Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Janita Singh

A FANCY and func­tional gar­den doesn’t have to cost the earth, land­scape de­signer Matt Leacy of Lan­dart Land­scapes says.

Leacy says re­cy­cling and up­cy­cling ma­te­ri­als and ideas guar­an­tee sav­ings.

“If you have a land­scape bud­get you can use it and stretch it wisely,” Leacy adds.

He sug­gests tak­ing ad­van­tage of what you can make or save on, such as pot­ting soil, com­post and wa­ter.

If you’re keen on giv­ing gar­den­ing a go this spring, try Leacy’s tips. HAVE A BUD­GET “Cost re­duc­tions start with the de­sign. Good de­sign con­sid­ers your bud­get and meets the brief,” Leacy says.

“A de­sign and land­scape ex­pert can come in handy. Land­scape de­sign­ers have sup­pli­ers they can call on year round for plants and build­ing ma­te­ri­als.

“We know how long some- thing will take to build, and how much things cost, so bring­ing in an ex­pert is a good way to stay on bud­get.

“The sav­ings in re­cy­cling plants and ma­te­ri­als, in­stalling long-term money savers like mulching, and ex­pert ad­vice on plants and wa­ter­ing sys­tems will pay off in the end,” he says.

To fur­ther man­age your bud­get, Leacy ad­vises:

Be con­scious of fu­ture wa­ter bills. A rain­wa­ter tank will help.

Man­age the con­sis­tency of wa­ter­ing by deeper, less reg­u­lar wa­ter­ing to en­cour­age health­ier deep root sys­tems for plants.

Spread mulch around plants to re­duce weeds, save wa­ter and in­su­late soil.

Make your own soil-wet­ting agent. Pin­ter­est has lots of in­no­va­tive ideas. GET COM­POST­ING “Com­post can pro­vide valu­able nu­tri­ents ... by com­post­ing your­self, you save money and take ad­van­tage of your food waste,” Leacy says.

He sug­gests col­lect­ing fallen leaves and lawn clip­pings to add to the com­post.

“A large com­post site or bin in the backyard doesn’t have to be an eye­sore. Hedges, shrubs or bury­ing bins un­der­ground can cam­ou­flage com­post.” CHOOSE SUIT­ABLE PLANTS Se­lect­ing the cor­rect plants for your gar­den plays a large role in their fu­ture cost and up­keep. Choose plants that not only look great but will han­dle lo­cal con­di­tions. Low main­te­nance plants suited to mass plant­ing in­clude beschorne­ria, echium and westringia.

Choos­ing suit­able plants should be part of a well-planned and de­signed gar­den, land­scaper Matt Leacy says.

Beschorne­ria is hardy and suited for mass plant­ing.

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