A woman expecting to pay thousands to makeover her bland garden transformed the space herself for just £300.
Tackling a garden project can be daunting, not to mention costly, but one mum has proven that it is possible to brighten up a dull space on a tight budget if you're prepared to take on some of the work yourself.
Jacqui Clements, 45, a stroke nurse specialist practitioner from Hull, had recently seen her marriage come to an end and needed to downsize to enable her to buy a house for her and her 12-year-old son.
Watch: Affordable ways to update your garden
"When I viewed this house the estate agent said the garden was letting it down and that's why it had no offers at the time," she told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk. "My response was that I didn't like gardening anyway!"
But when her son revealed he was disappointed by the garden Clements decided she wanted to brighten up the area for him so that he would have somewhere nice to play.
Rather than forking out to get a landscaper in, the mum-of-one set about transforming the space herself on purse-friendly budget.
“I didn’t have to spend too much on the transformation overall," she explains.
"The first step was painting the walls white, which brightened up the garden a lot. From there, I decided to go with a Mediterranean theme as I already had navy blue chairs and paint to match. I then used Frenchic paint on the outhouse door and the back gate."
Clements says the centrepiece for the project is the boat arbour, which came from her old house, so didn't cost a penny, although she'd originally bought it from Amazon from a company called The Rustic Log Store Co for £225.
Other luxe-for-less buys include the loungers from Dunelm, £20 cheaper than some other brands she'd spotted while browsing.
"I also managed to pick up an outdoor rug from ASDA for £60, which is a great bargain as I saw others in similar sizes for £80 and even £200!
"I then sourced pots and plants locally from various garden centres, and these came to around £100 in total. Finally, the navy paint is from the Frenchic range in the shade After Midnight for £17.99," she adds.
Watch: Plant these vegetables now if you're planning an Autumn garden
Clements biggest investment was the artificial grass, from Carpet Shop Online, but this was also the area she made the biggest saving.
"I bought 20 metres squared of it, and it cost me £180 as I got a 10% discount. I heard that it could cost over £1000 to get it professionally done!" she explains.
Having ordered several samples at the various price ranges to assess the quality, Clements ended up choosing one of the mid-priced options.
"There was already some artificial grass out there, but I replaced it with the navy and white outdoor rug as it fitted the space perfectly.
"After that, I decided to use the artificial grass to cover up the cracked concrete. It was very easy to lay and cut to size – I’ve never been keen on it but I think it looks great."
Clements decided to take her time with the project, getting it completed over a few weeks.
"The only challenge was fitting it in around my working hours and the English weather!" she explains.
The mum is thrilled with how her new space has turned out.
"I’m very much into doing things myself if I can, so I can keep the costs down and get a sense of achievement," she adds. "My son now has a place where he can play outside and not be ashamed of the space."
Commenting on the impressive transformation Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: "Jacqui has managed to transform her garden into a bright and relaxing space. For 20 metres squared of grass, a professional job would cost around £1280 on average, according to My Builder, with the bulk of the cost going on the installation labour, so Jacqui has saved around £1100 by doing it herself. What’s more, artificial grass won’t require as much maintenance as the real thing – ideal considering Jacqui has said she doesn’t like gardening!"
Watch: 72-year-old ‘vegetable king’ becomes viral lockdown gardening hero