Thrifty Gardening: A progress report along with three easy ideas for your outdoor space April 22, 2016 12:59

Back in January, I wrote about my plans for going all out for ornamental veg this year. Well, we're under way with preparations. However our garden is a bit like a rubix cube. Move one piece and you have another five moves to make. Currently, we are on step one.

A quick recap: Originally our veggie plot was up the far end of the garden; as far away as possible from a tap. This makes watering and general maintenance seriously arduous. So the plan is to transform a fairly dull, small little front garden into an oasis of herbs, fruits and veggies. A proper kitchen garden just a hop, skip and jump away from the oven. Perfect. 

In order to undertake this transformation, we have started to dismantle the former raised veggie beds from the back garden. These were enclosed by old railway sleepers, which are now being put to good use by being used to finally finish our pond area (a job that was started seven years ago...), creating a rustic path around the water's edge. That's the first job and as the picture shows, is still work in progress.

Then, once the pond is complete, we are going to relocate all the soil from the raised beds and transfer it to the front garden, to form new raised beds there. It's taken quite a long time to get this far, but the whole process is just really enjoyable. Trying to make the most of the space, soil and materials we have to hand is all part of the enjoyment factor. And the garden grows up and around these working plans regardless - as if to say - 'Here they go again' with a roll of the eyes. Or petals. Clearly I'm spending too much time with them. I'm delirious. Anyway, the point is that while the sun may not be as warm as we would like it to be just yet, by the time summer is here, we should be well on our way to enjoying the fruits of our labour. 

Three tips for thrifty gardening: 

Thrifty garden ideas: succulents in a broken pot - Recycle and reuse: A friend of mine makes little beds from an old plastic drain pipe each year.  It's perfect for salad crops and surprisingly, when full of lovely lettuce and leaves, looks pretty cool too.  Jam jars make great terrariums, broken pots look lovely with succulents. Re look at the materials in your home and garden and come up with some different ideas to make your outdoor space your own. 

 - Grow as a GroupEver grown a load of flowers or veggies from seed and ended up discarding half because you simply have too much? Get together with friends, sow as a 'collective', each picking different things to grow, and then divide up and swap your efforts once you have your little seedlings are established. Makes for a great, celebratory (or commiserations!) dinner party at harvest time!

 - Divide and Multiply: It's not the right time of year really, but take stock over the next few months of the things in your garden that you really love, and would like to see more of next year. I bet most of them can be divided or alternatively cuttings can be made. Make a note of them, look up the best way to spread them around your garden and then divide and conquer ready for next year.