I'm a gardener – free or cheap ways to transform your garden by winter | The Sun

YOU can transform the look of your garden and boost the value of your home without breaking the bank.

Despite most of us only spending time in our gardens for a few weeks every year, it's important not to shy away from your outdoor space over the winter.

Failing to look after your garden could slash roughly £5,000 from your home's value.

But if you keep your outdoor space looking fresh – it could add a whopping £15,000 to the value of your home.

The Sun spoke to Jonathan Webster, the curator at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden Rosemoor, for top tips for transforming your garden.

And it doesn't matter if you've just got a small patch of grass or a paved backyard.


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From tidying up to getting creative with your empty plant pots, we've listed Jonathan's five cheap and easy tips to transform your garden and boost the value of your home this winter.

Clean your paths and patio – for as little as £2

One of the best ways to spruce up the look of your gardens is to clean their hard landscapes like patios and paths.

And households can do this with a simple deck scrub, running hose and some detergent in a watering can.

But those looking to avoid the use of patio cleaners don't need to worry.

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White vinegar can make a good eco-friendly substitute for killing weeds on patios and it costs as little as £4.50 for 5l on Amazon.

And if you've got a pressure washer, put it to good use as you'll hardly need to break a sweat to get your patio squeaky clean.

Jonathan said: "Cleaning your hard landscape – by washing and scrubbing your paths, walls and patios your garden will have fresh kerb appeal, a simple way to add value to your property."

Not only will this give your garden a look of being loved it will also give you a nice view out of your windows over the winter months.

If you don't have the kit to clean your paths you could consider getting your patio cleaned professionally – but this is usually expensive.

Patio cleaning firms usually charge between £150 and £400 depending on the size of your garden, according to Checkatrade.

Trim your greenery – for as little as £8

Autumn is the perfect time to prune your hedges and cut your lawn short to prepare for winter.

A simple mow and hedge trim can do wonders for the appearance of your home.

Homeowners looking to keep their hedges neat can get their hands on garden shears for as little as £8.25 on Amazon.

But those with larger gardens may consider bigger machines so we've listed the best hedge trimmers you can buy right now.

Jonathan said: "People often see the garden before the house and if it looks untidy and neglected it can look like too much hard work.

"But this is simple to remedy by giving your hedges a yearly trim, cutting the grass for hopefully the final time as the cold weather approaches and slows its growth."

Jonathan also recommended regularly sprucing up your borders by collecting fallen leaves and weeds – to keep your garden looking tidy this winter.

If the work's too much for you consider getting a firm to come out and trim your hedges.

The average firm charges between £60 and £120 an hour to conduct this work depending on the size of your garden.

Divide your plants now – for free

If your flowerbeds already contain herbaceous plants like ferns, daisies, salvia and grasses, you won't need to spend a penny to fill those empty spaces ready for spring.

These plants die down in the soil in the winter months but their roots remain alive and send up new shoots every year.

With this in mind, the plants can be divided and spread out to fill your entire flowerbed.

You could save £100s with this tip because you won't need to go out and spend to fill the empty spaces in your flowerbeds.

Jonathan said: "These plants are dormant over winter and it is the best time to split them.

"You effectively get more plants for free to fill your garden with and if your garden is fuller you will have fewer weeds, more impact and a wow factor."

We've listed the best places to buy plants online as well as the best plants to buy for those with a limited budget.

Plant bulbs – from £1.99

Now's the time to get out and scoop some bulbs to bring some colour to your garden next spring.

Garden centres tend to offer clearance offers at this time of the year.

For example, shoppers can bag eight bluebell bulbs for just £1.75 at B&Q.

Those looking for a variety of flowering plants can get 20 bulbs for just £4.99 from Thompson & Morgan online.

Jonathan said: "As we reach the end of the recommended planting season, many shops and garden centres will be reducing their stock before it perishes.

"The selection of varieties will be reduced but you will still be able to grab a bargain."

Depending on what you buy you can plant in your borders around other plants or in pots to brighten a dull corner.

The Sun previously spoke to Kate Turner, a gardening expert at Miricle-Gro, who explained how to plant like a pro.

Add colour to empty pots – for free

If you're already missing the colour from your garden – there are still ways to bring it to life over the winter months.

Jonathan said: "If you have some empty pots and no plants or a really difficult corner, why not dress them with coloured stems?

"These can be cut and simply stuck into the soil in the pot and will keep their vibrant colours all winter for you to enjoy."

If you've willows or dogwoods in your garden simply take some clippings and use them to accessorise your empty pots.

Those without access to birch, dogwoods or willows can buy them in bunches on Amazon for as little as £15.

And those wanting to add some festive cheer to their pots can also drape fairy lights around each twig.

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The Sun has previously listed some of the best outdoor Christmas lights to give you some inspiration.

We've also explained how much it costs to run Christmas lights.

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