30 March 2015

Garden Decorating Ideas on a Budget for Easter

If you managed to get your spring bulb planting done in time, you are probably now looking forward to reaping your colorful rewards over Easter, but for gardeners who haven’t got a pretty springtime display in place, there are some gardening decorating ideas for Easter that won’t cost the earth.

 1. Making the most of existing bay trees, patio containers and topiaries 

 Most garden centers sell quality ribbons that won’t fade in sunlight or damp weather conditions. Tie some colorful ribbons around the lower branches of the bay trees flanking your porch and the topiaries sitting on your patio.

With the help of your children, remove the yolk and egg white from a few raw eggs by piercing the eggs’ top and bottom with a needle before blowing out the contents.

Use bright acrylic colors to paint the eggs, before giving them a coating with several layers of good quality varnish, the type used for hardwood floors and boats, as this won’t blister in sunny weather or shrink in the colder winter months.

 Once dry, group your colorful egg collection around the plants in your patio containers. If you don’t feel confident in your own artistic powers, try using a mould for your salt dough or play-dough eggs.

2. Inspiration from across your neighbor's fence

Easter is a big thing in any German gardener’s calendar and there’s no reason British gardeners can’t follow suit – a good idea is a good idea, after all, and it will certainly be unique in your street, if you’re looking to make a statement. German-owned supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl sell cheap and cheerful plastic eggs that come on a string.

Householders hang them from trees and shrubs in their gardens. Such eggs look particularly charming against the background of the first unfurling leaves from birch trees or spring flowering shrubs. Some households will display literally hundreds of colorful eggs, going into friendly competition with their neighbors.

 If your local supermarket doesn’t store such plastic eggs, make your own version from either salt dough or play-dough. Both varieties will take several days to dry out enough before you’ll be able to coat them with several layers of clear varnish to protect them from damp weather.

Be sure to insert a length of wire with a loop at the top, so you can attach a ribbon from which to hang your colorful egg. To secure the wire at the bottom, use pretty buttons or any left-over beads from broken fashion jewellery or from your card decorating projects.

3. Springtime planting for patios and flower beds

 It’s too late for putting in bulbs but even on a tight budget you can still brighten up your patio containers and front garden flower beds with bright display of yellow daffodils and a splash of tulip red. Pre-grown primrose, tulip, snowdrop and lily of the valley plants can be purchased quite cheaply at many supermarkets, green grocers, florists and farmers’ markets.

Recycle old wooden troughs, tea or orange boxes or timber plant containers by giving them a new lease of life with a dash of acrylic paint, plastic ribbons and a home-made Easter bunny with a steely attitude to Britain’s rainy weather.

4. Recycling is the name of the game 

The collection of empty food and soft drink cans sitting in your recycling bin can form the basis of an Easter bunny factory. You will need a pair of sturdy gardening gloves made from leather, a paper template, a marker pen, a hammer and two nails, wire cutters, a craft mat for cutting and acrylic paints and clear varnish to make your metal bunnies.

 Most libraries will have craft books on festive decorations and many women’s magazines also include templates for Easter bunnies and egg shapes. Pick one that isn’t too difficult and transfer it to a piece of paper. Cut out the bunny template and lay on the can you wish to use.

Using the marker pen, draw around the template to outline the bunny or egg shape. Cut the can into the required shape and paint as desired before varnishing. Once paint and varnish have dried you can affix your metal bunny or other Easter themed decoration to the recycled wooden patio container by placing a nail at top and bottom of your design and giving it a good whack with the hammer.

 Pop your ready-grown Petunia Tumbling Tumbelina, your Geranium Candyfloss Mix and New Guinea Busy Lizzy saplings into the soil, mix in a few blooming tulips and a colorful lobelia for good measure and your patio or front garden will greet Easter in just the right spirit.

This floral display should last until summer arrives!

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