Garden peble plant design

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.

Garden designer planting a Wirral garden

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.