Gardening on the cheap

The £250,000 typically spent on a garden for Chelsea Flower Show may be beyond most household budgets. But stay-at-home Britons are expected to shell out £420 on average to improve their own outside space. For the cost-conscious, seed- and plant-swapping websites can offer a helping hand for little more than the price of postage.
The £250,000 typically spent on a garden for Chelsea Flower Show may be beyond most household budgets — never mind the £20 million jewelled David Domoney creation.

But stay-at-home Britons are expected to go on a garden spending spree this summer, shelling out £420 on average to improve their own outside space.

For the cost-conscious, seed- and plant-swapping websites can offer a helping hand for little more than the price of postage.

Swap and trade sites, such as gardenswapshop.co.uk and gardentalk.co.uk, are free to use. Gardeners can swap seeds and plants with other members via online forums — as well as buy and sell. Gardenswapshop, for example, has hundreds of offers to swap, ranging from herb seeds to trees. It has tips on how to package and post (including using blister packs), and users may ask for large or fragile items to be picked up.

SeedySunday.org lists seed-swapping events where gardeners can meet. It points out that seeds swapped locally are likely to be suited to growing conditions in your area.

Recycling sites, such as freecycle.org, streetbank.com could also be useful for picking up free seeds, plants and gardening equipment.

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