Designing a Garden on a Small Budget
I visited a friend recently who has a medium sized garden and only a tiny budget.
We discussed what she hoped to create in her garden and she quickly realized that she didn’t want to pay for a garden design to save her budget for making a start on updating her garden. She asked me, “What would you do if this was your garden and funds were limited?”. I said, “I would focus on two things, nice planting and a stunning lighting scheme.”
It’s not that plants are incredible cheap, but they are not too expensive if you buy plants at a 3 litre size (the plants will be about 30 cm high) and if you are a proper gardener, meaning you have the patience factor, then you will enjoy the process of watching modest sized plants grow into big statements.
If you combine your planting with some simple garden lighting, for example garden uplighters, you can achieve stunning effects on a small budget.
Of course you need to know what you are doing; trees can be tricky as they can grow into monsters quite quickly. Some examples of small trees which I love to work with are: Cotoneaster cornubia, Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, Amelanchier, Malus.
Dynamic arrangements of plants are important. I always think about plants in relationship to each other. A common mistake is to have too much variety (one of these and one of those). For example Hemerocallis (Day lilly) is a very pretty herbaceous perennial, but even in a small garden it should be used in drifts of 5 or 10.
It’s however also good to place large specimen plants (those which make a statement) on their own. For example Magnolia, Phormium, Olive tree or Hornbeam are all plants that can stand alone.