A WOMAN has revealed that she gave her rotting garden the ultimate upgrade, without having to splash the cash on getting the experts in to help. 

Emma Bailey, 35, from Sutton, Greater London, revealed that she used bargain buys from B&Q and Ikea to keep the costs down, without scrimping on style.

Emma, who posts to YouTube as Emma's Allotment Diaries, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “I wanted to make the back garden a liveable space for the summer.

"It required some work because the furniture was rotting, there was a big pile of compost causing damage to the shed and the patio needed a good clean.

“As part of the makeover I decided to change the colour of the fence from white to dark blue because I felt like the white was washing out the colours from the flowers and making the area seem a little dull.

“The design was an experiment really. I've never designed a garden before but I knew I wanted an area at the back to sit and relax in.

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“The plan is to sit out here regularly to do some work, especially as it's such a massive space. The patio is quite solid, so there's no point in pulling it up.

“We did have pallet furniture in the back of our garden on the patio, but we smashed up and removed it. We took it to the recycling section of the dump so it can be repurposed.

“The original furniture was uncomfortable to sit on, and got quite dirty. I also found that a lot of bugs and spiders would hide in it, which wasn't really very nice.

“We decided to buy a new table and chairs from Ikea, and we found the prices quite reasonable. It was about £200 all in.”

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Emma explained that she started out her garden makeover by clearing out the compost area.

She noted: “The first job I needed to do was clear out the compost area. I raked it out, bagged it up, swept away the remaining soil and got rid of it.

“This waste had been causing the bottom of the shed to rot so I'm glad it's gone! We have now got a special bin to store garden waste, which was long overdue.

“I then washed the patio with the garden hose. I used bicarbonate of soda on the more difficult stains.

“At this point it was time to paint the garden fence. I went for the colour Urban Slate from the Cuprinol range. It was on sale for £15 at B&Q. We have lots left over!

“This darker off-black colour was chosen because it contrasts nicely with the plants I placed in front of it.

“It took a while to get the paint job done but I was really pleased with how it looked when I was finished.

"Looking at it from a distance, the combination of this colour with the yellow shed, pink blossom and tulips looked great.”

Once she had painted the fence, she noted that she then dressed up the space with her bargain buys from B&Q and Ikea. 


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She continued: “The next day, I laid down a rug on the patio which I picked up for just £25 from B&Q. I then assembled the Ikea furniture.

“Once we put the table and chairs together it was just a matter of planting lots of colourful flowers to encourage wildlife and pollinators as well as create a calm area to sit in.”

Reflecting on the project, Emma shared: “I'm thrilled with how it looks, as it was such an easy makeover but really effective.

"It's transformed the back garden and I'm really looking forward to using the space in the summer.

“I also have a mini allotment area further down. The space is only 6m by 2m but don't let small spaces stop you from growing fruit and veg because you absolutely can do it.

"At the moment I'm growing peas, I have a blueberry bush, and some potatoes.

“I also make use of the vertical space and have pots hanging on the fence. I've got little strawberry plants and chives.

“If we had to do it again, we would have remembered to put the lid on the paint pot once it had been put in the shed, because the next day we pulled a bike out of it and knocked the whole pot over!

“We would never get a professional to tackle the garden. All of the fencing and landscaping has been done by us. 

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“YouTube tutorials help. We are both pretty hands on with the DIY in our house and garden!” 

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