Ground Force to do the hard work for you.

    Anyone with any thoughts or experience on the matter, please hit the reply button and share.

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    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 15-05-2014 at 5:00 PM.
Page 1
    • aloiseb
    • By aloiseb 19th May 10, 6:28 AM
    • 692 Posts
    • 466 Thanks
    • #2
    • 19th May 10, 6:28 AM
    • #2
    • 19th May 10, 6:28 AM
    My best ever flower buy was 2 years ago, in Lidl, about 1 week after their big flower/ garden stuff promotion. I bought 10 pansy plants which had gone "leggy", for 10p each. I planted them all in a big blue pot I already had and watered them a bit.

    They - or their children - are still producing loads of flowers, right through most of the year as far as I can see. If I remember to deadhead them they'd probabl look even better, but i don't care that much - it's the focal point I need, to distract attention from the rest of the garden!

    I think pansies are REALLY good value, and believe me if I can't kill them, nobody can.
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 21-05-2010 at 11:48 AM.
    • mutley74
    • By mutley74 19th May 10, 7:53 AM
    • 3,835 Posts
    • 1,351 Thanks
    • #3
    • 19th May 10, 7:53 AM
    • #3
    • 19th May 10, 7:53 AM
    more Lidl thumbs up
    bought a nice Fuchsia bush yesterday for 5.
    Also they have other plants including lavender on offer from tomorrow.
    • Optimisticpair
    • By Optimisticpair 19th May 10, 9:04 AM
    • 630 Posts
    • 1,854 Thanks
    • #4
    • 19th May 10, 9:04 AM
    • #4
    • 19th May 10, 9:04 AM
    A good freebie is one that feeds your garden, improves the soil, gives plants the best chance to get established, keeps them healthier, and reduces the need for watering - Home made compost. Compost bins are sometimes given free or sold at reduced prices by county councils but you can also make one.
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 21-05-2010 at 11:49 AM.
    No longer half of Optimisticpair

  • Anneg
    • #5
    • 19th May 10, 9:04 AM
    • #5
    • 19th May 10, 9:04 AM
    Yes, Lidl are a really good source for plants. You can sign up to their email to see what's coming up and get there early on the day if you see something you want as a lot of things sell out very quickly. I bought 2 standard fuchsias last week for 7.50 each - I got there at 8.50am and by lunchtime they had sold out. I know these will cost 15 plus in the garden centre. Also, it's worth signing up for Thompson and Morgan's emails as they have some very good offers in late spring/early summer. Plants at local summer fetes and charity stalls are far cheaper than in the shops. I bought herbs last Thursday on Leatherhead High St for 60p and supported one of our local charities at the same time. Much better than paying nearly 2 in the garden centre!
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 19th May 10, 9:12 AM
    • 7,486 Posts
    • 10,868 Thanks
    • #6
    • 19th May 10, 9:12 AM
    • #6
    • 19th May 10, 9:12 AM
    Busy Lizzies are some of the best annual flowers, i've had them bloom as late as October, and the colours are so vibrant. I think Thompson & Morgan has some on offer.
    Also Tesco complete weed killer is one of the best i've tried, not neccessarily fast acting but it does disentergrate the weed pretty efficently.
    Poundland is a great source for garden items, I got all my hanging baskets and mini fencing from there.
    Last edited by KxMx; 19-05-2010 at 9:16 AM.
    • pookiewn
    • By pookiewn 19th May 10, 9:23 AM
    • 462 Posts
    • 891 Thanks
    • #7
    • 19th May 10, 9:23 AM
    • #7
    • 19th May 10, 9:23 AM
    If your freindly with your neigbours you might be able to get some cuttings or spare plants from them. My neighbour is amazing - not only a fountain of information and tips and tricks, but so far I've managed to to grab a honeysuckle, gogi berry, butchers bristle and might have some strawberries comming too!
    Supermarket herbs are usually quite cheap and do manage to keep going if you re pot them. Try the poundshops and wilko for plants and seeds.
  • Purse String
    • #8
    • 19th May 10, 9:43 AM
    • #8
    • 19th May 10, 9:43 AM
    My tips include buying plants from your local school fairs, usually cost about 50p -1. I try to get perennials and build up the garden over the years.
    Another tip is about lawns. I think if you can keep the edges trimmed, it can still give the garden a 'cared for look ' if you are short of time to mow fully. Over the season, it might save a little on electricity or petrol. (Don't let the grass get too long though, I wouldn;t want to be responsible for the swearing and broken lawnmowers!)
    • Philycheesesteak
    • By Philycheesesteak 19th May 10, 9:58 AM
    • 834 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    • #9
    • 19th May 10, 9:58 AM
    Simple and cheap!
    • #9
    • 19th May 10, 9:58 AM
    Home bargains are selling wild flower/butterfly and bee flowers/yellow flowers in boxes just shake, sew, rake and water. Covers up to 50m2

  • CaptainFantastic
    I keep an eye on the freebies section for my area on GumTree.
    Sometimes people are giving away old bricks, manure or left over turf.

  • DillyD
    When sprucing up my garden last year I spent a few trips out to look at water features.Not finding anything within my budget I almost gave up. However, on a visit to my local garden centre I spotted sizable pieces of broken grey slate paving on a reduction stand and I decided to buy around 6 large pieces. We stacked them on top of each other with smaller pieces and dark pebbles to steady them drilled a hole through them to allow a pump tube through (already having dug a hole with a bucket in below holding a small pump enabling a water resevoir) and hey presto a lovely gently cascading water feature for a fraction of the cost.
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 21-05-2010 at 11:51 AM.
    • dander
    • By dander 19th May 10, 7:08 PM
    • 1,589 Posts
    • 998 Thanks
    I got a load of old bricks from freecycle and used them to create a mowing strip all round the edge of my lawn. I can just run the mower right round the edge, so mowing is much easier with less edging to do. Cut and run and it was free!
  • amcluesent
    A cheap option is having the man of the house take a whiz on the compost heap to accelerate the production of usable compost.
  • sodamnfunky
    We always buy reduced plants in the garden centre, plant them in a nice big tub with new compost and some chicken manure, and they flourish. I don;t think we have ever bought a plant at full price.
  • Upright Tone
    What about equality?
    A cheap option is having the man of the house take a whiz on the compost heap to accelerate the production of usable compost.
    Originally posted by amcluesent
    I would advocate that the womenfolk in our lives do likewise - fair's fair.
  • humblebumble
    Try Poundland. They sell the boxes of shake and rake seeds for 1 (obviously!!) and they also have a great range of other gardening stuff including seeds, plants and bulbs. Also tools and feedstuff and pest control!!
    • rosie101
    • By rosie101 20th May 10, 5:02 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I went to the British legion Plant sale in B/stoke last week, as all the plants are donated you can pick them up really cheaply - 10p to 2, and the great thing was the people manning the stalls new all about them so could offer suggestions on how they should be cared for!
  • laurel7172
    Be greedy. Want it all, and want it now. Then wait.

    What I mean is that if your wishlist is long enough, you'll regularly find things on An asparagus bed might not have been top of my list this year, but I found some reduced crowns, knocked up a raised bed from a plank and got one going for less than 5.

    And don't be afraid to buy small plants now, rather than large plants later. If you can't afford a nice big garden centre apple tree, for instance, you might as well plant an Aldi one this year as pay six times the price next year. After a year's head start, the difference won't be as big as you think.

    And the cheapest way to get anything-split perennials/take cuttings and swap with family and friends.
    • alfie 1
    • By alfie 1 20th May 10, 10:38 PM
    • 5,717 Posts
    • 46,181 Thanks
    alfie 1
    garden ideas on the cheap
    1. If you have a large mirror [off wardrobe, carboot sale or local tip] place it against a wall in your garden and it looks like your garden is bigger . if you have [again the tip has lots] an old metal gate, put it ajar in front as if a gate to a secret part of the garden. grow roses or clematis etc either side and it looks great !
    2. use cheap bamboo canes for trellis work, put 4/5 upright in the ground, 18 ins apart, then weave across with canes ,behind and infont alternatly [thread from the top and push downwards] again 18 ins apart, so you have a cheap natural frame for any climbing plants.put two across if canes not long enough.
    3. get 3 flower pots of different sizes [larger the better], largest at the bottom, fill with soil and place 2nd pot in centre,fill and 3rd pot on top [you can use a cane through the centre to stabilise] then plant with trailing species etc, looks great and cheap !
    4. look out for old poultry feeders [usually metal], they make good planters as they have a circular tray at base thats ideal for watering plants.
    5. get any hanging light/candle holders [chandalier type] hang it from a tree with fat balls [haha] for the birds to feed from, also any nut holders etc but make sure its balanced !
    6. i have an old iron fireplace placed by my seating area with a bush backdrop ,that has a big pot of daisies in front of it, it looks great !!
    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 21-05-2010 at 11:54 AM.
  • boothie
    how does your garden grow
    remember keep some nettles in your garden keeps pests off your prized blooms and you can rot them down over the winter for plant food next year and believe me its the best you can get stinks a little but good stuff
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