It’s easy enough to neglect your garden over the winter months. Falling temperatures and miserable weather makes it less than appealing to spend any more time outside than necessary. Whilst this offers a great opportunity to focus on improving other areas of the home, it often means that our gardens aren’t in the best shape when summer comes back around.
With summer finally here, most of us outdoors folk will already be well into planning how to breathe new life into our garden this year. But instead of just regenerating your garden’s existing features, why not introduce something brand new?
Whether you’re a professional landscape artist looking for unique ideas to impress your clients or a DIY enthusiast looking to transform your outdoor space, here are some ideas to upgrade your garden this summer.
A new patio
Installing a new patio can transform the look of your whole garden. Whether you have a small, modern garden or a large space with lots of intricate features, block paving will help to make your outdoor space look aesthetically pleasing all year round.
Your opportunities are endless in terms of customisation too – whether you prefer sandstone or concrete paving, stretcher bond or 90-degree herringbone style, the choice is yours. Using the correct jointing compound for the job is essential and products such as the self-setting Sika FastFix All Weather are suitable for joints from 5mm wide, ensuring a professional, durable finish. These products are far easier to apply than traditional methods such as sand and cement, and with most offering weatherproof properties you could even start early and get your new patio in place during the rainy spring months. Why not check out our guide to the perfect patio for some specialist tips and tricks when applying any paving jointing compound?
Wood fired pizza oven
Seemingly one of the hottest garden trends of last year, homemade wood fired pizza ovens are a great way to add some character to your garden and simultaneously make planning meals easier for the summer months. After all, who doesn’t love pizza?
Building a wood fired pizza oven is a lot easier and cheaper than you might think too; all it takes is some bricks, builder’s sand, cement and a spare weekend. Of course, you could always buy an outdoor pizza oven, but you’re sure to save a load of money by getting your hands dirty. Another great thing about these homemade ovens is that they also double down as a great outdoor heater on those cooler summer nights.
Introducing a water feature has long been a popular way to transform a garden. Your options are endless too; water walls and sculpture fountains fit right in with modern gardens, whereas gardens with more of a vintage design look great with a water pump-style fountain or even a small pond. Water features are also guaranteed to attract more wildlife to your garden, from frogs and toads to dragonflies and birds, watch how the space around your water feature transforms over the coming months and years as mother nature works its magic.
Strategically-placed lighting is one of the easiest but most cost-effective ways to make your garden feel like a new space. Festoon lights and fairy lights can be hung from pretty much anywhere – strung up between poles and other garden objects, wrapped around trees or even placed on bushes and shrubs. You can find these for a reasonable price at most local builder’s merchants or even on Amazon.
Other popular lighting features include battery powered lanterns, LED wall lights or even candles. Don’t forget to choose solar-powered lighting where possible too – this is a great way to save on your electricity bill and reduce your impact on the environment at the same time.
With limited outdoor space in city-centre apartments and many new-build housing projects, vertical gardens are rapidly increasing in popularity as a way for people to grow fruit, veg and other plants. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, vertical gardens are “gardens” that are built upwards to save space.
Also known as “green walls”, these structures typically work through hydroponic farming – growing plants in sand, liquid or gravel instead of soil – and often include a built-in system that delivers water and nutrients to the plants. Saying that, this isn’t always the case – many homemade vertical gardens are nothing more than a set of shelves with several plant pots on each row. Whichever technique you choose, vertical gardens are a great way to maximise the space in your garden.
Give it a makeover
As gardens and outdoor spaces are left exposed to the weather all year round, they often require more maintenance than other parts of the home. Water damage in particular can leave patios, brick walls and other stone garden features with severe mould, algae and dirt. Rain and wind can even wear away at brick over time, which is why many building professionals apply weatherproof surface treatments to any exposed bricks, concrete or stone features. If your outdoor space is in need of some love, then why not spend some time giving it a makeover? Algae removers such as Everbuild Patio Wizard can get rid of any green growth with minimal effort. From here, don’t forget to apply a weatherproof acrylic coating such as 405 Path & Patio Seal.
Create a path
Creating a path is a great way to break up your garden into various sections. This can make the management of your garden far easier, dedicating different spaces to different types of plants. For smaller outdoor spaces, a semi-circle path from one side of your garden to the other or a straight path down the middle of your garden usually works well. For bigger outdoor spaces, the world is your oyster; you could have one path that leads to a small pond, one path that leads to a secluded bench, and another in-between your flower beds. Like the wood fired pizza oven, creating a garden path takes far less effort than you might expect too. With smaller gardens you’ll have no problem building out your path over a quiet weekend.
Whatever upgrades you have in mind for your garden this summer, there’s no better time to start planning than now. Before you know it, summer will be almost over and you won’t be able to fully reap the rewards from your efforts!