Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Home Revamps -

Don’t for­get the yard when plan­ning your bud­get reno. You can make big im­prove­ments to how your home looks from the street and to your out­door en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas too.

Spread­ing mulch over your gar­den soil gives the gar­den a fin­ished look, but it can be ex­pen­sive to buy in bags. Some lo­cal coun­cils of­fer free mulch, so check out this op­tion first. Al­ter­na­tively, buy in bulk from a land­scape sup­ply com­pany.

When it comes to plant buy­ing, do a lit­tle com­par­i­son shop­ping – nurs­eries vary sig­nif­i­cantly in price and qual­ity.

Don’t im­pulse buy at the nurs­ery. They often place large ta­bles of pot­ted colour where you walk in, but pretty as they are, these are

often short-lived sea­sonal blooms. In­stead, spend money on hardy shrubs, to pro­vide foun­da­tion plants for your land­scape. Also keep an eye out for end-of-sea­son sales.

Scrounge new plants from gar­den-lov­ing friends. They’ll often have way too many vig­or­ous grow­ers like aga­pan­thus or daylilies and be more than happy for you to dig up a few clumps.

Get your green thumb on and prop­a­gate new plants from cut­tings. If you’re a com­plete begin­ner, go for the fail-safe guys such as suc­cu­lents and gera­ni­ums.

Bring your deck and out­door fur­ni­ture back to life. Use deck cleaner to re­move dirt and grey­ing tim­ber then give them a coat of stain or paint. You’ll be amazed at the dif­fer­ence.

If you’re in­stalling a paved area in your gar­den, check out the price-re­duced paving lines at your land­scape sup­plier. This is often be­cause they’ve been re­placed by a newer (but very sim­i­lar) line.

Re­vive old pots and planters, rather than spend­ing money on brand­new ver­sions. Ter­ra­cotta and ce­ment con­tain­ers can be scrubbed up with hot sudsy wa­ter, and then given a fresh coat of paint, to come up look­ing like new. Use an ex­te­ri­or­grade paint with a flat or low-sheen fin­ish.

Rather than spend­ing money on gar­den edg­ing prod­ucts, recycle old bricks or pavers in­stead. Or go for a neat spaded edge, which is cut into the lawn with a sharp spade (see how on page 57).

Look out for sec­ond-hand tools and equip­ment at re­cy­cling cen­tres. That way, you can spend more money on the gar­den, rather than the con­tents of your shed.


In­stalling a new lawn can be an ex­pen­sive ex­er­cise, so rather than re­plac­ing ex­ist­ing turf, re­vive what you have. Aer­ate the lawn (you can hire aer­a­tors for this), then feed with an or­ganic-based lawn food. Once things have greened up, fill any bare...


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