A SAVVY couple have opened up on how they gave their boring garden a major glow up on a budget.
Jo and Simon Rutherford had only just moved into their home in Kent and while there was nothing wrong with the garden, it wasn’t to their liking.
Appearing on The Middle-Sized Garden YouTube channel, the pair shared their nifty tips and tricks on how they managed to do it all without breaking the bank.
“When Jo and Simon moved in here there was literally a square of lawn with shrubs along the fence line,” journalist and author Alexandra Campbell explained as the video started.
The pair insisted they were “no good” at DIY, which means they had to find easy tips to get what they wanted done.
Jo, a professional gardener, said they moved into the property in September, but it wasn’t until the following March that they got to work transforming the outdoor area.
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The pair took time to assess what they wanted to do with the yard, where the sun rises and sets and the quality of the soil.
“The first thing to go in was an apple tree,” Jo told Alexandra. “So the turf came up just for that, because taking turf up is a horrible job. So it came up as and when it needed to.”
She was then asked about the diagonal design of the landscape as a drawing of the idea came up on screen to show viewers.
“Because it was shallow, I really needed to change the fact that you didn’t look straight to the back fence as soon as you came out to the garden,” she said.
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We’re not very good DIYers, we’re very basic in our skills
She decided to paint the fence black to make sure the plants would appear more striking against them.
Jo and Simon then took up the paving slabs that lead from the back door to the garage, and instead filled that space with gravel.
“That was easy for us to do, we’re not very good DIYers, we’re very basic in our skills,” she said. They placed the underlay before putting the gravel down.
When asked about the plants themselves, Jo said she brought quite a few with her when they moved into the property.
But some were gifted to her by friends and family, who gave her cuttings of their own plants, which she then allowed to flourish in her garden.
She continued: “Other things… Sowing by seed. You have to be patient, that’s the only thing. Taking cuttings from people, taking little divisions and sowing by seed, you’ve just got to be patient.
“And also plants that people don’t want anymore. I’ll say, ‘I’ll have that’”.
Jo said her initial plan for the garden changed as they went along. While they first thought of doing it all within a colour scheme, this idea transformed later on.
She got lots of forget me not plants, which are easy to grow and cover a huge space.
Alexandra then pointed out some of the DIY touches she’d placed all over the garden, including what she used as the border around the flower beds.
“The wine bottles?” Jo said, giggling. “When people come to the garden they immediately think we drink an awful lot of wine.
“We don’t, they did come from a lot of other people. But I found the idea – like most ideas – I found that someone else had done it.”
She said that while it was “really easy” to place them into the soil, the trickiest part was getting the labels off.
Jo also used bricks for some of the edges, which she got from an old client who had an excess of bricks they weren’t using.
“It was just a bit of an experiment really, trying to create a separate bed for the vegetables and mark it so it did stand out a little bit,” she said.
Taking cuttings from people, taking little divisions and sowing by seed, you’ve just got to be patient
Alexandra then pointed out: “Also you’ve got some lovely little bits and pieces you made from pallets and ladders and things like that. Presumably you got those from friends and family too.
“But also you could look on Freecyle, Facebook Marketplace and things like that, including charity shops”.
Jo said she got a ladder from an old client, which she used as a display in her garden for more plants.
She also has a little pond in the garden, which she built with the help of her brother who also has a pond in his garden.
People were left impressed with the transformation as one person wrote in the comments section: "Great garden, Well done to Jo and Simon. I like the advice about adding things in stages, and taking your time to observe how it’s turning out."
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Another said: "Love, love, love this video! These are just my circumstances, and these ideas are invaluable to those of us on a budget and without incredible DIY skills!"
While a third added: "I really love this! She's quite clever with her use of what she has around and what she can find. I got a lot of good ideas from her garden. Such a beautiful space with lots of calming peaceful areas that are beneficial."
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