You don’t have to completely overhaul your garden to improve it. Here are eight easy ways you can make a big difference to your outdoor space.
Is tatty furniture, tired paving and an uninspiring display of plants getting you down? If your garden is falling short of expectations, it can be difficult to know where to start. And if, like most people, you are constrained by time as well as budget, that dream garden may feel out of reach. However, there are many quick and good value ways to upgrade your garden. Investing just a little time and money can give you a great return on investment, both increasing the value of your property and enhancing your quality of life.
Boundaries are an often overlooked but pivotal feature of any garden. Consider whether you can refresh the walls, fences or hedges surrounding your patch. You can turn a boring fence into a key feature by adding a trellis and buying a couple of climbing plants. A plain wall could be made beautiful if you paint it your favourite colour and add some wall planters.
The surfaces you choose for your garden have a huge impact on how you can enjoy the space. However, people often forget that they are not permanent and can be changed. If you are struggling to find the time and motivation to mow a lawn, consider opting for something lower maintenance. If uneven paving slabs are causing you stress, remember: you’re not stuck with them forever.
When choosing surfaces, be practical and think about how you will use the garden throughout the year. Many people find that, once winter brings wet or icy weather, that deck they installed for summer barbecues becomes dangerously slippery. That’s why non-slip decking is the best year-round option. While installing a deck may seem like a major project, it is a relatively easy way to transform an outdoor space. For a really simple option, Gripsure anti-slip decking kits or decking tiles allow you to create a safe and beautiful deck in a fraction of the time.
Most of us have made bad decisions with our planting over the years. Whether it’s placing a sun-loving shrub in the shade or forgetting to water our pots, we don’t always get it right. It’s easy to waste money by buying plants that are not right for your garden or lifestyle. Be realistic about what you can grow. If you are a keen gardener then you may be happy to spend time tending and nurturing your garden. You can save money by growing plants from seed and propagate them by taking cuttings. Those who are less green fingered, however, can opt for plants that need little attention, such as hardy evergreen shrubs. The RHS has some great advice on low maintenance gardens.
Adding pots can be a great way to instantly improve your garden but they do need regular watering. Choosing larger pots and grouping them together will make this quicker and easier. If you are short on time, you can still have a beautiful garden. Just check on the ideal conditions for plants before you buy.
We’re spending more time in our gardens than ever and, during the pandemic, our outdoor spaces have become crucial for entertaining friends and family. That means you probably need a decent set of garden furniture to make the most of your outdoor space. Take stock of what you have to see if it can be improved.
If you are on a budget and not able to replace your furniture, you may be able to improve its appearance for little cost. Timber tables and chairs can be given a new lease of life with a lick of paint. A colourful outdoor cloth will conceal an unattractive table, while outdoor cushions can make old chairs look beautiful and feel comfortable.
If you want to give your garden an instant lift, add some accessories. An ornament, rug or wall hanging can add a splash of colour and individuality to your space, creating a homely feel.
For an environmentally friendly way to achieve a unique look, consider second hand or upcycled items. There are many stunning salvage antiques out there, which can be repurposed for the garden: from cast iron baths to stone statues. Many people create stunning garden pieces using reclaimed materials. Local man Peter Willows makes planters using offcuts from our decking, donating all the profits to charity.
The good news for the reluctant gardener is that untidy gardens are great for wildlife! However, if you want your garden to look stunning but also welcoming to birds, bees and butterflies, consider creating a natural space. This could be a patch of lawn that you do not mow. Allowing the grass to grow and sowing some wildflower seeds will create a haven for bees, butterflies and other pollenating insects.
Simply adding a bird feeder and bird bath to your garden can improve your quality of life. For a minimal cost, you can enjoy spending time out on the deck watching the birds in the early morning or late on a summer’s evening. You can download a free guide, Welcome wildlife to your garden, from the RSPB for some good tips on making your garden more wildlife friendly.
Remember, you do not have to tackle the whole garden at once. Why not choose one area to focus on? A neglected corner of the garden, which offers a lovely view or catches the evening sun, could be the perfect place for a table and chairs. Add a few pots of colourful flowering plants and you can create a lovely space. The area immediately outside your back door could be ideal for growing a few culinary herbs. Or perhaps your garden deck could be given a new lease of life with a few accessories and a good clean. Start small and you can achieve big results.
If you do not yet have the budget to change your garden, tidying it up will make a difference. Check the borders for any weeds, prune overgrown plants and clear away anything that you no longer want in your garden.
Keeping your deck clean and free of debris will significantly enhance its appearance and performance. We recommend taking a few simple steps to maintain Gripsure non-slip decking. Give it a regular sweep with a stiff brush and clean it once a year with a pressure washer to remove ground in dirt or algae. After an afternoon spent weeding, clearing away any waste materials and sweeping your deck you can sit and relax, admiring the results of your hard work.
You don’t have to spend a fortune or replace everything to upgrade your garden. Making a few small changes can really add value to your home and help you and family enjoy more time outdoors.