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Transform your garden

CALIFORNIA SHUTTERS 21/04/2016 10:38:01 Inspiration

Are your front and back gardens doing your home justice? If they’re nothing but a home for wheelie bins and a patch of paving or grass, it’s time to take them in hand. These easy makeovers will turn them from best ignored to best in class.

Pic: Dunelm

Plant a climber

Even pocket handkerchief size plots can squeeze in some points of interest. Try softening the front or back wall of your house with a climber, which won’t need a lot of space on the ground. Think clematis, wisteria, honeysuckle… Don’t forget to check that your favourite climber’s compatible with the direction the wall faces before you stick your hand in your pocket at the garden centre, though, otherwise it won’t be happy.

Conceal the bins

No way you can put those giants in the back garden? Then camouflage is the way to go. We know you’re handy (or know someone who is), so what about making them a home of their own in wood that’ll blend in? If you don’t have time for DIY, opt for screens in hazel or woven willow instead.

Pic: Dobbies

Create style with furniture

Let the garden tables and chairs take the lead to get the look you love. Fan of pretty cottage gardens? Opt for delicate wrought-iron style designs, or traditional wooden furniture. After a contemporary plot? Weatherproof woven sofas and armchairs will look sophisticated. Adore the idea of Mediterranean chic? Choose café-style tables and chairs in brilliant tints.

Introduce more colour

Outdoor paints and stains will brighten up your garden at low cost and without too much effort. Give the Cinderella treatment to an ugly shed; soften the impact of a fence or wall by painting it in a gentle green or blue that’ll harmonise with the plants; or give a large expanse of wall a whole new look with a fresh shade.

Pic: Big Garden Pot Company

Put in a pond

We did say easy makeovers, so we’re not suggesting digging out and lining when you want swift results. A pond in a pot is possible, though, and has the same appeal, albeit on a small scale. You’ll need a planter that doesn’t come with the pre-drilled drainage hole – for obvious reasons.

Go vertical

It’s great to have plants at eye level, but large shrubs can be expensive. For a low-budget solution, wall hang some shelves where you can display small, low cost plants in pots at eye level. Choose bright blooms and interesting foliage and, if you want to make a real splash, go for pots in a selection of attention-grabbing colours, too.

Pic: Laura Ashley

Make your garden bigger

OK, this isn’t actually going to give you more space, but it will create the illusion of a bigger garden. Invest in a garden mirror and the reflection of the greenery opposite will appear as if it’s another area of your plot. Result: the impression of a larger garden without more work.

Size up containers

Container gardening’s a good option if you’re thinking of moving on soon, or you’re short on time to care for flowerbeds and borders. For best results, go for groups of generously sized planters and they’ll make an attractive feature on their own. Small designs will get lost within the space and just don’t have the same impact.



Pic: California Shutters

Look at the windows

The view into the front window as you walk up the path is part of the overall impression a front garden creates. We think you’ll agree, therefore, that a significant flash of curtain lining isn’t the loveliest option. Replace your curtains with shutters, though, and the view’s improved. White’s classic and smart, or select a gorgeous colour that could repeat the shade of one of your favourite blooms if you use our Colour Match service.


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