With summer approaching, now’s a great time to spruce up your garden so you can enjoy a glass of wine on the patio or an alfresco meal.
Any garden, big or small, can become your little oasis of calm to unwind in after a busy day. Or it can be the perfect social space to entertain family and friends at that long-awaited BBQ. We all make sure our homes are tidy, though we often forget about our gardens. But plants and gardens have the power to uplift us and that’s why we urge everyone to get involved in National Gardening Week this year—the country’s biggest annual celebration of gardening— taking place from Monday 26th April to Sunday 2nd May 2021.
Whatever you want from your garden, it’s important to keep it looking neat and tidy so you can really enjoy your little haven, taking in fresh air while soaking up some Vitamin D. So we’ve put together some easy ways to keep your garden looking fresh, with a few simple tricks to give your outdoor space an easy makeover. Your friends will think you’re a true master of gardening!
Clean your patio
The first step to making your garden an inviting and relaxing space is to make sure it’s clean and tidy. This means getting rid of any fallen leaves and rubbish, and giving your patio a good clean. You’ll be able to notice the difference straight away by washing away the dirt that has built up over time. A good old fashioned broom and a bucket of water will do the trick, or a pressure washer will really make your patio sing. Get in between paving slabs and dig up any moss to get the best results.
Eliminate those weeds
If you’ve not touched your garden all winter, you might find it has been taken over by pesky weeds. There are two different ways to remove weeds and prevent them from coming back: manually and with weed killers. Weed puller tools are really easy to use by simply pulling the unwanted plant out from the root. This tool makes hard work easy by eliminating all digging and bending, reducing any strain on your body. Or try using a homemade remedy of salt and vinegar instead of pricey weed killers to get rid of those persistent lawn pests for good.
Paint your fence
To give your garden an instant makeover, spruce up your wooden fences by sanding them down and giving them a lick of paint. You’ll be surprised by how much it transforms your garden. Opt for pretty pastels for a relaxed vibe, or something bright and funky to inject some bold colour into your space. Just choose colours that will complement the look for your garden. Or if you want a more understated look, paint your fence black to make it blend in, providing a striking backdrop for greenery and jewel-coloured plants. Whatever colour you go for, make sure you choose weatherproof paint which is suitable for use outdoors.
Every good garden deserves some colourful plants. But if you want something low maintenance and long-lasting, plant some perennials! This type of plant generally lives for more than two years, and varieties include: lavender, peonies and chrysanthemums. A cost effective way to fill flower beds with great looking plants is to buy perennials that you can divide. Simply tip the plant out of its pot and divide into two or three bunches, each with some stalks and root. Dig a hole and plant each part in your flower bed. Next year when they’ve grown and spread, you can dig them up and divide them again to gain even more plants.
Invest in some smart garden furniture
Investing in some nice wooden or rattan outdoor furniture can turn your garden into a relaxing space to watch the world go by. Or just by merely cleaning your existing outdoor furniture and adding some cushions and throws will give your garden a fresh new look. Or why not upcycle your old tired furniture and give it a new lease of life in your garden? An old sink could be turned into a quirky planter, or an old coffee table into a chic new bench. And you can even make your garden ‘cosy’ but adding an outdoor rug to inject a pop of colour into your space.
Make a homemade bird feeder
Welcome wildlife into your garden by hanging a bird feeder or install a bird table or bird bath. It doesn’t get much more relaxing than the sound of birds singing on a summer’s day. In fact, research has shown that listening to the sound of birds can help lower stress and fatigue, as well as helping to combat anxiety. If you’re looking for a cheap way to attract birds to your garden, wash out old tin cans, then paint them and fill them with bird seed to make a homemade bird feeder.
Add colour to your pots
Painting old plant pots is such a quick and easy way to give your garden an instant makeover. You can give your pots a new lease of life and display them proudly in your garden with some complementary coloured plants or flowers – and they make great personalised gifts too. Keep it simple by painting them the same colour all over, or inject some personality into them by painting on quirky patterns. Just make sure you use weather-proof paint to keep your designs looking fresh and colourful.
Hang some outdoor fairy lights
Hanging lights is a super simple way to bring a pretty glow to your patio. Look for outdoor fairy lights that are safe to use in the rain, and arrange them through a tree, or attach them to your fence and furniture. They can be run from a plug inside the house, making them a quick and easy way to brighten up your garden – perfect for an evening BBQ or a few alfresco cocktails with the girls.
Go green with an allotment patch
Creating a space to grow your own fruit and vegetables can add interest to your garden, as well as giving you a real sense of achievement. Eating a salad with homegrown tomatoes, or preparing a Sunday roast complete with potatoes from your very own garden makes for an even more enjoyable meal. And you don’t need a massive garden to create your own allotment patch. Simply corner off a section of your garden, or you can even use planters, window boxes or hanging baskets to grow your veggies, as shallow-rooted plants, including lettuces and peppers can yield in soil of around 6-inches deep.
Create a DIY water feature
Another great way to attract wildlife to your garden is with a pond. Water features can be expensive, but it’s possible to make one on a low budget. Simply collect pebbles and stones, choose the perfect spot in your garden and dig a hole. Protect the bottom with a pond liner (or tarpaulin) and hide it using the pebbles and rocks. Then all you need to do is fill it with water! To stop your pond from flooding in heavy downpours, consider implementing an overflow area by creating a drainage channel to a safe area of lawn. Just remember to cover your pond using a rigid metal grille if you have young grandchildren, and never leave them alone around any kind of open water.
Remember you don’t need a big garden to enjoy the benefits of nature. You can grow some plants on your balcony, invest in a few window boxes, or even just have some indoor plants to bring the outside in. It’s also important to remember to pause from time to time and appreciate the natural world around you when you go for a walk. It’s proven that plants and gardening have a positive effect on our mental health and happiness as they bring us closer to nature, so spending a little time sprucing up your garden will create a wonderful and relaxing space to enjoy the great outdoors.