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25 Cheap Tricks

Create a garden that oozes designer chic on a DIY budget. Check out our nifty ideas to save $$$ without sacrificing style.

1. UNDER THE BOARDWALK
Garden paths just don’t come any cooler than wooden boardwalks. Keep construction costs down by building your own boardwalk out of recycled timber and decking off cuts. It doesn’t matter if the planks are different sizes or lengths as boardwalks look equally good with jagged edges.

2. START SMALL
Large-grade trees and shrubs aren’t always the best investment as the larger (and more expensive) plant grades can sit around in garden centres for longer, ending up root bound. They’re more likely to be set back by transplanting too, so stick to small grades unless you’re in a rush to sell up and shift.

3. PLAN AHEAD
Let’s face it: most budgets won’t stretch to commissioning a landscape designer to do the work. But garden centres can recommend local designers who charge flat rates for plan drawings. Having a plan means you won’t waste money on impulse buys – and you can work at your own pace.

4. SAUSAGE SIZZLE
Shelling out for labour costs can make the difference between a realistic project and a budget buster. So ask your mates to come over for a weekend working-bee. Barter your skills by returning the favour when they need a hand – and all for the price of a few beers.

5. CUTTING EDGE
Growing your own plants from cuttings isn’t as complicated as it sounds. All you need is a healthy parent plant to take cuttings from, a sharp pair of secateurs, rooting hormone to speed up root formation, and a tray of sterile potting mix to grow your cuttings on in. Keep moist for six to eight weeks before transplanting.

6. UP THE GARDEN PATH
Rather than laying paving or pouring new concrete for garden paths, shovel down pea gravel or a small grade of limestone chip. It’s much cheaper and it’s a good security option too, as there’s no way intruders can sneak quietly up a crunchy gravel path at night. Use borders to keep the gravel in place.

7. PUSHING BOUNDARIES
Sick of waking up to find your front fence has been tagged by local teens? Plant a hedge. Plant a hedge. Provided you’re prepared to be patient, hedges are the cheapest way to define your boundaries – and you can simply prune off any graffiti. Try tecoma, native Griselinia lucida, pittosporums and eugenia hedges.

8. TO MARKET
Pick up bargain plants at Sunday markets and charity sales and check out the bargain plants listed for sale on www.trademe.co.nz Also, if you’re buying in bulk (100 plants or more), it may be possible to order from wholesale nurseries and landscape supply yards. There’s no harm in asking!

9. DRESS UP
Give a tired courtyard or deck a quick and easy facelift with a pile of bright cushions and a cluster of elegant glass hurricane candleholders. Indoor cushions are a whole lot cheaper (and much more comfortable to lounge about on ) than canvas cushions – so just bring them indoors at night.

10. GET CREATIVE
Why not has a crack at making fun mosaics and concrete garden art? You can make hypertufa pots and sculptures by mixing two parts of peat with one part sand and one part cement. Mix with water and mould by hand. Add shells for extra impact.

11. PLUG IT IN
A new survey by British real estate agents Halifax found that soothing water features are the number one landscaping feature that buyers want. Installing in-ground ponds isn’t cheap but you can get plug-in options priced from $200. Check out www.stoneworld.co.nz.

12. ON THE MOVE
If you’re currently renting a house but intending to buy, or you’re about to sell up, remember that plants in pots aren’t part of the chattels – so start planning now for your future dream garden by stockpiling mature specimens in large containers and groovy pots.

13. CHILD’S PLAY
Can’t afford to pave your entire garden in swanky ceramic tiles? Buy a few special pieces – and use them to create a clever landscaping feature. We love this cool hopscotch in the courtyard garden at Morris and James Tile Works in Matakana.

14. LIGHTEN UP
Stylish outdoor lighting need not cost the earth: a single well-placed spotlight can turn an architectural foliage plant like this Australian grass tree (Xanthorrhoea australis) into a stunning focal point. Less in more when it comes to outdoor lighting.

15. POT LUCK
Why shell out for hydroponics herbs from your local supermarket that die within the week when you can buy potted herbs for the same price from a garden centre? Or go one step further and sow your own herbs. Parsley, coriander, and basil are dead-easy to raise from seed now.

16. FORMALITY IN A FLASH
If you fancy a formal English garden, but you don’t want to stump up for expensive topiaries, use ivy (Hedera helix) to create the same effect for a fraction of the cost. Train ivy over a metal frame and it will be looking sharp by the end of summer. Make the frame from NO. 8 wire.

17. DAISY CHAIN
For a mass of cheap cheerful colour, perennial daisies are hard to beat. They’re easy to grow from cuttings too – just snap pieces off an established plant and poke in the ground. For coastal colour, try the Nasinga osteospermum series. Available in white, pink, and purple.

18. WALL TO WALL
Give your garden a modern edge with framed corrugated metal cladding and DIY outdoor art. Photocopy black and white images, get them laminated, and then use black masking tape to mount them to plywood panels.

19. CONTAINERS WITH CLASS
Give plain glazed pots a fresh look with a customised copper trim. Buy a sheet of thin copper, cut it into strips and use a pair of pinking shears (available from craft shops) to add a decorative edge. Glue the copper to your pot with a heavy- duty adhesive like Gorilla glue. Best of all, snails hate crawling over copper - so this customised container will also save on slug bait by protecting your precious pot plants from slimy marauders.

20. PAINT IT RED
Match your mood to the season, with a bold painted feature wall. For the cost of a few test pots, you can opt for fresh pastel shades in spring, warming tones in winter, brick reds, and hot oranges in summer and a golden glow in autumn.

21. SCREEN STARS
Feel like your neighbours are a little too close for comfort? Screen them out with a living partition. Plant golden sunflowers in rows three deep or grow a crop of corn to conceal your boundaries. And all for the price of a few packets of seed.

22. WEAVE A SPELL
Fashions change with the seasons – so why invest in expensive shade sails when you can weave your own freestanding structures from flax strips or green bamboo shoots? Woven panels give gardens a Pacifica flavour and they’re a great school holiday project.

23. OUTSIDE THE SQUARE
Building a new deck is a big project – but all you’ll need is an afternoon to lay down decking tiles. Intersperse with pebbles to save money and add texture. Freedom furniture’s 50cm x 50cm hardwood decking tiles cost $89.95 for a pack of four.

24. COVER UP
Try covering up cheap weathered wooden outdoor furniture with bold fabrics. Ther’s no need to buy a fancy tablecloth either – just ask your local fabric store to cut a piece of cloth to the right length and hem the ends. Add a matching hammock to complete the look.

25. CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
The next time you need to cut down an old tree or chop up a fallen branch, get out the chain saw and carve your own garden furniture out of the wood. Even simple blocks can make surprisingly stylish and sculptural seats.

Where To From Here?
Hopefully, this report has given you some insight into a small part of decorating your home. It may also have prompted a whole new set of questions.

To get all of the answers you need, simply give me, Kristina Cope, a call on (09) 578-0704 or (021)-641-530 to schedule your free, no-hassle, straight talk consultation. I will arrange a time convenient for you, and it shouldn’t take long at all.

In about 30 minutes, you’ll receive more time and money saving interior design, decorating information than most people learn in a lifetime!

By now, you’ve probably figured out that I am not like most Interior Designers or Architects. (I am qualified in both fields). I concentrate on providing quality information to those who need it.

“But why would you just give away all of this valuable information?”

I know that you may be asking that question in your mind. I know it’s not what most Interior Designers do, and it may seem a little odd. It’s just that I have learned that good things happen when you concentrate on really helping people.

Yes, I make my living consulting to clients as their interior designer, and yes, it would be my pleasure to work for you to transform your house into a home you love to bring friends, business associates, and guests’ home to.

BUT ONLY IF THAT’S WHAT YOU DECIDE TO DO AFTER YOU HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION!

A half-hour is all it takes to get the information you need to make smart decisions for your future. We'll discuss what you want to accomplish, and look at the different options that you have.

Well, I’ve said just about all I can say. The next step is up to you. As I said before, there is absolutely no cost or obligation attached to your free consultation.

Pick up the phone and call me now, while you are thinking about it. I know that you may be a little skeptical, but one phone call isn’t much to risk, especially when you could save yourself lots of aggravation and thousands of dollars!

You can reach me at (09) 578-0704 or (021)-641-530, or send me an email with some suggested times and dates you are available to get together with me.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kristina Cope DipInt, BArch
Interior Designer
www.HomeInteriorDesign.co.nz
 
P.S. Procrastination keeps more people from ever reaching their dreams than anything else. Don’t miss out on information that can make all the difference!