Let’s face it: I’ve never been into gardening. I mean, I like to sit out in the garden, soak up some rays, pop on some music and sip a glass of wine. I thoroughly enjoy a good garden and all the benefits that come with it.
But pass me the gloves and give me full reign of a garden project, and there’s slight fear in my eyes.
The most you’ll catch me doing is planting flowers or herbs – I’m quite good at keeping a herb garden flourishing. Also, I’m partial to a bit of painting. I enjoy painting fences and garden pots. But renovations or big projects? Nope!
While Summer is approaching, and we’re in lockdown, my other half has managed to rope me into ‘assisting’ with a few garden jobs. It’s kinda made me see that it can be enjoyable, but in all honesty, there’s so much you can do easily that makes such a big difference, without embarking on a renovation job.
So if you want to spruce up your garden for Summer, or you are planning to host a few parties (obviously by yourself or with those in your home during isolation), and you’re a gardening phobe like me, you might find some of these tips handy!
1. Add some colour
Nothing says summer like a colourful home and garden — and that doesn’t have to mean just colourful flowers! You can focus on a selection of key, stand out flowers in your conservatory, garden or window ledges which look out to your garden to start leading the colour trail.
For me, I like to order a fresh bunch of flowers for my kitchen window ledge every 2 weeks, which is easily done when you can get hold of so many affordable yet stunning flower deliveries online. Also, if you know of someone else in your situation who appreciates a good looking home and garden but doesn’t want to get green fingered, these make beautiful gifts to send via post.
To go alongside your bright blooms, you can easily brighten up that back garden by re-painting any old flower pots or benches. In my garden, every Summer I notice that most pots will have faded, and also need a good clean!
Look around at all the pots and clean them up first, then decide what needs a lick of paint. By painting your fences and shed, you’ll also notice an immediate smarter looking garden.
For gardens, look at different fresh tones of Mint, Pebble, Charcoal Grey and Moroccan Red which are popular colours set to big for this Summer!
2. Protect and refresh your fences
I lightly touched on it above, but by looking after your fences, it will completely spruce up your outdoor space. Every year, your fences start to get more and more damaged, as they start to look tired when the wood starts to chip and the colour fades from 12 months of weather conditions.
Spruce up grey looking fences with a quality fence paint. Choose one which colours and fortifies your fence at the same time, with defence that lasts 5 years. You can get cheaper alternatives which last for up to 2 years, but it’s a real better investment to opt for the ones that last for up to 5 years. If you can, anyway!
3. Invest in the best garden furniture
If you’re going to spend a fair bit of time sat outside enjoying your garden, you may as well do it in style. Plus, if you invest in garden furniture which looks the part and acts as a bit of a ‘wow’ focal point, it immediately adds some ‘sass’ to your garden.
The style you choose can set a theme for your outdoor space, too. For example, a wooden rustic bench style eating area and table gives a nod to a more woodland style, and a big comfy wicker and cushion seating set lends itself to a cosier, more homely style.
For me, I like a modern, contemporary feel – somewhere I can embrace outdoor dining. I’ve spotted a number of dining sets from Cox & Cox which include table and chairs crafted from treated acacia wood, which act as sturdy yet beautiful toned wood seating areas. Think about what you prefer. For it’s that statement effect with a touch of industrial vibes, with wooden elements contrasting with steel frames.
4. Give your garden a thorough tidy
This is a task I’m quite good at! My other half can do all the digging and sorting, while I make things tidy and pretty!
The same was you would straighten up your house before guests arrive, look at ways to tidy and neaten up your garden, including giving everything a deep clean. It can even start with jet washing your decking, if you have a jet wash. If you don’t, then a bucket of warm soapy water can do the trick.
Pull out any weeds and start to brush any old leaves away from the Autumn. Top up gravel areas with cleaner, brighter gravel. And here’s a another little tip you might not have thought of: clean the windows that look out to your garden! With a good tidy and clean, you’ll immediately, start to see your garden take shape again.
5. Give your lawn some TLC
It’s always good to save one day aside where you focus on your lawn on the run up to Summer. Aside from the obvious point, which is to give it a good trimming, look at keeping on top of weeds with weed killer.
Spend some time of neatening the edges, and make sure you are topped up with lawn feed for that luscious, fresh lawn.
6. Make a plan for optimum growing
If you’re keen to grow new flowers, plants of vegetables this year, the best thing is to start planning this now. Some vegetables, for example, take a couple of months to start growing, so Spring is ideal to start potting them up and growing them.
If it’s new flowers and plants, look at your ‘zones’ in the garden to see which flowers would work where, and identify the areas which get the best sunlight.
Ask yourself what would make your garden look ‘prettier’ and welcoming. With some people, it’s less is more. A smaller garden with too much going on can look messy and un-kept. However, if you have a larger space, it’s nice to look out at some colour and texture.
Remember, you don’t have to get stuck in like a real gardener. Just by following the tips above, your garden can start looking like a real enjoyable place to spend some time.