5 simple ways to improve gardens during lockdown – without spending a penny!

These simple jobs will enhance gardens at zero cost
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  • Having a garden during the lockdown is a real bonus. Not only do gardens provide a welcome and safe space to venture outside, breaking up the monotony of being stuck indoors – they also provide a great source of jobs to keep busy.

    These easy-t0-do jobs can help to spruce up gardens with no costs involved. Totally free garden ideas – win, win.

    Related: Brilliant budget garden ideas to boost outdoor spaces without breaking the bank!

    As we all look to cut back on unnecessary spending right now, experts at Hitachi Personal Finance share insight and handy tips to give gardens a zero budget garden makeover.

    Ways to improve your garden without spending

    1. Start with a tidy up

    Image credit: Talbot Photography

    It won’t add anything new to your garden, but giving the space a good straighten up could help you give your outdoors a new lease of life. Scott Chandler, former Kew Gardener says ‘Many of us put off the nitty-gritty gardening chores, but de-weeding your patio, fixing that wonky fence panel or simply mowing the lawn will turn a scruffy garden into a purposefully rustic outdoor area.’

    He goes on to advise, ‘If you have grass, keep it short. If you have a patio or decking, use a pressure washer to spray away any dirt and slime, it’s much more pleasing on the eye and one less chore.’

    2. Divide your plants

    If you’re looking to up the number of flowers and plants in your garden, without any additional cost, now’s the ideal time to divide or split summer-flowering plants. ‘By dividing your plants, you’ll be able to add more colour to your garden whilst also making
    your original plants healthier by making sure they don’t overgrow.’

    Experts recommend, ‘Primroses, daylilies, asters, geums, heucheras, hardy geraniums and Japanese anemones’ – as  all suitable for dividing. ‘To separate your plants, dig up the clump whilst gently loosening the soil. Using a trowel or hands, carefully pull the plant apart. Making sure each section has plenty of roots still attached. Then simply replant these new sections in your garden and water well.’

    3. Don’t forget about your garden buildings

    Image credit: David Giles

    Winter can take its toll on garden buildings. Use the free time now to check sheds and greenhouses, making sure they are still in good stead.  ‘A fresh lick of paint and regular ventilation now the weather is improving will help your garden buildings
    and plants within them stay healthy,’ advise the experts.

    Top tip: If your outdoor buildings provided extra storage in the winter, use this time to do a bit of decluttering. Even better transform the extra space to a home office or home gym.

    4. Create zones within your garden

    Creating different themed zones can help to make the space feel bigger.

    This can be easily done by ‘moving garden furniture such as chairs or outdoor tables into one section to create a seating space and children’s play items into another section to create a mini play area.’ These simple measures during lockdown can go a long way to ensure ‘the whole family can take time for themselves,  and get a much-needed break from the indoors.’

    5. Entice wildlife into the garden

    Image credit: Lizze Orme

    From birds to bumble bees, there are lots of free and easy ways to make your outdoor space more inviting to wildlife.

    ‘Tying a bunch of hollow sterns like bamboo together with string and placing them in an old terracotta plant pot or open wooden box will create a lovely new bee hotel for your garden – helping to preserve the dwindling bee population.’

    Or another way, and a good one to get little ones involved, is ‘building a pile of dead wood in a shady area as a habitat for small mammals, amphibians and insects.’

    Extent the invitation to hedgehogs by leaving any leftover dried fruit or cooked veg out in your garden for them to graze on.
    But the advice is ‘make sure to avoid bread and milk, as these items can make hedgehogs ill’.

    Related: From light bulbs to coffee bags – here’s how to re-use household waste in the garden

    Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Personal Finance comments, ‘As many people look to reduce their expenditure, we wanted to offer some useful insight on how you can spruce up your garden without having to spend a penny. And make sure Brits are getting that much needed time in their gardens.’ Never more important that right now.

    And for that, we thank you.

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