There’s no getting away from it - a garden overhaul can be expensive. Yet creating a functional garden that works for you and your household can offer valuable extra space. Somewhere to work, rest, play. Entertain children and friends. Somewhere to exercise. Somewhere to get closer to nature and take a break from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
If your garden is leaving you feeling like you need to call in the Groundforce team, take a look at Claire’s top 5 DIY design tips.
Before you go wild in the aisles of your local garden centre do a bit of research. If you don’t like deadheading, pruning and tying back, choose plants that are low maintenance.
For a garden that will delight for months instead of weeks, choose a mix of plants that flower at different times. For ultimate flexibility plant pots that can be grouped together, moved around or even attached to walls to fences for vertical interest and additional privacy screening.
Don’t forget that you don’t always have to pay a lot for plants. Take cuttings from your own garden, visit car boot sales and markets or ask people for cuttings of plants you love in their garden (never just assume you can take them - that’s not the way to keep your neighbours happy!).
If you’re starting from scratch, or want to invest a little more in plants that will last years. Invest in a handful of showstopper shrubs and perennials. Choose species that will add colour, structure and scent, and think about their ideal growing conditions.
Many average sized gardens only need a few statement trees, shrubs or plants to make an impact.
If your fences, decking or garden furniture are looking a bit worn, a lick of paint can work wonders. Breathe new life into them by opting for on trend colours or choosing timeless neutrals. In just one weekend your garden could be totally transformed.
Hard landscaping features like patios can be costly to replace. Tired or outdated slabs can be revamped with outdoor paints. Take a look at pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. We’ve seen gorgeous terrazzo paving created with a pot of paint and a bit of patience.
Trends come and go which means jumping on each one can be expensive.
Currently one of the biggest trends is for outdoor kitchens - largely as a result of the pandemic forcing our social life outdoors. But outdoor kitchens can be extremely expensive, and need a lot of space dedicated to them.
If you don't have a huge garden, or budget, you can still incorporate elements of the trend into your garden. Look out for old tables at markets or local recycling centres, they can be repainted and used to create outdoor kitchen ‘worktops’ or food prep areas. Add a BBQ (even a table top one will do the job), some shelving for your outdoor utensils and you’re good to go.
Garden furniture, plants, pots and decorative elements can be picked up at bargain prices if you’re prepared to shop around a bit. Whether you recycle pre-loved items or shop out of season, you could save hundreds - if not thousands - of pounds with a bit of patience, planning and creativity.
Cheap pots can be upcycled to add colour or interest, furniture is often cheaper out of season and bedraggled plants can often be rescued with a bit of TLC.
Take some time now, while it’s still chilly and you’re not ready to get stuck into jobs outside, to create your plan. Keep it somewhere you can see it regularly - a paper copy on the fridge and a picture of it on your phone. Then keep your eyes open for bargains!
A garden is always evolving and never finished. Embrace the process and enjoy the journey.
Garden design is a bit of a passion of Claire’s so if you'd like help designing the perfect garden for you, get in touch with Claire today; call 023 8063 2600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org