Clever Gardening ideas for beginners in Victoria BC
Upgrading your garden doesn’t have to be a huge expense or really complicated. Read this short clever gardening ideas for beginners guide to learn about some simple and affordable gardening ideas that can increase the curb appeal of your front and back yards for your home.
First, we will share some quick and easy gardening projects along with some gardening tips that will help save money:
1. Make your own homemade compost and topsoil
If you’re looking to plant shrubs, plants or flowers, then you may have considered buying expensive potting mix or topsoil. While topsoil is a vital mediumfor all your plants’ health, you can reduce your cost by not only using topsoil – a good alternative where you can actually save a good amount of money is by mixing topsoil with your household kitchen leftover organic waste or scraps.
If you don’t think you have the time or space to make or maintain a compost pile, another alternative is to mix in any used coffee grounds into the mud or clay type dirt around your garden which will make your existing topsoil go alot further. Another way to save money is by adding mulch, which is another way to provide your plants with nutrition but is still a cheaper option than using alot of potting soil.
2. Smaller Plants and Shrubs
When visiting the nursery, it is easy to get excited about the mature plants and shrubs, due to their size and visual appeal. However, the price is really the only difference between the large mature and smaller plants of any given type. If you willing to have a yard that you grow with, and you want to save alot then choose smaller plants and shrubs. If planted in good quality soil then you will be pleasantly surprised at how fast they grow to become your full size mature plants.
3. Save money at the end of the season
Nurseries, are like most retailers, they try to reduce their stock by getting rid of last season’s trees, shrubs and plants by offering clearance sales. This is a great opportunity to save some money if you’re willing to wait for the right time. Keeping a close eye for the end of the spring or summer seasons. Even if the flowers and leaves look less than ideal at the time of sale, they’re perfectly fine as long as the stems are still green. Just make sure you plant them as soon as you get home and give them plenty of water.
4. Homemade Stones for a Garden Path
Garden path natural stones looks fantastic in anyone’s yard but using your budget on flagstone from a stone supplier can cost a fortune, even to buy a small amount. Another option to consider is by making a beautiful homemade pathway by using Quikcrete 30kg readymix concrete, shovel, 5 gallon bucket, measuring tape, decorative rock and some shallow containers
Using your 5 gallon bucket, mix your ready-mix concrete with water as per the instructions on the bag. Once everything is well mixed, pour the concrete into your shallow containers. Then, carefully press the decorative rock into the concrete and leave them to dry. After 24-36 hours, check the dryness. If everything has set well and there are no problems, then peel away the shallow containers and you’ve got some home made stones. If you dont have time or space for this project, and you dont mind waiting, then asking neighbors or looking into local ads to see if anyone if getting rid of natural stepping stones that you can have, for free or a very little cost.
5. Choosing perennials
As you look around, you will see there is a huge selection of stunning annual flowers out there, and picking flowers to enjoy, but always die will end using up alot of your budget. Instead, think about buying some beautiful perennials such as Astilbe, Bergenia, Crocosmia and Echinacea, which will come back every year with vibrant, colorful array of flowers and leaves. Although the initial cost for the perennials is a little bit more, remember that the overall cost is less, as they are a permanent source of enjoyment in your yard — not a seven day wilting flower soon to be part of the garbage.
6. Dividing and splitting
After a few years that you have planted those beautiful perennial it will become quite the size. Instead of buying new flowers each year, you can divide and split your existing perennials and relocate them to other areas of your garden. You can save a great amount of money each year by just dividing and splitting your perennials and replanting them in different areas.
7. The advantage of community free or cheap mulch
A lot of communities often offer free or cheap mulch to their local community – you just have to know where to it. If you live in a city that picks up tree clippings in the spring and fall, then there’s a good chance that it processed by sticking it through a wood chipper so they can turn it into mulch. Find out if your local community has setup a local mulch program. If they have, remember that you may need a truck or some way to transport it back to your garden. You’ll probably also need a tarp to cover it, as well as a shovel and a rake , as the mulch is not sold by the bag.
Low Maintenance Design Ideas for Back Garden
Whereas a front garden is for all your neighbors to see, your back garden is your own personal enjoyment, and outdoor living space. Here are some of our quick yard design tips for a low-maintenance backyard:
1. Simply add an outdoor Rug for some colour
If you’re thinking of freshening up the look of your patio space without making expensive renovations, then rolling out a large outdoor rug, can give your back garden patio a boost of color and transform your outdoor space without getting into the costly projects like staining and painting your older deck.
2. Building a trellis for vines and plants
Trellises are great idea if your looking to add some charm, colour and character to your garden. You can make your own trellis by using pressure-treated or cedar boards, and you can plant climbing roses, clematises or peas on both sides. Check on the type of plant and how big it gets, as something like Wisteria can get very big and break up a small trellis, and if you plant something like Ivy then keep it away from other trees and brickwork as can be quite a destructive problem, similar to Honeysuckle
3. Pergola for some afternoon shade
If find full sun in the afternoon to much to sit outside in, then some form of pergola is a great solution. If you want go one step further, for additional shade the curtains or screen is another option for shade.
4. Buy a Fountain
If you like the sound of water around your residence, but you have a small back garden or courtyard, then buying a fountain, is a great easy design idea! Fountains and small pond less natural stone water features are an excellent way to add the sound of water without needing a large budget or needing too much space for its location.
5. Add an Above Ground Pool For Cool
An above ground pool is an cheaper option to cool down on those hot summer days and can be a great addition if you have children. Setting it up on a paving stone, garden slab or concrete patio to avoid damaging your grass, and to keep it level.
6. Add Low Voltage Garden Lighting
If you’re looking for the most beautiful back garden in your neighborhood, then outdoor low voltage garden lighting, is definitely the way to go. You can hang string lights on a pergola or across your outdoor space, or you can add soft accent lighting by lining paths with path lights and small pot uplights to feature plants, trees and rocks is another great design idea.
7. Paint a Mural Artwork on Your Fence
Creating an eye catching mural or piece of artwork on your fence is also an easy way to brighten up your garden or give it an affordable upgrade . To prepare your fence, just make sure to check which paints are best to use and work out what scale to create your new design. If you’re not much of an artist, then maybe look around your community and see if there’s a local artist that is looking to advertise their work by creating your design for you.
8. Look into your Xeriscaping Options
If wasting water around your residence, is a concern for you , consider xeriscaping, which is considering drought-resistant plants around your garden in a theme or concept that saves water. It’s easy option, that requires a lot less maintenance and boosts the visual appeal of your garden as well as the value of your property. It also helps to use more local plantings that are native to your local area
9. Build an Outdoor Living Space for Entertaining
If you love to entertain with parties, barbecues and drinks, having a table is great addition to your outdoor space. You can make your own quick table using Plywood and some wine barrels, or you can spend a little more by purchasing a nice patio set with a table, chairs included, as well as an umbrella or fire table.
10. Add Comfortable Seating for relaxing
You can never have too much comfy outdoor seating when re-designing your outdoor space. Create a comfortable place for your family and friends to sit back and relax with benches, big comfy chairs with bright outdoor cushions.
11. Stay Cozy With a Fire Pit Table
There is nothing quite like a memorable get-together with friends and family around a fire pit or fire table. If you have some experience and the materials, you can build an inground fire pit, using stones and rocks, or you can save time and buy a fire table. Don’t forget to keep seating in mind when allocating space for this project! you dont want to be sat too close. Also think about whether you want a permanent firepit as a feature in your garden or a table that comes out for the special occasions. Also consider fuel for this project, propane or wood, which then needs consideration for storage of materials as well as safety at the end of the night.
12. Relaxing in a Hammock
Hammocks are a great backyard feature for adults and children alike. You can set one up between two sturdy trees by fastening the ropes using either good strong tree straps or proper industrial hooks. If your garden doesnt have any sturdy trees, then you can invest an affordable hammock support which comes with a base and stands.
13. Add a Calming Space for Relaxing and Meditation
Find a quiet, out the way place in your back garden, and set up some seats and a table for incense and add some blankets and cushions for relaxing. If this spot is under a tree, you can also hang wind chimes or some decorative ornaments to make your space more unique.
14. Set Up Sound
Listen to some of your favorite tunes right from the comfort of your own backyard by adding a few speakers, maybe with some blankets and cushions and a few low voltage garden lights.
15. Create an Exciting Area for Children
If you have young children that like to use your back garden and running around, then what about having a climbing area, swing set, tree fort or a tire swing for their backyard enjoyment .
Easy Front Garden Ideas
Where the backyard is really an area for you to have fun with your friends and family, the front yard is more of a show-piece to the neighbors and people on the street. A well-designed, carefully maintained front yard will create a great first impression for all who visit your home – this includes potential buyers in the future. These are a few simple ways to make this important outdoor space stand out from the neighbours:
1. A Wooden Post and Railing Fence
While you may associate fences with keeping people and creatures out , post and railing fences can also be built to attract passers-by. They do this by giving a clear definition of the borders to your property. Generally speaking, a clear defined area, whether it be defined by a fence, hedge or rock wall, is more attractive than an open undefined space.
2. Driveway Design and Concepts
If you have a fence, hedge or wall around your front yard or entire property, then chances are it is interrupted by your driveway. At the entrance to the driveway, you can choose to build or install a nice gate. Always ensure the gardening around your property entrance is well maintained, as this area greatly impacts a visitors first impression of your property, as well as the functionality of your gate.
Affordable Garden Design Projects
If you need affordable gardening ideas, consider these options for a low budget garden :
1. Find Alternatives for Mulch
Mulch is a great product for your garden, but it is not always a cheap option. If your local community does not offer free mulch, you should consider going with a more affordable budget option, like:
- Leaves: Spreading fallen leaves on the beds is a cost-effective way to provide your plants with nutrients as well as protect the roots through out winter.
- Grass clippings: When you mow your lawn, use your grass clippings and spread them over your flower beds, don’t let them smother the base of the plants as it can kill them.
- Compost: If you already have a composter, make the most of it by spreading it over your beds. You can aslo turn this into the soil come spring to add nutrients to your plants. Make sure you don’t put the compost on too thickly, as too much may heat up your plants and damage them.
- Decorative Rock: Although decorative rock is not suitable for all plant types, when used properly, you can greatly reduce the maintenance and weeding around your property. Decorative rock is an especially effective option in cleaner environments such as narrow beds along the edge of the driveway and next to your home. This is because products like grass are less likely to stay alive right next to concrete as the heat in summer dries them out quicker.
- Newspaper: Once you’ve finished the daily newspapers, recycle them around your plants. Put around four or five pages on your beds, water them lightly and cover them with additional topsoil before doing any planting.
If you would rather use traditional mulch in your planting beds, our recommendation is to opt for finer mulch, as this is much less costly than large nugget mulch and it is easier to spread. You can also turn it into the soil in spring, if you need to amend the topsoil, when planting.
2. Recycling Old Tires as a Raised Planter
Throwing away old tires can be inconvenient as well as expensive, as they are bulky and heavy. A lot of landfills often don’t accept them. Instead of trying to get rid of them, why not make them useable, be recycling them in your yard?
Also, if you don’t have any old tires, ask the neighbors as im sure someone nearby does. For a very small budget, you can pick them up at your local recycling depot, and it’s also not difficult to find people wanting to give them away, usually on online ads.
Here are a few ways you can recycle old tires in your yard:
- Planters: Create a beautiful decorative planter by stacking and staggering them, then filling with soil ready for planting
- Hanging planters: By filling around half of the tire with soil and attaching it to a fence or a wall.
3. Go Vertical
If you love gardening but you have very little space and a small budget, creating a vertical garden may be another alternative that works better for you. You can do this by making use of any vertical spaces to grow your plants. If you use recycled materials such as old crates and pallets to create small planters, vertical gardens can be a very inexpensive option by attaching them to wall.
If starting a vertical garden is something that may interest you, here are a few quick ideas:
- Front porch vertical garden: For a more rustic-looking front porch vertical garden, you can use terracotta pots, and an old book case.
- Vertical herb garden: Repurpose old paint cans by painting them, filling them with top soil and hanging them, make sure to put drainholes in them for when you water your plants
- Mobile succulent garden: You can do this by repurposing an old wheel barrow.
4. Plant Useful Plants
By allocating a small section of your garden in the summer, you can lower your grocery costs and not break the bank account by harvesting your own herbs and vegetables right in from your very own backyard. Whether it’s herb gardens or tomato’s and cucumbers, it’s easy to convert your yard into a beautiful, functional space with just a few well-placed raised or terracotta planters.
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Avant Garde has been providing Victoria BC businesses and residences with garden installation and renovation services for nearly two decades. Contact us to schedule an estimate today.