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Mum Quoted £2700 For Garden Makeover Does It Herself For £500

September 15, 2021, 1:00 PM
  • Lynda, 54, hated her garden and hadn’t sat out in it for five years
  • Her friend Sharon pushed her into transforming it and kept her motivated
  • She picked up bargains on Facebook Marketplace, B&Q and The Range

Going DIY can be challenging, especially once you’re part-way through a project and feel like giving up. However, one thrifty mum managed to transform her abandoned garden with the help and motivation of her friend.

Lynda Chadwick, 54 from York and mum to three sons aged 33, 30 and 12, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I hated my garden so much - I hadn’t sat out in it for the 5 years I’ve lived here. However, when I saw what people were doing with their gardens on the Facebook group Gardens On A Budget, I decided to do my own makeover with help from my friend Sharon to try and make it look better.

‘It was Sharon who pushed me into it, so we did it together. I’m a single mum so had no help from men, and even though I have three sons, they didn’t help as I wanted it to be my project.’

Lynda’s garden was originally an abandoned space, with a paved area covered in various debris and a sun lounger on the grass. She had wanted to get the professionals in, but the quote put her off.

‘I’d had someone price it up last year and it was going to cost me £2700 - I’ve done it myself for under £500. It took us about three weeks, and it was hard work but it paid off in the end. The first step was to dig up about five tonnes of soil and grass. There was also a concrete post buried under the soil, so that had to come up.

‘I dug up all the paving slabs and killed all the weeds, then put black roll down before wheelbarrowing in three tonnes of stones. Next up, we painted the fence and replaced two panels that were broken. I bought lights for each post and a log roll to edge it all. I also got hold of several plants and a palm tree for free - luckily, my dad was moving, so he gave them all to me and that saved me a fair bit of money!

‘The project was definitely hard going at times. Halfway through, I did say I wish I’d never started it and I could see no end. But Sharon said ‘come on, we can do this!’ So we did. I’m so happy with the result and finally I have a beautiful space to sit out in after five years.

‘I’m definitely happy to have saved thousands of pounds by going DIY. Several of the supplies I bought were cheap or free. This helped me with getting the most expensive item - the stones, which were £75 a tonne. I got three tonnes so I paid £225 in total. The log rolls were from The Range at £5.99 each and I only had to buy 5 - I got 7 rolls free as my friend had them left over from her garden. That was the beginning of my motivation to start on the garden - getting these freebies!

‘The fence paint came from B&Q and was £24 a tin. I used two big tins. I also had a look on Facebook Marketplace and managed to find some bargains there. I picked up a barbecue for £30 and a sun bed for £50.

‘The other costs involved were two black rolls to go under the stones, which were £10.50 each, and I also paid £60 for someone to take away all of the topsoil I dug up. Overall I paid just under £500 - I had saved that much and I didn’t go over budget!’

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Wow, Lynda should be really proud of her work here. It’s lush! The labour definitely sounds like it was hard going but she got through it so props to her. Now her garden is a wonderful space to sit out in and no doubt an inspiration to others!

‘Getting free plants due to her dad moving house is a great trick for saving money - after all, if you’re going to relocate, why should you abandon years of hard work from your old garden? What’s more, with the average cost of bedding plants being around £10 for a pack of 2 to 6, and patio plants costing anywhere between £20 and £200, it’s easy to rack up a bill going into the hundreds. Avoid leaving that investment behind by taking your plants with you - or giving them to someone else.’

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