I'm a gardening expert, this is how I get my garden looking smart for a small price | The Sun

SUMMER is here in the UK and that means we'll be spending more time outside in our gardens enjoying the sunshine.

For many of us, it will also be a time to spruce up our gardens or patios before winter returns.

We spoke to 44-year-old Hannah Powell, who runs two award-winning garden centres about her tips and tricks to spruce up your garden at a bargain price.

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"Retailers will likely have a lot of extra stock because over the past couple of years, they've had supply issues and have bought more products," says Hannah.

"The cost of living crisis means Brits are spending less meaning there's going to be brilliant offers over the next year weeks especially on garden furniture and BBQ's.

"Make sure you're signed up to your local garden centre's newsletter and follow them on social media to see if they've got big offers on."

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Save your energy

Solar powered lights are great because there's no energy costs once you've bought them, says Hannah.

"Swedish torches or fire pits are great. They're like oil burners and their small items. They're great for an evening gather and look amazing," she explains.

Energy prices could be soaring up during the summer months. It's estimated gadgets including hot tubs, electric fans, fridges and patio heaters could be adding hundreds.

Solar powered lights therefore can help curb the costs of your energy bills.

Discounted plants

Hannah said: "There'll be some amazing offers on annual plants. They last for just the summer and they're cheap as chips at the moment.

"However, as they don't last past the summer, if you have more of a budget, you can buy some plants that will last into 2023, which means it could be better value in the long term.

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For those on a budget right now, there are going to be bright and colourful plants for cheap.

If it's fresh, buy it

"If you're in the supermarket and see a fresh plant that's arrived that day grab it whilst you can. Supermarkets don't tend to look at the plants so they die quickly. If it's wilting don't go near it," Hannah said

Often bargain hunters find plants online that are being sold cheaply but are at the end of their life. It's unlikely if the plant is dying that you'll bring it back to life so you could be wasting your cash.


If you're buying one thing it's always worth asking if they will throw in something extra or for a cheaper price. After all, the worst they can say is no.

Hannah said: "Quite often at this time of year, you'll find offers for furniture such as accessories you may need, like a cover for the winter, or the charcoal might be included in the bundle for a BBQ.

"If you're purchasing a bigger item, you can ask whether there's something that could be thrown in with it."

Speak to someone

"Go to your local garden centre and ask the assistant if they have any general offers running," Hannah recommends.

"Often they have an area where there's too much stock or there's a few left. Always look out for that."

Local garden centres may have special offers running through out the year so you may get a good discount even during the winter months.

Gardens sell popular furniture items as well that may be cheaper than their main stream store opponent so make sure you look around to find the best deal.

Try before you buy

"If you're buying any furniture, go and sit on it before you purchase it." Hannah says

"Online shopping is fine but be careful and make sure you know what you're purchasing. Garden furniture and BBQ's can have issues because they need to be assembled."

You want to look out for things like blemishes or marks, which could take time to sort out if you buy online: "It could take weeks but you may need it that weekend!"

"Look out for any obvious marks, check if something is sturdy, give it a rattle and if it's a piece of furniture sit on it!"

You can also see the quality up close and Hannah warns don't always be swayed by a cheaper bargain as it might not be of good quality.

Don't forget too that you get what you pay for. "The better quality of the product, the more you'll get for your money because it will last longer," she added.

"For example, can cushions be left out year round? Some cheaper sets need to be kept in during the winter which isn't ideal if you don't own a loft or shed."

Check gas stock for BBQ's

Hannah warns there have been stock issues for barbecue gas canisters so make sure there's availability if you're buying a new BBQ and you don't already have one.

BBQ's are a popular summer item during the warmer months. Therefore, they sell out quickly as does the gas required to use them.

However, alternatives to gas BBQ's include electric BBQ's which won't need the additional purchase of gas to power them.

But remember that will add to your electricity bill.

Hire a hot tub

Hot tubs can cost of hundreds of pounds – though many say it's worth the investment.

If you're not quite ready to commit, how about renting one instead?

"Lay-Z Spa's cost a lot of money so make sure you do your research before buying one." Hannah says

"I hired one last year so it might be worth hiring before buying one. You may use it for a few days because these things can be a novelty sometimes. You use it and then it sits in the garden corner gathering dust.

"If you hire one and you really love it, you can go back and buy it. If one's on sale you'll even get it at the fraction of the cost."

Hannah recommends other garden items that can spruce up your outdoor space if you have the cash to spend.

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