The increasing cost of living is changing our day to day lives, and many of us are feeling its impact.  

Gardening is not only great for our minds and bodies but with careful planning and a bit of thrifty knowhow, it is possible to use our outdoor spaces to work for us and assist with our household budgeting.

We’d like to share with you some ideas that could help you make these essential changes and will also help you to reduce your carbon footprint too! Visit our website and read about how Van Hage are committed to operating each of our three garden centres with sustainability as a key consideration.


Let’s start with the most obvious - grow your own!

Growing our own food is by far a cheaper alternative to buying it but you do need to plan and prepare. At Van Hage we have a huge variety of seasonal fruit and vegetable seeds both online and in our stores. We also have seasonal seed potatoes, onion and garlic sets.

Growing from seed requires the correct conditions, whether this is directly in the ground, in a growbag, green house, cold frame or container. Luckily, we have everything you need under one roof.

Most seeds need a gentler introduction into the world and require propagating first rather than sowing straight into outdoor beds. By starting your seeds off in trays in sheltered conditions you can closely monitor them and protect them from frosts, pests and disease. The more experienced gardener will no doubt have a greenhouse or cold frame to get their seedlings off to a good start, but propagation trays and covers are just as effective.

Here are some of our favourite propagating products:

Smart Garden Grozone

Smart Garden 4 Tier Grozone with Extra Fleece Cover

Tildenet Gardenware Deep Rootrainers

Stewart Garden 52cm Propagator Cover Clear

Tildenet Easy Fleece Tunnel

Tildenet Gardenware Potato Patio Planterx3

Tildenet Gardenware Original Victorian Bell X3 

If you prefer pots to trays when sowing seeds, then you might like to consider our Tildenet Bamboo pots and saucers – no plastic! This range is made entirely from bamboo and is 100% recyclable.



The compost we plant our seeds in is vital to their growth and success and the more nutrients provided the healthier they will become.

We recommend:

Westland Gro-Sure Seed & Cutting Compost 30L

Westland John Innes Seed Sowing Compost 35L

Miracle Gro All Purpose Compost 40L

Westland Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes 10L


Talking of compost – why not make your own? We all have kitchen and garden waste that could be working for us. Once you’ve peeled your fruit and veg or done your weeding, pop it all straight into the composter. After a while you will have an endless supply of beautiful, organic FREE compost.

Here are some of our composter top picks:  


Garantia Thermo-Wood Composter 600L – no plastic here!

Garantia Eco-King Composter 600L


Seeds won’t grow without water and there are many watering systems to choose from to suit your gardening arrangements. Hozelock is a household name for all your watering requirements, and you’ll find a huge range in store or online. Why not collect rainwater in your water butt and keep your seedlings hydrated for free?

Our top pick is:

Garland 100Ltr Water Butt Kit includes Stand & Lid


Solar lighting is a renewable way of lighting your garden and is completely sustainable. Simply allow the power to charge in daylight and enjoy FREE lighting all evening! We have a wide range of lighting from the practical and decorative to the stylish and quirky.

Our top picks are:

The Solar Centre Lumify Vintage Bulbs (Set of 20)

Smart Garden Damasque Giant – Gold

The Solar Centre V-Light Pro Solar Security Light

Noma The Bulb Spiral Chandelier

Leisuregrow Noma Brown Wicker Fox 1M


If you want to avoid using too much plastic when gardening here are a few of our wooden products that we think you will love:

The Churnet Valley Wooden Furniture range

The Forest Garden Wooden garden Furniture and fixtures range

Grow Your Own Planters and raised beds


Lastly, we’d like to share some tips to get the best value for money when gardening and be an Eco Friendly Gardening Warrior!

  • Split perennials when you buy them.
  • Cut potatoes in half before planting.
  • Join your local gardening group.
  • Shop online.
  • Reuse plastic plant labels and pots for seedlings
  • Join recycling networks.
  • Find out if your council offers discounted products.
  • Newspaper pots to plant seeds
  • Mulching – keeps soil moist
  • Use vegetable cooking water and grass cuttings to fertilise plants. Nettles in particular once boiled and cooled make an excellent fertiliser.

We hope that with these suggestions you can forge ahead with your gardening this year with peace of mind that you are doing all you can to save the pennies and the planet!

Happy gardening!