A DIY mum has saved £6,000 by transforming her garden by herself.
After being quoted £7,500 for outside decking, the thrifty mum of one has spent just £1490.52 on her brand-new garden.
Deborah Williamson spent 18 months transforming her garden from overgrown and unloved into a beautiful haven with fairy lights and furniture.
The security worker from Whitehaven, Cumbria spent 80% less than she was quoted, by shopping around for bargains as low as 50 pence.
Deborah, 49, said: “I thought it was ridiculous being quoted that much just for some decking.
“I said to myself, I’m not paying that.
“So I got to work, scouring websites like Amazon to find the things I wanted.”
Deborah would spend her days off, working on the garden for an hour or more to create the incredible space.
She said: “I split the garden into four sections, so I could make a rough budget and sketch on what I wanted in each area.
“I actually started doodling little pictures that I envisioned in my head for what the garden was going to look like once I had finished.
“I made sure to look for the best bargains, and to get everything as cheap as possible.”
Deborah spent hours at a time looking through Amazon’s online selection, as well as rummaging through the sale items at discount stores such as B&M and Home Bargains.
She said: “The more pages you look through on Amazon, the cheaper you can find the item you are looking for.
“I really wanted a pergola, and I saw one for £350 which was a bit too expensive.
“I kept looking for another 15 minutes and ended up getting pretty much the same one for £93.06 because it had a discount on it for first time buyers.
“I did the same for some composite decking tiles and got 6 percent off each time.
“For the flowers and a few other bits, I tried to support my local garden centre as I knew they had struggled over the pandemic.
“I got lots of different flowers like lavender and begonias and managed to snag some bags of mixed bulbs that were three bags for £5.”
The biggest expense in Deborah’s garden are the 13 tonnes of gravel, and three tonnes of sand she put down, totalling at £576, with the gravel being £36 per bag from hardware store B&Q.
As well as hunting for bargains, Deborah saved on her garden through upcycling old furniture and pallets of wood.
She claimed: “I used an old gazebo that we had stored away in the shed to create a cabana.
“I bought some lights and drapes to add on.
“I budgeted £30 for it and ended up having two pence left.”
Deborah, who did all the work by herself, has had an amazing reaction from friends and neighbours.
She said: “A lot of my friends have said it looks amazing and have even joked that I should come and do theirs next.
“It’s pretty overwhelming just how great it looks now, those four hours spent putting up the pergola and lugging buckets of gravel everywhere
have definitely paid off.
Deborah was diagnosed with seven compressed disks in her neck, a mass on her spine and degenerative diseases of Myelomalacia and Osteoarthritis in 2019.
She said: “My diagnoses really kickstarted me into doing this project.
“I wanted a place that I could go to, to rest and relax when I become too weak to do anything anymore.
“To create my own little paradise where I could plant flowers and spend my days.
“Doing the garden was also my little escape during the pandemic.
“It helped me escape from everything that was going on.