Everyone (well, all right, not everyone – but a lot of people) can appreciate the beauty of a well-maintained garden and researches have proven that having a garden, even if it’s a small one, in your home does wonders for your emotional and psychological health and well being.
Many people think that the only way you can have a pretty garden is if you have a massive land area, have a lot of spare time in your hands so you can dead-head, weed, prune all the plants to perfection, and have oodles and oodles of cash to spend on garden ornaments, plants, fertilizers and the like,. This is a misconception of epic proportions. You can actually have a pretty garden even if you don’t have a lot of space, don’t have much time, and have limited funds. There are many ways you can have a beautiful garden even when you have a tight budget.
1. Determine your budget and consider your lifestyle.
First of all, you need to determine how much you would like to spend (initially, and on regular maintenance) on your garden and how much time you can spend tending to your garden. Knowing what your limitations are will help you identify what kinds of plants you can have. If you want your garden to be filled with bonsais and expensive orchids, you need to be prepared to shell out quite a lot to purchase the plants and also be prepared to spend a lot of time taking care of the plants. Be realistic with your goals. If you’re already having a hard time juggling your home life and your career – stay away from high-maintenance and high-cost plants.
2. Plan ahead.
When you know your budget and know how much time you can spare tending to your plants, purchasing plants will be so much easier. When you shop, make sure you buy plants that are in season – and if you want to see blooms all year round, you should either get plants that flower all the time or buy plants that blossom at every season. If you want to have a vegetable patch, purchase the vegetables everyone in your family will enjoy eating (or try edible flowers). If you already know beforehand how much space you have to work with, then you can choose plants that will fit in that area – plants that grow upwards instead of those that spread out horizontally.
3. Learn to compost & be organic!
Instead of spending on fertilizers – why not just learn how to compost. Dried leaves and grass clippings can be used as mulch; organic scraps from your kitchen (fruit and vegetable peels, left over food) can be converted into compost. Coffee grounds are also great for composting. By using compost instead of fertilizers, you not only save your money – you’re doing your part to protect the environment as well.
4. When it comes to ornaments – be imaginative!
If you think your garden needs a little extra oomph – look into adding some garden decor. Marble bird baths are no longer the trend, and neither are garden gnomes – select items that match your theme (if you have one). You can use colorful rocks and pebbles, a little garden bench perhaps, maybe an old birdcage or a rusty watering can. If you have time, why not try your hand at creating a broken pot garden (also called fairy garden) and you can have a beautiful miniature garden within your own garden.
5. Be friends with other gardeners.
Okay … how would this help prettify your garden? Well – if you’re friends with other gardeners, or have a pretty wide network of gardener friends, colleagues and acquaintances – you can get invaluable gardening tips from them. They can share their ideas with you on how to work on a small budget, they can help you choose what plants to purchase (and tell you where to buy the best plants at reasonable prices). You can swap plants with them – use the ornaments, fertilizer, compost that they no longer want or need.
Now that you know that having a nice garden is, in fact, do-able, what are you waiting for? Start planning how to create that empty space in your home into a refreshing little oasis.