“Gardening does not come naturally to me if you can’t already tell. I don’t know the first thing about plants (and least of all how to keep them alive), but I decided it was about time I got outdoors and tackled the mess.”
Have you neglected your garden a little longer than you should? Is it starting to resemble a mini jungle, rather than someone’s backyard? Don’t worry, I’m not judging you. When Harry and I first moved into our house, the garden had been left a little worse for wear. As our priority was sorting out the interior of the house first and foremost, we’ve been happily turning a blind eye as to what was growing out there. For over a year. Gulp.
Yes, gardening does not come naturally to me if you can’t already tell. I don’t know the first thing about plants (and least of all how to keep them alive), but I decided it was about time I got outdoors and tackled the mess so that we could enjoy the last of the summer evenings. Plus, Harry and I had the great idea to throw a BBQ party – hence, mild panic kicked in at the state of the garden. I’m a little house proud, and the last thing I wanted was to feel like everyone was judging this un-kept space (although realistically, they most likely wouldn’t care). But, I roped in my mum (as you do), who is far more green-fingered than me, and asked for her help. Luckily, she kindly said yes.
So, for any of you who have no idea where to start with your garden, want to spruce it up a little but not take on too much of a challenge in one go, and are looking for a quick and easy guide as to how to do just that (whilst on a budget) you’ve come to the right place! Here’s 3 simple ways you can take to give your garden the TLC it desperately needs:
1. Create a controlled #plantproblem.
If you’re anything like me, you may be slightly obsessed with plants. According to a recent article, us millennials are supposedly obsessed with (house)plants because we can’t afford children – seems legit. So maybe that’s why? Whatever the reason may be, introducing some (or a lot of) flowers and plants to your garden will not only instantly brighten up your space, but it also means you’re more likely to spend time outdoors – you now have something nice to look at! And, as they require watering (yes, a little work is needed to keep these looking lovely), you’re more likely to maintain other aspects of your garden too while you’re at it. It’s a win-win situation!
Top tip: When purchasing flowers, try to opt for perennial plants – these come back year after year, so you don’t have to keep going out to buy more! They may be slightly more expensive, but in my eyes, it’s an investment worth doing.
2. Invest in some seating.
What’s the point of having a nice garden if you can’t actually sit outside to enjoy it? Seating is a must in my opinion. And no, it doesn’t have to be expensive. I bought a second hand bench from Gumtree at £20, added a lick of fresh paint, and it looks as good as new! I also then invested in a bistro set from B&Q for £70, so we have some additional seating when friends come over. Both make the garden look so much more inviting, and you’ll now have somewhere to sit out when the weather’s nice (yes, that one week of sunshine we get with our British Summer time…)
Top tip: Take a look at how much space your garden has. This may sound silly, but you’ll need to consider whether a bench, or a table and chairs are more suitable for the space you have. Don’t just get something you like without thinking about it! Which area of your garden has the sun on it for the longest? Always try to place your seating where the sun sets, so you can sit out for even longer!
3. Get some hygge lighting.
I love a bit of lighting to set the mood. And I love it just as much when it’s in the garden. Sure, we have an outdoor light, but this isn’t exactly what I mean. There’s a huge selection of outdoor lighting nowadays, so you’re spoilt for choice. And yes, it can be cheap, and it can be good! Shop around in places like Home Bargains, B&M, Poundshop, B&Q, Homebase and Aldi – you’ll be surprised what you can get your hands on!
I popped down to Home Bargains and opted for some fairy lights to hang down the outside wall, along with a string of white bulb lights to go around the shed – my absolute favourites! To finish it off, I also popped to B&Q and bought some crackle ball lights, which I’ve placed directly in the ground to light up the pathway. Sound a little overload? It’s not, I promise. Adding some lighting instantly transforms your garden into a super cosy space when the sun goes down – and it helps that it makes your garden look cute too!
Top tip: When buying outdoor lights, always opt for solar lighting. It takes the hassle out of battery run lights as the sun does the charging for you!