I'm a gardening expert – this is how you can use old tights and toilet roll holders to transform your home

THE sun is shining, which means we’re all spending more time in our gardens and on our balconies.

Garden Log podcast host Ben Dark – who jokingly calls himself “the Joe Wicks of the gardening world” – has revealed his best tips for making sure your outdoors is looking beautiful at all times.

And, even if you’re an absolute novice, the gardening expert has some handy hints for you.

Ben even claims you can find items around the house – including old, laddered tights and toilet roll holders – to help you out conquer the great outdoors. Here, he shares his top advice.

Don’t throw away tights or loo rolls

Laddered, old tights – rather than throwing them away – are perfect for tying in climbers and fruit trees. 

Meanwhile, toilet rolls holders are perfect for starting seeds.

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You can put compost and sweet peas in them rather than in plastic pots.

A bit of leg adds glamour

I always say that a bit of leg adds glamour.

What I mean by this is, if all your shrubs look blobby and depressing like something from a children’s TV show, then lower the branches to expose some stem.

If you cut away the very bottom of the shrub so you can see them, it suddenly looks intentional and elegant. 

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Check out open gardens for cheap plants

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Ben says it's better to plant flowers and weeds together, so the soil is coveredCredit: Ben Dark

Open charity gardens are the best place to go for cheap, spreading plants to cover the soil – they don’t sell anything unless it’s completely rampant. 

If you need to fill space in your garden fast, pick up a few pots of whatever they have most of on the sale table.

There, you can usually find those things that seed roots and run most prolifically.

More plants, less soil!

Plant as many plants as possible in one corner of soil. 

If there’s less exposed earth on show, there’s less soil for weeds to germinate in.

Plus. no matter how neat you keep your beds, plants always look better against other plants.

It’s not scruffy, it’s romantic!

My best tip for those who have absolutely no experience in gardening is that if you think it looks scruffy, just tell yourself it's romantic.

That's how I get away with a lot of my mistakes.

It means that a plant that has fallen over is a feature and intentional, rather than a mess.

Edge well and get away with murder

The bit between the flower bed and the grass is called the edge – and if you do that well, you can get away with murder.

If you have a nice, clean line between your flowers and your lawn, it makes everything around it look intentional – and absolves any amount of scruffiness.

I always compare it to getting away with five days of stubble when you have an ironed shirt on.

Terracotta is better

Can’t choose a pot? Choose terracotta!

Everything looks good in terracotta, and they can be bought for nothing.

Sometimes they can be about 60p for a little one.

Plant lots of what you love

Gardens look best when there is some repetition – so it's always a good idea to plant lots of what you love, rather than some of what you like.

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Having one plant of every species in existence just means they get lost in the jumble. 

But, leave one plant two or three times in your balcony or garden – and you’ll get more out of it.

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