Now how is that for a title eh? I feel like it encompasses some brilliant things – the Chelsea Flower Show (start preparing yourself for a BILLION pictures), gardening tips from actual experts, and me following around celebrities.
‘It was my first time at the flower show, and wow, it’s just so beautiful. Now let’s face it, gardening is bloody expensive (here’s how you can get a little bit of the Chelsea Flower Show for free). A garden (especially of Chelsea standard) costs hundreds and thousands, so I spoke to as many experts there as possible to see if there was any way to save a few quid.
Grow what you can eat
I spoke to Leigh from the RHS, and he told me that the best way to save a few quid is to keep it simple and grow some salad plants. The seeds don’t cost a huge amount, you don’t need special equipment and yes – you can eat what you grow. Bargain!
What’s even better about growing lettuce is that if you don’t cut too far down, the lettuce will regrow two to three times!
Leigh Hunt, Royal Horticultural Society
Grow from seed (and join an exchange)
A good and cheap way to get a lot of different varieties of plants is to firstly grow from seed and to join an exchange.
You really shouldn’t be growing more than 2 to 3 of any plant (unless you want to be overwhelmed), so when you buy a packet of seeds for around £1, you’ll be left with plenty which you won’t need. Get together with others and swap!
David Rankin, Scottish Rock Gardening Club
Use an old tin bath (don’t splash out on fancy containers)
A water feature in a garden is a luxury most of us think we can’t afford in our gardens, but Linda from the award winning Waterside nursery told me that there is no need to fork out for expensive containers. You can create beautiful container ponds (which are very fashionable right now apparently!), with an old tin bath, or sink – well anything.
Get thinking… is there anything you could use in your shed?
Be aware that near-identical flowers can cost double the amount
Ok, this may seem obvious to a lot of you, but did you know that roses can vary in price dramatically? I thought they would all be about the same price, but no!
Interflora told me that speaking to your local florist, and really explain what your budget is, and finding alternatives is the best way to save money on a bunch of flowers. For example, two roses that look exactly the same are the Pink Ohara and white Andenken. The normal person wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference, but one costs twice as much as the other. So find good substitutes.
Steve Betts, Interflora
Don’t buy cheap plants
Yep, if you’re getting cheap plants from your supermarket and garden, it’s a false economy. Lachie from Binny Plants told me that the internet is your friend, do your research and make sure you buy from a company that has a reputation for selling quality plants – because cheap ones aren’t meant to last.
Only buy fresh seeds
You get what you pay for, so when you shop at supermarkets etc, you’re probably buying old seeds that aren’t going to produce brilliant plants. Go online, and make sure you buy fresh. Tom recommends DT Brown.
Tom Smith, Tom Smith Plants
Ok – now for a million pictures:
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