SUMMER is here in the UK and that means we’ll be spending more time outside in our gardens enjoying the sunshine.
For many of us, it will also be the time to beautify our gardens or our terraces before the return of winter.
We spoke to Hannah Powell, 44, who runs two award-winning garden centers, about her tips and tricks for beautifying your garden at a great price.
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“Retailers will likely have a lot of extra inventory because over the past two years they’ve had supply issues and bought more product,” says Hannah.
“The cost of living crisis means Britons are spending less, which means there will be some brilliant deals over the next few weeks, especially on garden furniture and barbecues.
“Make sure you’re signed up for your local garden center’s newsletter and follow them on social media to see if they have any great offers.”
Save your energy
Solar-powered lights are great because there are no energy costs once you buy them, says Hannah.
“Swedish torches or fire pits are great. They’re like oil burners and their little things. They’re great for a night out and look amazing,” she explains.
Energy prices could skyrocket during the summer months. It is estimated that gadgets including hot tubs, electric fans, refrigerators and patio heaters could add hundreds.
Solar lights can therefore help reduce the costs of your energy bills.
Hannah said: “There will be some amazing deals on annuals. They’re only for the summer and they’re cheap right now.
“However, since they don’t last beyond the summer, if you have more of a budget, you can buy plants that will last until 2023, which means it could be more beneficial in the long run.
For those on a budget right now, there will be bright, colorful plants on the cheap.
If it’s fresh, buy it
“If you’re at the supermarket and you see a fresh plant coming in that day, grab it while you can. Supermarkets don’t tend to look at plants, so they die quickly. If they wilt, don’t come near it,” Hannah said
Often, bargain hunters find plants online that are sold at low prices but are at the end of their life. If the plant is dying you are unlikely to bring it back to life, so you could be wasting your money.
If you buy one thing, it’s always worth asking if they’ll add something extra or for a cheaper price. After all, the worst they can say is no.
Hannah said: “Quite often at this time of year you will find offers for furniture such as accessories that you may need, such as a blanket for the winter, or charcoal can be included in the package for a barbecue.
“If you’re buying a larger item, you can ask if there’s anything that could be added with it.”
Talk to someone
“Go to your local garden center and ask the helper if they have any general offers going on,” Hannah recommends.
“A lot of times they have an area where there is too much stock or there is just a few left. Always watch out for that.”
Local garden centers can offer special offers throughout the year, so you can get a good discount even during the winter months.
Gardens also sell popular furniture that can be cheaper than their main opponent, so be sure to look around for the best deal.
Try before you buy
“If you buy a piece of furniture, go sit on it before you buy it.” Hana says
“Online shopping is fine, but be careful and make sure you know what you’re buying. Garden furniture and barbecues can be a problem as they need to be assembled.”
You want to watch out for things like blemishes or marks, which might take time to sort out if you buy online: “It might take weeks, but you might need it this weekend!”
“Look out for obvious marks, check to see if something is sturdy, give it a rattle and if it’s furniture, sit on it!”
You can also see the quality up close and Hannah warns not to always be swayed by a good deal as it might not be good quality.
Also remember that you get what you pay for. “The better the quality of the product, the more you will get for your money because it will last longer,” she added.
“For example, can the cushions be left out all year? Some cheaper sets have to be kept over the winter, which isn’t ideal if you don’t have a loft or shed.”
Check the gas supply for barbecues
Hannah warns that there have been some stock issues for BBQ gas canisters, so make sure there is availability if you’re buying a new BBQ and don’t already have one.
Barbecues are a popular summer item during the warmer months. Therefore, they sell out quickly, as does the gas needed to use them.
However, alternatives to gas barbecues include electric barbecues which will not need to purchase additional gas to power them.
But remember that it will increase your electricity bill.
Rent a hot tub
Hot tubs can cost hundreds of dollars – although many say the investment is worth it.
If you’re not quite ready to commit, how about renting one instead?
“Lay-Z hot tubs are very expensive, so be sure to do your research before buying one.” Hana says
“I rented one last year, so it might be worth hiring one before you buy one. You can use it for a few days because sometimes these things can be new. You use it and then it stays in the corner of the garden collecting dust.
“If you rent one and really like it, you can go back and buy it. If there’s one on sale, you’ll even get it at a fraction of the price.”
Hannah recommends other garden items that can spruce up your outdoor space if you have the cash to spare.
B&M has a yard sale, which offers an egg chair at a discounted price.
These are the best deals we’ve spotted on pools, barbecues and more.
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