Ever looked at your garden and wished you could add value to it without breaking the bank? These five simple tips from Dave Limburg at Online Garden Design will help you do just that.

1. Live low maintenance

Ensuring your garden requires minimum effort means you’re more likely to make the time to keep it tidy and well looked after.

This is especially true for those who don’t enjoy gardening. Flower beds with flax, star jasmine and giant mondo grass are examples of the type of plants that are beautiful but easy to look after. Also consider viburnums, frangipanis, murrayas, camelias and liriopes; they fill the bed area very well and give you lovely bright colours.

For a lawn, pick a low growing variety like couch and avoid climbing type plants as these can grow quickly and easily get out of hand. In general, pick tough hardy plants that you can plant in groupings to create impact.

2. Create space

Screening plants that create soft hedges are a great way to make a small space look bigger. Photinias, orange jessamines and lilly-pillys are great all year round and need minimal pruning to create a hedge.

At about $20 per plant from your local nursery, that’s not a bad price to pay for a bit of privacy too. They grow to about 1.5m in height and are easy to look after.

You can also use these sorts of plants to cover a neighbouring fence if you’re not keen on its look but can’t change it. Another tip is over planting narrow garden beds. This adds depth to the edges of the garden, making the boundaries feel further away and the garden seem larger.

3. Provide shade

Creating a dedicated space with shade gives you a sitting spot for entertaining or playing with the kids. Shade sails are relatively inexpensive and easy to install so that’s worth considering if you have an area set in the full sun. You can grab a shade sail kit from a local hardware store for under $500.

4. Pave the area

If you’d like to eliminate the care of plants altogether, you can opt to pave your garden area or a section of it. Doing so doesn’t have to be expensive as recycled pavers are just as effective.

A 10m2 area is enough to set up an outdoor setting space with seating. You can source recycled paving and bricks online or through retailers that stock second hand brickwork to keep the cost down.

5. Tidy up

Creating a sense of order is essential to keeping things neat and tidy and nothing is easier than covering it up with mulch! Mulch helps keep any garden space looking healthy and appealing to spend time in and is best suited for covering the edges of your garden and garden bed areas.

Mulch is important for moisture retention and helps reduce your water bill as you won’t need to water as often. It also helps prevent the development of weeds.

Pine bark or eucalyptus mulch are readily available from tree removalists, often for free so it’s easy to source some within your budget.

With these easy tips in mind, you can transform your garden with ease and little future maintenance. For more tips or to get an online garden plan developed, visit onlinegardendesign.com.au