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How much Time/money/ effort have you put into your garden?

(43 Posts)
Blueskytoday Fri 10-Jun-16 21:27:57

Time , money, effort

I think These are the three things needed for a lovely garden.
I wondered how much of each people feel you need to have a really nice garden?
I've recently got back into gardening again, work full time, have kids and pets,don't have loads of cash to pay a gardener etc.
I've found that without spending a fortune and making changes that have required some effort I've improved the garden already.
Have a courtyard garden, was very bare, have got some roses , clematis etc on the wall, hanging baskets, pots .
Sarah Raven website very inspiring, have got some roses in the house this week with lavender and thyme, smells and looks gorgeous.

Wish I'd started it when we first moved in the house 2 years ago, then everything would be getting established.

Chinese proverb- Best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago!!!

Bails2014 Fri 10-Jun-16 21:40:34

Our garden has just cost us the best part of £10k but we have done a lot of work, it's not a big garden but we have redone EVERYTHING. We've planted a lot of trees, a few roses and tonnes of fruit and veg.

stillstandingatthebusstop Fri 10-Jun-16 21:45:15

We have out loads of time/money/effort and yet no where near enough time/money/effort into our garden.

If that makes any sense.smile

Mouthfulofquiz Fri 10-Jun-16 21:47:26

I reckon I've spent a couple of grand over the last three years... But it's a passion. (And that's just on plants and a couple of cold frames!)
I've just spent £600 today on tree surgery. Ouch!

Clayhead Fri 10-Jun-16 21:48:02

Makes a lot of sense to me wink

I seem to need an infinite amount of all three for our garden.

stillstandingatthebusstop Fri 10-Jun-16 21:59:25

It would have made more sense if I'd typed put and not out. blush

clarrrp Fri 10-Jun-16 22:54:26

How much Time/money/ effort have you put into your garden?

I have a huge garden which is mostly lawn with plants and climbers and various bits and bobs, but we have a gardener who comes once a week to weed / tidy up and cuts the grass every fortnight and does the hedges and roses as and when they need it.

I used to have a vegetable garden but I gave it up when we moved house and haven't had the time or the inclination to put one in the new house. That said, I'd love an allotment.

So, in terms of money on this garden? Next to nothing.

Previous wonderful garden, thousands - but for years we grew our own veg so it sort of evened out eventually, although the initial outlay was pretty high.

traviata Sat 11-Jun-16 16:31:34

so clarrrp, does your gardener work for free? wink

yomellamoHelly Sat 11-Jun-16 16:46:48

Biiig garden. Long neglected (and much abused) by several of the previous owners. Have been sorting it out for years - so LOTS of time and effort so far (and come to know all the guys at the tip very well!). Been done in an attempt to reduce costs wherever possible, but have still spent about £20,000 on various big ticket items (fence, decking, raised beds, felling trees I couldn't...).
Have turned a corner though and feel it's been worth it. Maybe you have to be at a certain stage in your life to be like that though!

fiorentina Sat 11-Jun-16 20:25:59

I have spent a fair amount since buying this house two and a half years ago. Probably in the region of £10k in new fencing, relaid patio and tree clearance. Then the rest we cleared ourselves, restyled, dug out and replanted. It's starting to take shape and grow but I bought the small shrubs etc so will take some time to grow and mature. I couldn't spend more on the larger ones.

mrsclooneytoyou Sat 11-Jun-16 20:33:59

I only have a little patio. I grow everything in pots but I still spend a small fortune and as much time as I can pottering about out there.
I love gardening

FusionChefGeoff Sat 11-Jun-16 20:48:47

God my gasted is flabbered. 20k on a garden!!! I thought I was being extravagant buying £20 worth of bedding plants instead of growing them from seeds under the watchful gaze of angels and moonlight.

We did put artificial lawn down but the garden is so small that was less than £1500.

I probably spend about £50 a year on plants and about 4 hours a year gardening.

Which is why it looks shit. Apart from the beautiful lawn.

Kr1stina Sat 11-Jun-16 20:51:37

I have a big garden and waited ten years to do it up, because we had to do building work first ( drains, guttering and down pipes, conservatory ) .

So I had a long time to save up and make detailed plans . And change my mind many times ( the cheap way ) .

We've spend tens of thousands clearing out masses of monoblock, removing trees and hedges , digging a pond , putting in fencing, pergola, raised beds , electrics and drainage, shed, playhouse and laying hard landscaping for a parking area , patio and paths .

I now spend hours every week ( from April to October ) looking after it but I love every minute of it. It's my main hobby and the thing I love most about my home .

I think you can have a low ish maintenance garden that looks good but it needs to be well designed and planted . A big square of lawn with a few roses in the corner may be tidy but it will never look beautiful IMHO.

And you can have a lovely garden cheaply by propagating yourself but it will be a lot of work .

So yes I think that you need knowledge and time or money to have a really beautiful garden .

AllegraWho Sat 11-Jun-16 20:57:41

A lot of time, a lot of effort, not much money (don't have much to spend). Garden is large and the bones of it - patio, pond, greenhouse, shed, raised beds, pergola - have been put in by previous owners.

It also contains several old apple trees and a pear tree (sans partridge). I have invested a bit into some more fruit trees, grape vines, arches and obelisks, and lots of plug plants and seeds.

I love my garden !

clarrrp Sat 11-Jun-16 21:17:03

so clarrrp, does your gardener work for free?

i wish lol. But the amount for maintenance is small (about 200 a month) compared to what I woul d love to spend on the garden, in my dreams I'd love to grown my own food again, have chickens, a pond, some trees, lots of flowers...but it's not practical right now sad

LBOCS2 Sat 11-Jun-16 21:50:07

Well, we went from a jungle to a lawn with new fencing and turf and raised beds, so that cost quite a lot. I've mostly filled them with cheapy plants and things I've bought with Tesco vouchers though.

Twatting Sat 11-Jun-16 23:04:27

LB. where did you get the material for your raised beds?

echt Sun 12-Jun-16 01:44:49

A lot of time at the start.

The bones of our garden are good, with raised beds front, side and back as well as several mature trees. The house is built on an old sand dune, so there's quite fall from front to back, hence the raised beds.

It was a long job to hand weed every inch of the beds as well as remove the weed matting with covered every inch of the place and merely served to stop plants growing. Getting rid of the infestation of spider plants and dracaena took ages, and the dracaena kept coming back. The hand weeding was not as bad as it sounds, as the soil is very sandy. All the beds had soil top up. Soil wetters and mulch have to be re-applied annually.

I've tried to keep plants that are perennial, buying them when they aren't flowering so cheaper, and at local rotary markets, e.g. bromeliads, clivia, jade plants, aspidistra, agapanthus, kangaroo paws, orchids, both native and exotic and bougainvillea, that all look after themselves and propagate easily.

A price on all this? Thousands, I'm afraid, though the garden is just about full now. Having said that, I'm about to squeeze in some more trees for succession planting as one tree in the front garden will go within ten years and have to be cut down, so getting a replacement growing as soon as possible is a must.

shovetheholly Sun 12-Jun-16 17:12:23

I've done most of the hard landscaping myself, but the materials are still quite expensive - probably around £1500ish, though that may be an underestimate. Greenhouse and shed were also about £800 each I think and put them up myself. I got most plants VERY cheap to start with from the search and rescue section - I also spend a lot on plants and seed and compost and perlite and things like that, but I see that more as an ongoing hobby than anything else. I would guess my annual spend has been about £500ish - £10 a week or thereabouts including tools and everything, but that's likely to fall radically from now as I simply do not have space to fit in any more plants. Until I convince DH to buy a house with a bigger garden that is (this may be the biggest expense of all!!)

wonkylegs Sun 12-Jun-16 17:20:44

We don't have near enough time, effort or money to do what we would like to do in our garden. It's nice but it's hard to remember it's going to take time(years) to make big changes as it's such a huge space (1.5 acres) and the past 3 years most of what we have done has just rectified some of the neglect from the previous owners. Next door have a similar sized plot that is gorgeous however it's taken them 8years and a full time gardener to get it like that (I don't want to think how much money)
Objectively I know we've done an awful lot but sometimes it feels like we've hardly made a dent especially as I've let it slide a bit now we have a newborn baby. Am excited about the new timber greenhouse and paths that will be completed in the next few months, and have been potting up toms today (one handed with baby in sling 😳) to transfer from the conservatory when it's done.

DoreenLethal Sun 12-Jun-16 17:33:30

Effort - quite alot as we have redesigned it to be a forest garden in the last year.

Money - I'd say less than £1k; I mainly buy plants at good/bargain prices, eg aldi apples that are now trained as espaliers - or revive ones on offer, eg my trees/shrubs/herbs that I get at end of season sales, or grow from seed eg my quinces, or buy plants that I know will self-propagate and thus over time give good ground cover that saves me time on weeding. EG sweet woodruff and alpine strawbs. My specimen plants i tend to see and instead of buying then and there, I research the best prices and then get them.

Time - we do work on the garden for around 2 hours about one weekend in two - this time of year the most work is pruning things back to be honest. I like pruning things back. it is established now though and I have alot of plants that don't need alot of care. i have just been out to plant some new things - and pruned back a paper bark maple and seed sown quince, and will take cuttings from some new plants that will fill gaps later in the year. Propagation skills are pretty much crucial if you want to save time, money and effort.

shovetheholly Wed 15-Jun-16 09:01:28

I absolutely second what Doreen says - you don't need loads of money to make a nice garden, provided you're willing to graft. And don't underestimate the contribution a woman with a pair of rigger gloves can make to that graft.

When DH moved into our house, the garden was a bramble patch. I don't have a picture of the dreadful state it was in, unfortunately. The earliest snap I have was taken after we'd done loads of clearing, so the weeds had been swapped for scratty grass. But you can get the idea from this - here are before, during, and after pictures of the relandscaping. Exactly 5 years have elapsed between the middle picture of the bare earth and today.

You don't need loads of time, either, if you have an ordinary suburban garden rather than acres. We did this while we were extremely busy (both working full-time, DH doing far longer hours than a 'normal' week, me doing a part-time degree) by putting in an hour or so every evening and the occasional long day at the weekend for just a few months. Getting the structure in took about 3-4 months in total on this very part-time basis. We could have done it faster if we'd had power tools or extra help, but we don't really own any and they were expensive to hire - so we got rid of ton after ton of concrete ourselves using a mattock and trugging it to the skip.

We also kept the landscaping to simple and cheap things that we could actually do ourselves. And we shopped around for materials - I got a load of bricks really cheap from ebay. I think once I have more confidence, I will swap out the slate paths for something more solid! But it's fine for now.

Basically, if I can do this with absolutely zero DIY skills and very little landscaping experience from previous gardens, then ANYONE in reasonable physical health with some time in the evenings can do it. I think one key thing is for fit women not to see this as 'male work' and to get stuck in for themselves. You build up strength and stamina really quickly when hefting bits of concrete, bags of concrete etc. about. And it's surprisingly fun.

MsCoconut Wed 15-Jun-16 09:13:18

Inspiring photos, shovetheholly. Your garden looks great!

I wish I had more commitment to mine other than occasionally spending a few hours pruning and weeding.

shovetheholly Wed 15-Jun-16 09:25:18

Thanks mscoconut. I think in some ways it was easy for us to commit precisely because it was so awful when DH moved in. We were pretty much forced to do a massive job on it. In some ways, that's actually more straightforward than moving into a place with a garden that's already functioning at some level and changing it gradually.

The commitment grows too - I am now obsessed with collecting ever more weird and rare plants to put in!

wonkylegs Wed 15-Jun-16 09:40:52

Gorgeous shovetheholly
Our problem is the size of the garden, I said it was far too big when we bought the place and although I now love it, I was right, it is too big. The one good thing is that the end of the garden is so far away from the house the weeds that drift over the hedge from the field aren't distinguishable from the hedge when you look out of the window.

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