Gardening on a Budget

Gardening has become a low priority in the current tough economic climate. Recent research shows that a staggering 47% of us spent nothing at all on our outdoor areas in 2010. Some people have saved money by going from green to grey – covering their gardens in concrete or decking to cut down on the expense of planting. However, there are plenty of ways to cut the cost of gardening and still have a beautiful garden you can enjoy. Here are our top tips to help you keep digging your garden without digging into your pockets.

10 Top Tips To Save Money When Gardening
1. Plan where you want to put things in your garden
2. Make a list before shopping at the garden centre
3. Plant permanents rather than annuals that need replacing each year
4. Take cuttings
5. Buy plants after they’ve flowered when they’re cheaper
6. Buy younger plants as they are cheaper than more mature specimens
7. Sow from seed which requires patience but is less expensive than buying trays of seedlings
8. Buy seeds from discount stores like Lidl, Poundland, Wilkinson
9. Car boot sales are great for cheap plants and tools
10. Make your own compost

Finally, a good way to cut costs when gardening is to make a friend of a fellow gardener. That way, you can swap your unwanted seeds and plants for those you like and profit from bulk buy discounts when purchasing supplies and plants for both your gardens.

If you have any hints or tips on saving money when gardening, please add a comment below and share your ideas with our readers.

Image courtesy of ehow.com

Buyers Guide: Loveliness at EMU

City Connect has the pleasure to announce that EMU, the new Cambridge-based home accessories company, has launched its online shop – emuhome.co.uk – ready for the summer. Read their press release below.

A fresh approach
EMU is an exciting new Cambridge-based company, selling an enticing range of beautiful home accessories, stylish gifts and shabby chic furniture. The EMU message is pure and simple: they sell ‘lovely things’ at affordable prices. EMU sells these ‘lovely things’ at local markets in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire; at two retail outlets: Swan Antiques, Interiors & Gardens, Hemel Hempstead and The Barn, Kneesworth; and now online at emuhome.co.uk.

Who are EMU?
EMU is a creative retail partnership between husband and wife team Kevin and Jenni – each bringing their design and innovation experience from their previous careers in the hospitality sector and publishing industry, respectively. Their passion for the “lovely things” in life (they love to drink tea from china cups, whilst dipping into a good book) has evolved from furnishing their own home – blending their favourite design styles with “upcycled loveliness” – into creating EMU, a true source of loveliness for all styles of home.

Make yourself at home
EMU aims to ‘fill your home with loveliness’ by offering an eclectic and visually interesting mix of home accessories, from the popular ‘shabby chic’ range, such as French-style photo frames, hearts and hooks, through to coastal, Indian and Moroccan-themed products, such as shaker-style wooden signs, Indian hanging elephants and coloured glass lanterns. With its core values rooted in interior design, EMU successfully pairs French-style hanging hearts with vintage fine bone china cake plates and colourful Indian footstools.

Form and function
EMU’s range of home and garden furniture strikes a harmonious balance between new and ‘upcycled’ pieces that complement old and new house styles alike. A rather special addition to EMU’s products is its ‘upcycled’ range: lovingly restored and refurbished key furniture items ranging from unique plant stands to kitchen tables and country farmhouse dressers. A Loire-style dressing table sits effortlessly alongside a Gustavian chic console bench and a beautiful rustic potting bench. EMU offers unique design statements to suit every style of home, from bedsit to mansion. EMU values every customer and goes out of its way to provide friendly and professional service – whether customers buy online, over the phone, at the market or from the EMU shops.

Fair’s fair
EMU’s commitment to the WFTO’s values is visible through its carefully selected range of Fair Trade products, handmade in India by workers’ co-operatives. The money made by the co-operatives goes towards developing clean water projects, building local education centres and providing family clothing for the poorest workers.

Here in the east
After the success of local fairs and events this summer at Newmarket, Grantchester and Cambridge Town & Country, EMU attracted a huge amount of local shoppers, who have gone on to enjoy buying unusual gifts, home accessories and furniture at local markets (Hitchin and Royston). More fairs are lined up in the autumn and winter, including the Gransden Agricultural Show and Knebworth’s Christmas fair.

Just a click away
EMU has now launched its fully functional online shop – emuhome.co.uk – where customers can find the complete range of EMU furniture, including the ‘upcycled’ range, plus all EMU’s stunningly gorgeous gifts and home accessories. And the good news is: the delivery charge is low for small orders, making EMU the perfect way to fill your home with loveliness.

Images courtesy of emuhome.co.uk