Gardening is one of the most popular outdoor leisure activities in the UK.  This is illustrated by how many Britons spend their free time in garden centres, visiting the immaculate gardens of stately homes or the continued popularity of gardeningTV programmes.  Not only is gardening a great way to get out in the fresh air but all that bending, stretching and carrying gives you an all-over body workout too.  Whether it’s quietly sitting under a tree reading a book or organising a barbecue with family and friends, gardens can be a great place to unwind and relax after the stress of your busy day. 

Help with your garden

You don’t need a team of professional gardeners nor to be an expert to create a wonderful garden.  The internet and your local library can be wonderful sources of inspiration for creating a unique outdoor area.  You should also ask relatives and friends for any tips they have.  Your neighbours or local gardening association can also offer valuable support and advice especially as they will have in-depth knowledge of the soil and climate of the area.  In this way, you can avoid making some costly beginner’s mistakes.

With the help you’ve received and the current state of your garden (perhaps as left by a previous owner), you have a starting point and can begin sketching out a plan of how you want your garden to look.  A word of caution, however.  You should view your garden as a ‘work in progress’ and think long term.  Whatever you want to do won’t be achieved overnight.

A wide range of plants, shrubs and trees

When planning your garden, you should try to envisage how it will look in terms of height.  The best gardens have trees, shrubs and plants of varying heights which add an extra dimension to the space.  Although the best credit cards allow you to put all your purchases on credit, throwing money at the problem isn’t always the best solution when it concerns gardens.  Everything about money and financing the creation of a garden can be stressful but money can be saved through by purchasing seeds rather than mature plants/flowers, by taking cuttings from other people’s gardens and by planting perennials and self-seeding plants like morning glory, forget-me-knots and nigella (also known as love-in-a-mist). 

The clever use of unusual plant pots can make your garden stand out from the others.  There is very little that can’t be used as a pot including old tyres, old bicycles, chipped crockery and wicker baskets.  Second-hand stores and car boot sales are some of the many places you can pick up old containers which can be transformed with a lick of paint and/or stencils. 

Eye-catching garden features

You might decide that your garden requires a focal point.  Water features like a pond or fountain, a rock garden, a bird bath/feeder, an arch, arbour or pergola can all add character to your garden which makes it stand out from the rest. 

By ev3v4hn