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Garden Goals with the Credit Union

House 2 min read

16 Jul 2020

As part of our House2Home series, we spoke to Aoife O’Neill, who reached her garden goals with a little help from her local credit union. From dreams to reality we take a step by step look at how Aoife went about planning and creating her dream garden.



What made you start this project?

We had recently removed garden decking which was years old and beginning to rot. We replaced this with marble patio which brightened up our garden right away and gave a nice contrast to the grass. While the decking sat at height, the removal of this meant that the patio and grass were at slightly different levels. While it wasn’t too noticeable looking on, it had the potential to be a tripping hazard and so we made the decision to lay new grass with an under layer of topsoil to even it out.
Did you do this on your own?

We enlisted the help and advice of a landscape gardener to carry out this project for us. We knew what we had in mind, but having the advice of an expert helped to ensure we made decisions which would last.


How did you go about designing the garden you wanted?

We had a rough idea of what we wanted in the garden and how we wanted it to look. We also made sure to use the space we had as much as possible, ensuring we picked the area which gets the most sun as our seating area. There is loads of ideas out there on different features for your garden as well as seating and spacing. It’s important to pick a design that works for you. We regularly sit out in the garden and so a seating area with sunlight was a priority for us.

With the design roughly in our heads, we then went about picking the flowers and other accessories for the garden. We wanted to ensure any plants or trees we picked were easy to maintain. In the past we have picked some plants which were perfect in the shop and then needed a lot of maintenance once at home. It was important for us to avoid this type of issue. This is where we found the landscape gardener particularly helpful.


Time and money

Did you set a time-line for completion of this project?

As we we’re in the midst of the global pandemic, the time at home allowed us to plan exactly what we wanted. Abiding by public health guidelines, we ensured it was safe for our landscape gardener to start the work.
We had put a timeline goal of one week to complete this project as we had a 21st birthday to host in our garden. We delivered the finished product just in time.

In terms of budget, we priced the work we knew was essential and then added the non-essentials we wanted to include. Once we had the final figure we headed to our local credit union, who discussed the best options for us.

They had a home improvement loan on offer with a tempting interest rate. The process was simple and efficient and allowed us to complete exactly what we wanted for our garden, without the worry of being unable to afford it.

They also worked out the monthly repayments and ensured that these repayments would be affordable for us every month. We couldn’t recommend this process enough, it really allowed us to finish off our summer garden, just in time for our sons 21st birthday!
This story was told as part of our #House2Home series and featured Ballygall Credit Union member Aoife O’Neill*. You can also keep an eye out for #House2Home across FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

If you need any help with budgeting or financial support with your project, (big or small) don’t hesitate to contact your local credit union - we’re here to help. 

*The names of credit union members have been changed to ensure their privacy.