Low cost low hassle creation of your garden


A well kept garden adds to both the beauty and the value of your home. It becomes a gilt frame for the picture that is your house, nice to look at in its own right and emphasising the fine features of your home.

An improving market in mortgages for professionals improves your chances of affording a house with a garden. But unless you have well practised green fingers, gardening can be a daunting task. Even working out where to start can be a head-scratcher. So here are some low hassle ways to get started.

Set some boundaries

Before you go any further, set out the boundaries within your garden. If there are flowers trailing all over the vegetable plot or the lawn just blurs into the flower beds then the garden will be harder to manage. Setting boundaries helps you to spot if something’s out of place and deal with it before it grows out of hand.

Setting up boundaries is a straightforward task. With a little spadework you can create a shallow ditch round the edge of your lawn, improving drainage and separating it from decorative plants. If you want to make this more sturdy then you can get edging rolls – strings of half-logs all wired together – and easily put them in place to reinforce that edge.

Paths can also provide boundaries, and can be created just by laying paving stones on the ground. Sinking them into the soil will make them look better for just a little digging.

Grow easy fruit and veg

Growing your own fruit and vegetables adds variety to a garden, as well as a source of cheap, fresh, low hassle treats.

There are two principles to picking the right fruit and veg.

First, pick something that’s easy to grow. If you’re not an experienced gardener then you don’t want to spend lots of time managing them, or face the frustration of failed crops.

Secondly, pick something that will save you money in the shops. This way you’ll get the best value from your planting and want to go back for more.

Strawberries and rocket both meet these criteria. Strawberry plants are surprisingly sturdy, self-propagate and provide a fruit that’s delicious but can be expensive. Rocket’s a tasty but relatively costly salad leaf that’s a great grower and needs little care. A small row of rocket can be harvested regularly throughout the summer, giving great value for the low effort involved.

Easy furniture

Having gone to the effort of mastering your garden you’ll want to make the most of it, sitting outside in summer, maybe eating an al fresco dinner surrounded by the fruits of your labours. What could be more satisfying than eating your own strawberries in the garden where you picked them?

Not every garden has space for permanent furniture. Wooden outdoor tables and chairs can be costly and difficult to manoeuvre. So instead consider fold-away tables and chairs. Light and durable, you can buy these from camping stores, or even from large supermarkets in the summer. You can fetch them out when you want to sit outside, then fold them away to leave the space free. The chairs might even come in handy indoors if you find yourself with more guests than furniture.

If you’re storing fold away furniture outside then a simple plastic sheet or tarpaulin will protect it from the elements, saving you space around the house while stopping your furniture getting wet or blowing away.

Making the most of it

A garden is a terrible thing to waste, so make the most of yours. Make a few low cost, low hassle improvements, then sit back and watch it grow.


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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Written by John Thompson

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