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Friday, 3 June 2016

Small Luxury Garden Makeover on a Budget

Luxury Living, Ghetto Budget

I am a true lover of gardens and gardening and in 2013 I vowed to reclaim my extra 'outdoor room' from what had become a building site and storage space after my husband built his man cave out there taking up half of the open square leaving me the other half and a small side walk.

Remember when I started?  No?  Have a read of this old post >>>>> Urban Organic Vegetable Garden

3 years ago!!!!

Even I'm surprised when I look back, how lush it all looks now.  And, as a novice gardener, how well I've managed to maintain it all despite often neglecting it.  Last year was definitely the year of neglect, but I believe my husband and I have been vindicated by our efforts so far this year.  To be fair though, we did take on an allotment last year and were quite busy with that.

At present I do not have many vegetables growing in the space but am planning to plant out this coming week.  I have moved to a flower, veg mix this year as we have done away with the raised bed in order to more effectively multipurpose the space.

How we did it

After bagging up as much soil as we had the energy for, my husband compressed the remaining patch and covered with parts of an old wardrobe we were throwing out.  We sourced the decking boards 15 extra long lengths for free!  Gumtree and Freecycle are great resources, but you must be patient and wait for what you need.  Altogether our actual costs to deck were under £50, being resourceful and recycling wherever we could.

We dug out 10 bags of perfectly wonderful soil and took down to our allotment.  No waste here!

Squeezing an entire garden into 1/3 of the space!

The hubby compressed the remaining soil and covered with old wood which was due to be dumped.

A lot of 'making do'

Before starting work, I fed and watered all of my plants shrubs and trees to strengthen them for the inevitable move.

I have worked on garden 'zoning' and have designed, with the husband, a bike shed that will be built in a couple of weeks.  The seating area changes with the addition of a large rectangular table big enough to seat 8, it is at the moment, our dining table from indoors that I designed and Johann made; we have plans on building a foldaway version purposefully for the garden.

We couldn't resist an Alfresco Sunday lunch before completion!

Encouraging the boys to write, framing  section of the studio wall to encourage and set boundaries

The boys still having their writing area with scented herbs growing below and a larger space to spread toys onto the floor and play.

My husband, for my birthday, bought a beautiful dining set from bargain store B&M which looks almost identical to one I had loved by one of my favourite stores Neptune, have a look >>>>>> HERE
I preferred the way my old metal white table looked, less... generic.  So popped the set table onto Ebay!

There is plenty of space in some of the larger pots to grow my Kale, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Lettuce and Cucumbers.  The herbs will be grown in the wall garden, 'hopefully'.  As we have the allotment, there isn't any pressing need to keep a lot of veg growing in the garden.  I'd just like to merge flowers and veg.

Trips to IKEA!

Et Viola, the Pinterest worthy, semi finished results

I love my old chairs and am sourcing a small table to pop our marble chess set onto

Louie teaching our friend Chess before the new chairs arrived
These pots are from Homesense and the flowers from IKEA

Floor covering, bike shed and wall garden are next on the list...

It's not the size but how you use it that matters!

Garden Renovation cost so far...

Garden seating including cushions £399 from B&M, table sold for £125
Decking materials total spend £47.85, purchased 6 boards as we were short of free ones.
Homesense pots £4.99 each x3
IKEA flowers and amazing Hydrangeas at only £5 a pot!  Totalling £33.75

Total spend


A bargain if I don't say so myself!
With still more to do, the frugal'ing' will continue...

What's next list...

In no particular order
Lighting, Wall Garden, BBQ, Bike shed, Side return floor covering, Veg planting, Decking stain or patiently waiting for it to naturally grey!

I hope you like what we have done so far.  Follow us on Instagram to see regular update pictures.

What would you, or have you done with your small space, urban courtyard?  We'd love to know, please comment and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE it's free!

Tomboy - x -

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