It is time to get the gardens looking good, but on a budget of course


One of the things that attracted us to our house was the garden space, we have a big space in the back, a big space in the front and a really decent sized garden to the side of the house, we had big plans but they have been slow burners thanks to our lack of time to work on the garden once the weather starts to get better. This year though we are aiming to get all 3 areas completed and make the outside of our home look brilliant and have it so that we can have a space we enjoy being out in rather than somewhere we pick faults with which is what I often do. So far a big part of the work has been done as we completely renovated the back garden however, we never actually fully completed it. Luckily the works we want to carry out this year are all ones we can do ourselves or with the help from family members. This year we just want to focus on getting the gardens looking nice however, there are some areas which we won't be able to do for a while due to the cost and size of the works but whilst we are working on a budget to save for these jobs I think the list of works to do this year looks a lot less scary and almost enjoyable as we will be outdoors for a change rather than sitting in all year or going out spending money for the sake of it. So here is the plan of action for this year to get those gardens to be a much more aesthetically pleasing place...

The back garden

As I said earlier we have spent a lot on the back garden since we moved in as it was left a mess when we moved in, we just haven't got around to fully completing it yet and that is my main priority for this year. Since moving in we have split the back garden into a decked area that drops down into an area of artificial grass and it looks great when it is tidy so the first plan of attack is to get rid of the weeds and give everything a good clean & tidy up, no more dead plants. Once that is done it is time to get cracking on with filling the planters and plant pots so we have got a £50 budget in place for soil, compost and any plants we might want to add. There isn't going to be too much being planted but it will be nice to finally add some colour to this area. It is also still pretty dark in the back garden on an evening so a big priority is going to be adding to the light situation, we currently have a few solar lights around however, we have around £30 budgeted for adding more lighting and I have seen some nice string lights in B&M which will go lovely across the edge of the decking and I have also seen some nice big floor standing lights which will go really nice with the rest of the decked area. We got a very cheap dining set when we originally moved in however, I really aren't keen on it anymore, especially the glass table so I think that whilst we are sorting the back garden we will budget in £100 for a nice new set, I am trying to get more meals eaten outdoors this year so it will be worth the money and me and Liam can sit and eat properly rather than on the little outdoor sofa set which we have previously done. There is also going to be a small budget of around £40 for other decor items, like ornaments, dining accessories etc just so we don't go overboard and spend a fortune on things that are never going to be used. Finally I am back to wanting to paint the fence and decking, now it has been in for a while it has weathered and just looks old and tatty, a lick of paint will bring it back to life and also help all the garden flow much better rather than a lot of different shades of wood like it currently is. I also want to paint the windowsills so they look nicer than the chipped paint that they currently have, one can should do all the downstairs and it should just look a bit smarter over all, I am hoping £60 would cover all the costs of paint taking the total budget for the back garden to around £280, if we can get under this then even better however, I do think this is a realistic budget to stick to.

The front & side gardens

The front & side garden are going to take a bit longer to complete no doubt and they are definitely going to require more hard work as it involves removing things and digging rather than just planting and decorating. So first up with the front garden, we want to dig out a border to fill with plants, a border was in originally so it is a case of just re-digging that and filling it in with more soil and getting those plants in, then it is removing the dead rose trees from the front window and painting the windowsill just like we will have done in the back. I also want to try paint the gates too so they look a bit nicer. There is also a bit of a fence between our garden and next doors that has fallen down so I want to rebuild something to make it that bit more secure for us. As for the side garden this is going to be more digging as we want to remove the vegetable patch and old BBQ from the old owners as they are just taking up space that we want to use for our football garden. Once they are going it is going to be a case of adding some soil and grass seed to hopefully get some nice grass grown on those areas, with how much is coming out of this area we will probably require a skip too. We also want to add a fence into this garden just to make it a bit more secure and also try keep cats out as at the moment it is just bushes with big gaps in them. Overall we are looking at budgeting £300 for these areas combined due to the skip and fencing but honestly I think we would be able to do this under budget if we really wanted to this is just the limit of how much I would happily spend on it.

If we do manage to come in under budget I think anything we save will go towards a nice drinks cooler I have seen on Instagram or even a new BBQ as ours at the moment is tiny and basic but if we are going to use it a lot more we might as well treat ourselves to an upgrade if money is on our side. As I say these are just the jobs to get the gardens looking nicer and make it an enjoyable space. In the future we are going to have some bigger jobs to do outdoors such as tidying the side of the house and flagging & leveling it, we want our driveway redoing so it looks a whole lot nicer and we want the trees and gates sorting however, those are a lot bigger jobs that we are going to have to get others to do so they are a long term saving goal but who knows they might get done in 2024, it just depends if budgeting starts to work for us or not.

I am determined that this summer is going to be a summer of staying in rather than going out for the sake of it, we have the outdoor space so we need to make the most of it for a change, we can eat outdoors, have BBQ's, have picnics with the nephew and even just have people round for drinks for a change. We don't need to be out every evening or weekend, it is time to enjoy our summer at home for a change and if this all goes to plan we should have a brilliant summer.

If you want to see how we have budgeted for jobs to be done in the house then have a look at this post. It really is time to make this house our perfect home. Keep an eye on Instagram to follow the progress and once each area is done I will be doing a wrap up post on here with the cost etc.

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