When you move into a new home that needs a bit of work, the garden is always the last priority. Even if you’ve been living somewhere a while, we all know they can quickly become unloved spaces, especially given the British weather that really only lets us use the space half of the year.
But they needn’t end up that nemesis on the bottom of your to-do list that never gets done. With these tips you can brighten up your garden quickly, cheaply and easily, and soon you’ll be dying for an excuse to invite people round for a barbecue!
Add Some Colour
This is the best way to bring an outdoor space alive, particularly if you’ve a lot of walls or terrace in various shades of grey and rust to contend with. Now, white obviously isn’t colour, but if your walls are looking grubby and ugly, a quick coat of white paint will work wonders to brighten the area, and will provide a fantastic backdrop to whatever bright colours you do add.
Paint doesn’t have to stop at the walls – you could use it to stencil patterns onto your terrace, or spruce up your garden furniture or fences…instead of a boring coat of brown woodstain, why not try something more bold? You can buy special coloured woodstains now, which protect like a stain, but are available in a range of colours and still allow the attractive woodgrain to show through. If your garden is mostly in pots, why not add a splash of colour to the pots themselves with paint, before planting them up with some colourful flowers?
Add Some Texture
This might seem a bit of a strange thing to say, because gardens are naturally full of texture, but it is amazing what some well considered natural additions can do. If you’ve got nothing but walls, consider covering them with natural reed screening, which will add warmth and contrast and help your garden to feel more organic.
Bark is also a great way to add texture, and it’s a natural product too. It can help slightly unloved flowerbeds and large planters to look polished again by covering up bare earth (and it will help stop weeds growing, double bonus!), or it can be a great way to create a safe play area for children in a garden with no lawn. You can even use it to cover unattractive pathways to help them blend in and feel more part of the garden.
An alternative to bark which can help add more structure to flowerbeds is gravel or pebbles. You can get these in lots of natural colours which can contrast or complement your planting, or go for faux brightly coloured ones for a really big impact.
Add Some Furniture
The reason gardens become unloved is that sometimes we forget they are there and only use them on occasion. Try to make your garden feel more like another room in your home, and hopefully you will start to use the space more.
The most important thing is somewhere comfy to sit. A bench (brightly stained or painted if you fancy) or a small patio set can make it feel much more useable and you might just find yourself having your morning cuppa out there once you’ve prettied the space up! It might even encourage other family members to use the space more. As ever, IKEA’s a great source for budget-friendly outdoor furniture – they even do hammocks if you’re feeling adventurous!
If you don’t want to buy new, then garden furniture can easily be picked up on eBay or local Facebook groups. If it is looking a bit shabby, a coat of spray paint (on metal) or stain will easily hide a multitude of sins.
So, those are my top tips for adding a little personality to your garden and helping it become a space that you will want to spend time in. For some more ideas, check out this post about getting your garden summer ready, and feel free to add your own garden hacks to the comments!
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