Money Saving Offers and Ideas for Gardeners

I hope these money saving offers and ideas will inspire you to garden, support local businesses and gardens and save you money!

RHS Garden Wisley is opening for free on Friday 17th April 2015, as part of the National Open Gardens Day
RHS Garden Wisley is opening for free on Friday 17th April 2015, as part of the National Open Gardens Day

To read my article with money saving offers and discounts for 2016, please click here. 

Friday 17th April 2015 is the first National Open Gardens Day, gardens up and down the country will be opening their doors to the public for free.  Many gardens are taking part, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley in Surrey, Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, Hyde Hall in Essex and Rosemoor, in Devon.  Ryton Gardens in Coventry will also be opening their doors for free, as will The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Minterne Gardens in Dorset, Borde Hill Garden in Haywards Heath, Glendoick Gardens in Perth, The Quiet Garden in Kilconquhar, Fife, High Beeches Woodland and Water Gardens in Haywards Heath, Kensington Roof GardensDundee University Botanic Garden, Bourton House Garden near Moreton-in-Marsh, St Andrews Botanic Garden in Fife, Millgate House Garden in Richmond, Feeringbury Manor in Colchester, The Stubbings Estate in Maidenhead, The Raworth Garden in Twickenham, Spinners Garden in Hampshire, Dunsborough Park in Ripley, Ness Botanic Gardens near Liverpool, Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens in York, Goodnestone Park Gardens in Kent, Moleshill House in Cobham, West Dean Gardens in West Sussex, Knoll Gardens in Wimborne, Cawdor Castle Gardens in Nairn, Ripley Castle in Harrogate, Clumber Park Walled Kitchen Garden in Worksop, Hall Barn in Beaconsfield, and Thorp Perrow in North Yorkshire and many others!  This special, free event is a wonderful reason to take the day off and enjoy a day out!  For more details about National Open Gardens Day, please click here.

RHS Garden Rosemoor opens its doors for free on Friday 17th April 2015
RHS Garden Rosemoor opens its doors for free on Friday 17th April 2015

On Friday 17th April 2015, as part of the National Open Gardens DayNymans, at Handcross, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, will be opening to visitors for free. Nymans’ Head Gardener, Stephen Herrington, will be giving a free guided tour of Nymans gardens and their specialist plant collections at 10.30am.  In the afternoon, Assistant Head Gardener, Philip Holmes, will be giving a free guided tour of Nymans gardens and their specialist plant collections at 1.30pm.  For more details, please click here.  Throughout National Gardening Week (13th – 19th April 2015), the Volunteer Rangers at Nymans will be giving free guided tours at 11.15am and 1.45pm daily; although you will have to pay to visit the gardens, free entry just applies to visitors on Friday 17th April 2015, unless of course you’re a National Trust member.  For all the details, please click here.
Information for disabled visitors to Nymans can be found by clicking here.

Painshill Landscape Garden is offering free entry to fathers, accompanied by their children, on Father’s day, Sunday 21st June 2015.  Normal admission fees apply to other visitors, for more details, please click here.

Stansted Park is also offering free entry for Fathers on Father’s Day, Sunday 21st June 2015.

Armed Forces Day is on Saturday 27th June 2015, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, RHS Garden Rosemoor and RHS Garden Wisley will all be opening for free on Saturday 27th June 2015 for Armed Forces Personnel.  If you work in the Armed Forces and would like to take up this offer, just bring along identification showing you are Armed Forces Personnel with you to the gardens.

Hampton Court Palace Gardens
Hampton Court Palace Gardens over a discount to serving members of the armed forces.

Serving members of the armed forces can receive a discounted entry price to Hampton Court Palace and The Tower of London on production of a valid military ID card on the day of their visit.  The discount applies only to the card holder, not to other family members.

The 2015 Heritage Open Days will be held from the 10th to the 13th September 2015; experience local history, culture and architecture, visit special places which are normally closed to the public and enjoy free entry to places that charge an admission fee.  The details of participating historic places, will appear here from mid-July onwards, some of these events require prior booking – so do please check on the website, where you’ll also find details of additional events and cancellations.  

One special event as part of the Heritage Open Days is a guided walk through West Horsley, led by June Davy and Clive Smee from Horsley Countryside Preservation Society on Thursday 10th September 2015, starting at 10am.  The walk is approximately 2 miles long and is estimated to last for 90 minutes, during the walk the histories of about a dozen houses or farms will be recounted and some will be visited.  For all the details, please click here.

Also on Thursday 10th September 2015, from 7.30pm until 9.30pm is A Chance to Display – a celebration of words and music in Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ at the Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking in Surrey.  There will be readings from ‘Emma’ and music from the period.  For all the details, please click here.

Denbies Wine Estate, in Dorking will be opening for the Heritage Open Days on Thursday 10th September 2015, Friday 11th September 2015 and on Saturday 12th September 2015, each day they will open at 10am.  It’s essential to pre-book if you want to enjoy a complimentary 45 minute tour of the vineyard, for all the details, please click here.  Information for disabled visitors to Denbies Wine Estate, can be found here.

On Friday 11th September 2015, the Kingston Quaker Centre, in Kingston upon Thames, will be opening from 10am until 4pm.  Visitors will have the chance to explore the centre which has been designed to use water and energy efficiently and opened in 2014.  The informal garden at the Quaker Centre has been designed to encourage biodiversity and provide a habitat for wildlife.  For all the details, please click here.

As part of the Heritage Open Days, on Friday 11th September 2015, at 5.30pm, the Bourne Conservation Group Volunteers will lead a tour of part of The Bourne which is most associated with the writings of George Sturt, the tour will include a visit to the Old Churchyard, which is now a closed graveyard and active wildlife area.  Weather permitting, at 8.30pm, there will be an opportunity for a limited number of visitors to view a moth trap operated by the volunteers.  This tour is also available on Saturday 12th September 2015 at 10am, for all the details, please click here.

On Friday 11th September 2015, as part of the Heritage Open Days, the University of Surrey will be offering a Guided Tree Walk to explore the campus and visit a large variety of unusual trees, which have been collected over a period spanning many decades.  The walk will take about an hour and starts at 12 noon.  For all the details, please click here.

The Tillingbourne Brewery, in Shere, near Guildford, will be offering guided tours on both Friday 11th September 2015 at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm, and on Saturday 12th September 2015, at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  The Tillingbourne Brewery opened in 2011, it has the capacity to brew up to 4,800 pints in one brew.  Pre-booking is required, bookings open on 15th August 2015, for all the details, please click here.

On Saturday 12th September 2015, at Uppark, Petersfield, West Sussex, visitors have the chance to see Uppark: Flowers in the House – the house will be specially decorated with flowers grown in the gardens and grounds of Uppark.  Information for disabled visitors can be found here.  The house will be open from 12.30pm until 4.30pm, the shop, garden and cafe are open from 10am until 5pm, for all the details, please click here.

The WWF – UK’s Living Planet Centre, in Woking, in Surrey, a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ Living Planet Centre, which recently won a RIBA National Award, will open to visitors on Saturday 12th September 2015 from 11am until 5pm.  Tours are at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm and drop in, fun, family workshops, where you can design and make a model of your own sustainable building, are offered from 2pm until 4pm.  Find out what makes this one of the greenest buildings in the country, and see how it links to the WWF work that takes place around the world at this special open day.  For all the details, including information for disabled visitors, please click here.

The Victoria Garden in Farnham, will open, free of charge for the Heritage Open Days, on Saturday 12th September 2015, from 10am until 2pm.  Gardeners at the Victoria Garden will be demonstrating how to make up attractive winter planters at 11am and again at 1.30pm, gardeners will be on hand to answer questions in the gardens.

Also on Saturday 12th September 2015, Oakhurst Cottage, in Hambledon near Godalming will be opening from 2pm until 4pm.  This 16th century, timber-framed cottage offers visitors an insight into the life of a farm labourer, there’s a pretty, traditional cottage garden for visitors to explore as well as the cottage.

Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming
Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming

Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming, will also be opening to visitors without charge on Saturday 12th September 2015.  Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

The rose garden at Priors Field School was designed in consultation with Gertrude Jekyll.  Priors Field School, in Godalming, will be opening without charge, on Saturday 12th September 2015, as part of the Heritage Open Days, where you’ll also be able to view an archive film and photographs of Priors Field.

On Saturday 12th September 2015, Greyfriars Vineyard, a producer of sparkling wines in Puttenham near Guildford, will be open to visitors.  Visitors will be able to see the grapes being grown and learn how they are made into wine, there will also be an opportunity to both sample and purchase the sparkling wine produced by Greyfriars.

On Saturday 12th September 2015 and Sunday 13th September 2015, The Hogs Back Brewery, in Tongham, Surrey, will open without charge for the Heritage Open Days, from 10am until 4pm.  Tours are available, for all the details, please click here.

On Saturday 12th September 2015 and Sunday 13th September 2015, Nymans, in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, will be opening without charge, from 11am until 3pm for the Heritage Open Days.  Information for disabled visitors to Nymans can be found here, for all the details of the open days at Nymans, please click here.

Painshill Park
Painshill Landscape Garden

There’s free entry to everyone visiting Painshill Landscape Garden on Saturday 12th September 2015, for their Heritage Open Day, for more details, please click here.  Information for disabled visitors to Painshill can be found here

Hatchlands Park, in Guildford, will be opening without charge to visitors for the Heritage Open Days on Saturday 12th September 2015, where the grounds will be open from 10.30am until 5.30pm (the house and garden are not open to visitors on this date) and also on Sunday 13th September 2015, where the house and grounds will be open to visitors from 11am until 5.30pm.  For all the details, please click here.  Additional information for disabled visitors to Hatchlands Park can be found here.

Again as part of the Heritage Open Days, on Sunday 13th September 2015, Plant Passion, a 21st century cut flower farm, in East Clandon, Guildford, will be opening their flower field to visitors from 1pm until 5pm, at this time of year the field will be full of Dahlias, Gladioli and other flowers.  Disabled visitors may need assistance to access the flower field, but there’s access to the barn and polytunnels.  For all the details, please click here.

On Saturday 26th September 2015  and Sunday 27th September 2015Painshill Landscape Garden are offering free entry to the gardens as part of the Elmbridge Food Festival, for all the details, please click here.  Information for disabled visitors to Painshill Landscape Garden can be found by clicking here.

The Laboratory at RHS Garden Wisley
The Laboratory at RHS Garden Wisley

On Friday 6th November 2015, the Royal Horticultural Society have a Free Day Friday!  All four RHS Gardens, RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, and RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, will all be opening their gardens to visitors for free.

The Royal Horticultural Society offers free visits for schools to its gardens, RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon and RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey.  These free visits give children the opportunity to experience practical horticulture, art and science in the inspiring setting of a beautiful RHS Garden.  For more details, please click here.

The RHS Campaign For School Gardening is an initiative to encourage schools to develop and actively use a school garden.  It’s free for schools to register and each school receives a free start up kit too, there’s information and resources for teachers and more.  For more details, please click here.

Colourful borders at Loseley Park
The colourful borders at Loseley Park in September

If you plan to visit a garden regularly it makes sense to become a member or friend.  Many of our wonderful local gardens offer great value offers; pay a yearly membership or become a friend of the garden or charitable organisation, and then visit the gardens as many times as you like, during opening times.  This is a lovely way to support a garden or charity as well as save money, if you visit regularly.  Loseley Park in Guildford, pictured above, offer a special Friends membership; Friends enjoy unlimited garden entry with a guest of their choice, during opening times, free entry to the Spring Garden Show at Loseley, two for one admission to the Denbies Wine Estate and Painshill Park, a discount in the shop and restaurant at Loseley Park and invitations to two special Friends only events. For more details of beautiful and historic gardens in Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex that offer Friend or Membership offers, please click here.

If you’re planning to visit a garden with a group of friends, you may be entitled to a group booking discount.  Often the minimum number of visitors to receive a group discount is ten, but this may vary, as each garden has its own rules.  You’ll need to book in advance to qualify for the discount, it’s worth remembering this when making your weekend or holiday plans.

Making a group booking can also save you money at special events, shows and plant fairs. Loseley Park in Guildford, has its Loseley Spring Show on Friday 17th April 2015, Saturday 18th April 2015 and Sunday 19th April 2015, admission for adults is £3.50 on the day, but pre-booked groups of ten or more pay only £2.80 per adult.

West Dean Gardens holds a three day Chilli Fiesta every year, it’s a very special event and a lot of fun! Here are just a few of the chillies growing in the glasshouses at West Dean
Rosemary Moon giving a cookery demonstration at West Dean
Rosemary Moon will be  giving cookery demonstrations at West Dean Garden’s Chilli Fiesta

At some special events, such as the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean Gardens, on the 7th, 8th and 9th August 2015, just purchasing your tickets in advance results in a discount, you don’t need to make a group booking.  Early bird discounts are available on tickets for the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean Gardens until 31st July 2015.  For more details, please click here. This lovely, vibrant, Chilli Fiesta is celebrating its 20th year in 2015, with 250 – 280 different chilli plants on display in the glasshouses at West Dean, it’s a very special event and a lot of fun!  Entry to the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean, includes entry to the beautiful gardens and makes for a wonderful day out.

It’s very easy to spend more money than you intended on plants, seeds or tools, they are such lovely things to buy!  We have many local plant sales, fetes, fairs and other wonderful opportunities to purchase locally grown plants from local charities and organisations or rare, coveted plants from specialist nurseries.  Local plant and seed swaps are great places to get new plants and seeds for free and a lovely way to make new friends.  For more details of local plant fairs, festivals, fetes, swaps and sales, please click here.

Specialist plant fairs, shows and festivals are ideal places to compare a number of different varieties of your favourite plant and purchase your favourite

Special Offers For Pumpkin Beth Readers 

surreyhillslogoSurrey Hills Landscaping Telephone 01483 416685, info@surreyhillslandscaping.co.uk
Godalming based, Surrey Hills Landscaping was established in 2006.  The company has built a strong reputation due to their reliability, attention to detail and an excellent work ethic.  Their highly skilled team concentrate and focus on one project at a time, working efficiently to deliver projects on time and on budget.  Surrey Hills Landscaping are kindly offering Pumpkin Beth readers 10% off an initial garden maintenance visit, please quote SHL10% to claim this offer which is valid until January 2016.  To go to Surrey Hills Landscaping’s website, please click here

A lovely way for gardeners to save money is by growing and cooking their own home-grown vegetables.  On the 2nd April 2015, a new book called The One-Pot Gourmet Gardener, written by Cinead McTernan, with photographs by Jason Ingram, will be published by Frances Lincoln.  This new book gives instructions on how to grow all the delicious ingredients you need for the recipes in the book, in containers.  All the ingredients for one dish are grown together in one container, so it’s ideal for gardeners with limited space and time.  Every step from sowing the seeds to serving the dish is covered.  To order One-Pot Gourmet Gardener at the discounted price of £12.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG311. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
ISBN: 9780711235908
To read my review of Cinead McTernan’s book, ‘The One-pot Gourmet Gardener’, please click here

If you’re looking to try a new gardening technique, then you might be interested in a new book, Straw Bale Gardens Complete, by Joel Karsten, published by Cool Springs Press which gives you all the details on straw bale gardening from the man who developed this innovative technique.  To order Straw Bale Gardens Complete at the discounted price of £12.99 including p&p* (RRP: £15.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG294. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.  ISBN: 1591869072
To read my review of Joel Karsten’s book, ‘Straw Bale Gardens Complete’, please click here

If you’re interested in gardening vertically or wish to make the best use of a small space, then a new book, Grow A Living Wall, by Shawna Coronado, which will be published on 23rd April 2015 by Cool Springs Press might be just the thing for you. To order Grow a Living Wall at the discounted price of £12.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG313. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.  ISBN: 1591866243

Focussing on the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire,a new book, Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds, written by Victoria Summerley, photographs by Hugo Rittson Thomas, and published by Frances Lincoln, features 20 gardens designed by some of the leading contemporary garden designers from across the world.  To order Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds at the discounted price of £16.00 including p&p* (RRP: £20.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG281. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
ISBN: 9780711235274

First Ladies of Gardening, is a new book written by Heidi Howcroft,  illustrated with photographs by Marianne Majerus and published by Frances Lincoln.  14 female gardeners, who are deemed the most influential or important of the last 100 years, including present day gardeners, are detailed in this new book. To order First Ladies of Gardening at the discounted price of £16 including p&p* (RRP: £20), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG290. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.  ISBN: 9870711236431

Great Garden Design is a new book, written by Ian Hodgson, with a foreword by John Brooks and published by Frances Lincoln.  This book presents the best garden designs from the last 10 years, from more than 50 top garden designers; promising design solutions for every situation, area, taste and budget.  To order Great Garden Design at the discounted price of £20 including p&p* (RRP: £25), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG300. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.  ISBN: 9780711235731

Good books are precious and make wonderful gifts, it’s always good to receive a recommendation.  If you’d like to see the books I have reviewed, please click here.

The Godalming in Bloom Newsletter has a special discount code inside for any readers wishing to subscribe to English Garden Magazine; you could save 77% for the first five months, paying just £5 for 5 issues of the magazine which will be posted to you each month.  This would make a super present to yourself or a friend!  If you would usually purchase the same magazine each month, taking out a subscription will save you money. Often, free gifts or special offers are available to magazine subscribers.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s wonderful to collect your own seeds, from yours or your friends’ garden.  If you’re buying seed, prices vary, it’s worth noting the number of seeds in each pack when making your comparisons.  Some amazing special offers can be found, especially towards the end of the season, from about August onwards, when seeds are often reduced to half price or less.  Vegetableseeds.net are having a half price sale at the moment.

Squire’s Garden Centres have special offers which change each month.

Visit for free!

We’re lucky to have so many beautiful places to visit for free, here’s just a few of the special places that offer free entry to visitors:

Box Hill in Surrey, National Trust, is a great place for nature lovers; look out for the Adonis blue butterfly and the bee orchid, both of which can be found here.  Box Hill enjoys fantastic views across the countryside, there are lots of walks you can take to make the most of the views and explore the area. Information for disabled visitors can be found by clicking here.

Guildford Castle Gardens are always beautifully maintained and colourful

Guildford Castle Grounds are so well tended and maintained, featuring many colourful bedding displays, they are a lovely quiet spot to relax and unwind in the busy town centre. The gardens are open throughout the year, from 8am until dusk.  Some parts of the grounds have steps and are rather steep, making access difficult for disabled visitors in these areas, other areas are more manageable for disabled visitors.

Guildford Castle Grounds
Guildford Castle Grounds

Farnham Castle Keep, English Heritage, is free to visit. Information for disabled visitors can be found by clicking here.

The National Trust look after Runnymede there’s free entry to visitors, car park charges apply (National Trust Members don’t pay for the car park). Runnymede is the location where King John sealed the Magna Carta, 800 years ago on 15th June 1215.  You’ll find carpets of bluebells in May.  Make sure you take time to visit the Ankerwycke yew, the National Trust’s oldest tree, which is estimated to be 2,500 years old. Information for disabled visitors can be found here, together with details of the facilities offered.

Wolvesey Castle (Old Bishop’s Palace) English Heritage, in Winchester, Hampshire.  The extensive ruins of the palace are free to visit.

Try finding useful gardening items for free!

There’s an Allotment Swaps group on Facebook where you can arrange to swap things for free with fellow group members.  Also on Facebook is the Plant Swaps UK group.

Give away your unwanted gardening items and collect useful items that others no longer need

There are many local groups you can join to offer, donate or collect unwanted gardening items, or indeed just about anything, for free.  One man’s unwanted bricks, paving slabs, turf, top soil, bird bath or pots, are another man’s treasure!  Here are some links to local groups offering all kinds of household or garden items for free collection:

For the Guildford FreelyWheely Group Page, please click here.

For Gumtree, please click here.

Local Freecycle Groups:

For the Epsom Freecycle Group, please click here.

For the Farnham Freecyle Group, please click here.

For the Guildford Freecycle Group, please click here.

For the Godalming Freecycle Group, please click here.

For the Surrey Heath Freecycle Group, please click here.

Here’s some links to local Freegle Groups:

For the Burgess Hill Freegle Group, please click here.

For the Burgess Hill Grow your Own Freegle Group, please click here.

For the Camberley and Surrey Heath Freegle Group, please click here.

For the Farnborough and Aldershot Freegle Group, please click here.

For the Guildford Freegle Group, please click here.

For the Uckfield and Heathfield Freegle Group, please click here.

For the Woking Freegle Group, please click here.

National giveaway groups:

For the My Skip website, please click here.

For tips and advice on Gardening on a Budget, please click here.

For a list of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales and Swaps, please click here.

For details of beautiful gardens in Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex offering Garden Membership, allowing you to save money on garden visits, please click here.

For gardening advice for mid-May to mid-June, please click here.

For information on delicious edible plants that are also a beautiful addition to your garden or entertaining area, please click here.

For information about hedgehogs and tips on how you can help these special creatures, please click here.

To read about bottle gardens and terrariums please click here.

To read my long-term review of the BiOrbAir, a specialised terrarium and modern bottle garden, please click here.

For advice on controlling slugs and snails, without harming hedgehogs, birds or other wildlife, please click here.

For tips and advice on how to make gardening easier, please click here.

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2 thoughts on “Money Saving Offers and Ideas for Gardeners

  1. Loads of wonderful ideas and links here. Thanks so much – it must have taken you ages to get all the info together! We might try and get ourselves down to the free open day at Wisley (we are members but family are not) It can’t be any busier than it was over the bank holiday!!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Sophia, I hope you and your family have a super day out at RHS Garden Wisley, there’s always lots of wonderful plants to see at Wisley.

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