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  • Writer's pictureStephen Machin

The top 6 ways to transform your garden in 2023 on a budget

Updated: Jan 11


Discover our top 6 most recommended steps to transforming your garden, with very limited budget, for 2023.



transforming your garden

Is your garden looking a little tired? Every time you look out of the window, does your heart sink? Having the garden completely re-done can be expensive and a cost you might not have accounted for just yet. But does that mean you can’t spruce up your garden and enjoy it?


Absolutely not!


The truth is, you don’t need to have thousands of pounds sat aside to start transforming your garden and making it more useable. There are plenty of ways you can change the look of your garden, using only a limited budget. So, let’s explore the 6 best ways you can achieve this in 2023…



Transform Your Garden


Get organized


First things first, let’s gets organized. We need to take a look in the garden and see what exactly it is we are hoping to achieve with this transformation. There are a few questions we can ask ourselves here to get started with this transformation, questions like:


  • What is it that I don’t currently like about my garden?

  • What would I like to use the garden for the most?

  • What spaces do I have available in my garden that I can utilize? (Patio, decking, grass, flower beds, etc.)

  • How do I want the garden to make me feel?

  • What colours are currently in the garden? Do I like these?


These are just some simple questions to get you thinking about your garden in a slightly different way. We ask similar questions to this when completing a garden design consultation as well. Thinking about the garden from different angles will ensure that when it is completed you are getting the most out of it.



garden design consultation


Start with the basics


Now we have got a better understanding of why we want to transform the garden, lets make a start. There are a few simple jobs we can do that have a huge impact on the overall feel of our garden, and if you do these first, you will be amazed just how different your garden will feel.


1. Tidy any rubbish


When we fall out of love with our garden, it can often become a dumping ground for our stuff. Rubbish that we haven’t got round to taking to the tip, old furniture, broken appliances. The list goes on. We don’t mean to let this happen but stuff can quickly build up and before you know it, your garden is looking messy.


If this is the case, the first step is to remove this. Depending how much rubbish you have, you can either; try and take it to the tip or hire a skip. Hiring a skip is quite an easy process. Depending how much rubbish you have to get rid of, and what that rubbish is will determine the size of the skip you require. A quick chat with the supplier, and they should be able to point you in the right direction.



2. Cut the grass


Now we have removed the rubbish, the garden is starting to look a bit tidier. However, that long grass is next on our list. Grass can quickly become long and unruly, especially over the summer months. Just by cutting it, we can make the garden feel much bigger.


3. Trim the hedges

Trim the hedges

If you have hedges around your garden, and these haven’t been trimmed for a while, the chances are that these are overgrown. Overgrown hedges will often still be green, but will have lost their shape and will be intruding into valuable garden space. A basic trim can be quite a simple process, but if you are wanting uniformly shaped hedges, or don’t have the equipment to trim the hedges, then getting a professional in is the best option. Also, if you don’t feel confident in cutting the hedges yourself, then look into hiring a professional.



Now we have the basics out of the way, our garden is already looking better. But this is just the start, we haven’t even got into the real nitty gritty of it yet! Let’s move onto the; low cost, high impact steps we can take to further transform our garden.





6 Ways to transforms your garden on a budget


This is the reason you have come here and I won’t keep you waiting any longer, let’s jump straight in…



1. Clean your patio or decking


If you have a patio or decking area in your garden, unless it’s just been laid, the chances are it could do with a clean. Especially after winter, wet and moist weather promotes the growth of algae and lichen. These can quickly discolour your patio or deck and start to make it look tired.


The good news is, that a quick clean can sort this and return your patio/deck to its former glory. There are lots of ways you can achieve this, some are more environmentally friendly than others, but the method of cleaning will be largely dictated by; the material you are cleaning and the type of stain you are cleaning off.


Environmentally friendly methods include:

  • Jet wash

  • Soapy water

  • Environmentally friendly white vinegar and water solution

My main advice here, before starting this, would be to understand the material you are cleaning and ensure you choose the correct method and/or chemicals for that material. Selecting the wrong method could cause irreparable damage, so please do some further research before jumping in to using chemicals.



2. Paint / stain; decking, fence, shed and furniture


Paint deteriorates over time and can become flaky and start falling off, especially outside where it is exposed to constantly changing weather conditions. If you have wooden surfaces in your garden, such as; a shed, fencing, decking or furniture, this can quickly start to make it look old and unloved.


By simply just giving it a fresh coat of paint, you can quickly give these features a new lease of life. There are so many different colours on the market now, you don’t just have to stick to the conventional browns. You can bring new life to different areas of your garden by using; blues and greens, in and around seating areas for example.


If you have a nice timber decking installed and you have just cleaned it (as per step 1), then when it has dried out this would be the perfect time to re-apply paint or stain. I like to stain decking due to the fact that it soaks into the wood more instead of just sitting on the surface like paint. This means it is less prone to flaking off in the future. And you also get the added benefit that you can see the natural wood grain through stain.



3. Rejuvenate your flower beds


If you have existing flower beds that haven’t received any TLC for a while, these are probably looking either; wild and overgrown or dead and scarce. Both of these are far from ideal, and by cleaning these out and replacing with some fresh, easy to manage plants, you can bring an array of beautiful colours back to your garden.

Rejuvenate your flower beds

When clearing out the old, this is the best time to add some good quality compost back to the bed, to give the new plants the best chance of thriving. If the existing soil is already good quality, then you can just get some compost and add that on top, and then mix the 2 together so that they become well incorporated. If the soil is past it’s best, then look to remove a few inches from the top and then fill back up with a good quality top soil / compost mix.


Garden centres will stock a whole variety of plants that will be perfect for filling your fresh planting space with. I would highly recommend speaking to someone in store and explaining to them:


  • The size of your space

  • How much sun it gets

  • Whether you want high or low maintenance

This will allow them to advise on the plants that will be best for you.



4. Add lighting


Garden lights can quickly transform your garden into an outdoor living space that you can use year-round. There are a huge variety of lighting options available on the market, and these vary in cost depending on the scale and complexity of your desired outcome.


However, this blog is about solutions on a budget so let’s look into that. Solar lights have been around for a long time now and for good reason. They are cheap, practical and extremely flexible. The installation is as simple as; purchasing the light and pushing it into the spot where you want it. The inbuilt solar panel will charge the light through the day and when it gets dark, the light will turn on. It really is that simple.



Garden lights

Low voltage systems (12V and 24V) are also becoming more readily available, and these also have quite a hassle-free installation. These provide a more reliable light source than solar but cost a little bit more to purchase.


Utilising your new lighting system is the next step. You need to think about what you want from your garden lighting and then purchase the system that can offer you that. Ask yourself, what do you want your lighting to do?

  • Highlight your planting beds?

  • Illuminate along the path?

  • Allow you to sit out at night and read?

For example; Spot lights are great for highlighting planting beds and trees, festoon lighting is good for patio and seating areas, post lights work down the side of paths.



5. Introduce low-cost accessories


Adding some nice new accessories into the garden can quickly make it feel more like a room and less like a garden. We decorate the inside of our homes with these, so why not the outside? Rugs, mirrors, cushions, candle holders, etc. are all fantastic ways of adding a cosy feel to your garden space. You need to make sure that the accessories you are buying are intended for outside use, as the rug you put in your living room probably isn’t the same material as the rug you would put in your garden.


Putting a nice rug under your garden furniture, leaning a full-length mirror against the wall, placing tall candle holders around your patio are all fab ideas you can implement today!



6. DIY Furniture


If you’re looking for a nice little DIY project then look no further. There are so many ideas when it comes to DIY garden furniture, from pallet tables and chairs, planting shelves from driftwood and offcuts, planters out of old buckets or wheelbarrows and old ladder as a planting stand. The possibilities really are endless.


This is your perfect chance to get creative and add your own personal touch to the garden. It will make a great talking point when friends and family come round!




Keep on top of things


Your garden is now looking pretty good (if you do say so yourself), so now you get to sit back and admire your work? Yes (almost)! You will now just need to keep on top of things, but fear not, this is much easier and less time consuming than the process we have just gone through. An hour here and there is all that is usually required for standard gardens. Routine maintenance will keep things looking in tip top shape. Create a list of jobs to do in the garden that will help you manage your new space, such as:

  • Cut the grass

  • Trim the hedges

  • Water the flower beds

  • Tidy up the flowerbeds

  • Sweep the patio

  • De-weed the patio

The easiest way to create this list is to think of everything we have just done to transform the garden, and then write down how you can keep it that way. There will be jobs that might need doing once a year, such as; painting the fences, shed, decking, or cleaning the patio, so it’s always a good idea to keep these on your radar and then when the time comes you have put aside a few hours to do these tasks.



Outdoor gaden designs


Enjoy your garden!


Now we have shown you the top 6 ways to transform your garden on a budget in 2023, all that is left to do is for you to enjoy it! Invite your friend’s round, host that family party or just sit and read a book in the sun! What you do with it now is up to you, but all we ask is that you enjoy it!



Which of these ideas is your favourite?

  • Clean Patio / Deck

  • Paint / stain; decking, fence, shed and furniture

  • Rejuvenate your flower beds

  • Add lighting



I would love to see some of your garden transformations using this guide, so please email me some pictures at: contact@eastleighstudio.co.uk.


Also, please feel free to reach out to me via email or any other means if you have a question relating to your garden.



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