Affordable garden makeover - part 2 - Ft. B&m

So you may know that over the last two weeks I've been giving my garden a little makeover on a budget - if you don't know I'm surprised as I'm so pleased with it I tell anyone who will listen!

Read Part One of my Affordable Garden Makeover HERE

Whilst I wanted to create a little oasis for myself, it had to be affordable so I turned to the bargain stores of the retail parks; today's post features products from one of my favourites - B&M!

One of the biggest changes I made to the overall look of the garden was to add reed screening along the fencing. Then I added fence lighting both for evening ambience and for security reasons. As I chose to cover the fence posts as well as the panels with the reed screening, I added lights either side of each post. This looks a lot more stylish than the standard 1 light per panel evenly spaced and you don't seem to even notice the posts anymore as combined with the lighting, it looks intentional rather than a 'cover up'. I chose these stainless steel solar lights at the cost of £7.99 for a 4 pack. I feel like they look more expensive than their price point and give out a good amount of light in the evenings.

 

One of the favourite things I've done as part of the makeover is invited the locals birds into the garden. I got the idea after a visit to Hardwick Hall. In their visitor centre they have a huge glass window overlooking several bird tables and feeders, I once lost a good 30 minutes just watching them!

First of all I added these bird boxes to the fence. These were just £2.99 each and complimented the insect boxes I had already installed. The shabby chic styling also complimented the vintage-esque and country feel I was going for. I added three in total, one either side of the insect boxes to provide symmetry and balance (one of these ended up being close to the tree) and an additional box on the opposite side of the tree.

To be totally honest, initially these were installed purely for decoration purposes. In my experience, most birds completely shun bird boxes in small urban gardens unless you place them deep into a tree, which whilst it provides a great little home, kind of defeats the aim of being able to view our feathered friends. 

I had also been contemplating adding a bird table to the garden, however I have found that unless you spend a decent amount of money they have a tendency to be blown over and broken in adverse weather, and given my garden isn't huge I didn't really have a place I could dedicate to one either. This is where the bird boxes really came into their own. I took medium sized cup hooks and screwed them into the centre of the bottom of the boxes, providing a hanger for bird feeders. (see pictured below)

I also purchased the bird feeders from B&M. I bought four in total (probably overkill I know!), 2 suet ball feeders, 1 seed feeder and 1 peanut feeder. These were priced at £2.99 each or 2 for £5. It took a little while for the birds to use them, in fact I was almost at the point of thinking I had purchased some bird feeder decorations when the birds decended! Since installing I've been visited by House Sparrows, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, Wood Pigeons, Starlings, Collared Doves and Magpies. The far corner of the garden is now thriving with activity most days and I love to sit at the garden table with a brew and watch them on a lazy morning. The Starlings are good fun to listen to due to their tendancy to mimic, one of my visitors makes the sound of a text message, another of a phone ringing, and another of a car alarm!

One of the problems with reed fencing is that it needs to be placed off the ground by a few inches or the damp from the ground can cause the reed to rot prematurely. You can see here how it was quite obvious along the patio (along with the patio looking rather dirty) and I wanted to find a way to disguise it. Also this spot, among others along the fence is where next doors dog insists on tormenting mine, so finding a way to block up this area could potentially lead to more peace!

These planters were the perfect addition! These were just £1.99 a piece and 4 of them fitted perfectly into the space along the patio and as you can see makes it look a lot smarter(sadly the rain made them look a little dirty before I got the chance to take a photo).

I ended up buying a TON of these planters - 25 in total as I used them to block off areas of the fence so the dogs could not get near it and cause a riot with the neighbours dog. An added benefit is that as I'm not currently living in my forever home, any planting could be done in these instead of in the ground and taken with me should I move - mature plants can be very expensive!

I revamped my table and chairs (featured in an upcoming post), and then to add something extra I attached these cute hearts to add more of the vintage-esque feel. These hearts were from a hanging heart decoration priced at £3.99. The decoration had 5 of these hearts hanging at different heights. As they are made from a pot like material they seem safe to have outside, so I cut up the decoration, replaced the string with ones cut to the right length and voila! - An added bit of kitsch cuteness.

Finally I picked up this large citronella candle for the table, this retails at £6.99 but I managed to wangle it for around £5 as it had a little chipping to the edge as you can see in the photo. It smells great when lit and the three wick design gives off a lovely amount of light, although I have noticed when entertaining, if there is a breeze in the air the smoke can blow into your face given the candles low profile. 

I bought this hoping to repurpose the bowl as a bird bath once it was used up but sadly after just a few days in the sun it's developed a decent sized crack meaning its likely to break into pieces once there's no more wax. Still, its a nice piece for the money and looks perfect on the table, but possibly wouldn't repurchase given its broken already. 

The only other thing I picked up was some patio cleaner, wasn't expensive at £2.99 a bottle but wasn't convinced it did all that much so would just go with elbow grease in the future.

All in all I'm really happy with all the items I picked up from B&M, and having two stores not far from where I live meant that if one item I wanted was out of stock at one store, most of the time it was in stock at the other so I wasn't held up with my makeover plans. Look out for Part Three coming soon!

YOUTUBE VIDEO COMING SOON

This post is NOT sponsored in any way. All items were purchased from B&M stores using my own money.