Crave Magazine

Upgrade Your Garden For Warmer Weather

With the sun finally shining again, often people feel inspired to give their garden a bit of a glow up in spring. But with so many different garden design ideas and styles out there, it’s not always easy to know what’s achievable for your space – or where to begin.

Below, Samantha Richards, garden gazebo expert at Gazeboshop has provided some practical spring garden ideas that will elevate your outdoor space, without breaking the bank.

1. Gravel your garden

Not only is it affordable, but opting for gravel in your garden is easy to lay, low maintenance and can also look very sophisticated.

You may need to dust the gravel and pebbles every now and then, but other than the occasional bit of weeding, that’s mostly the extent of all maintenance. By having no soil, the gravel acts as a barrier to germinating any weed seeds.

Gravel also comes in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes, which can add some texture and personality to your outdoor space ahead of the hosting months in summer. Whether you’re looking for smaller pebbles for a more subtle look or larger pebbles instead, there’s something for everyone.

It also ranges from marble, to slate, granite, pea and decomposed granite, so it’s important to do some thorough research and way up your preferences before going full steam ahead on this transformation.

2. Transform your garden with paint

Doing up your garden in spring doesn’t have to come at a huge cost to your bank balance either. Instead, you can completely transform the look of your outdoor space simply by using paint.

Whether you add a fresh lick of paint to your shed to refresh its weathered look or opt for a new colour for your fence to reflect the warmer months ahead, there are many options to choose from. For instance, colours such as royal blue, light green and sunshine yellow are often associated with the season of spring and can have a striking effect when natural light hits against it.

It’s also important to consider the mood you are trying to achieve in your garden when deciding on your paint colour. For instance, if you’re wanting to create a sense of calmness in this space or instead build an ‘active’ hub for socialising with friends, you can change the whole mood of your garden with colour!

Aside from liking the shade itself, if your garden is lacking in square footage then you’ll want to try every trick in the book to make it ‘feel’ bigger before inviting guests round – and the paint colour you choose will play an important role here.

While white is a common colour to use for achieving that fresh look, it’s best to avoid it when it comes to your garden – not only for practical reasons (mainly that dirt is highlighted even more) but a ‘brilliant’ white can look quite stark and create harsh lines for the eye. Instead, it’s safer to opt for off-white or more neutral tones in your garden as these will create a softer environment, opening up the space even more when the sun hits.

Our advice is not to choose any more than two or three main shades, otherwise the colour scheme in your garden may start to lack cohesion. You may also want to consider painting with a colour that co-aligns with any outdoor furniture or garden decor as this will really help to bring the space together.

3. Consider artificial grass

If you are struggling to keep your lawn looking nice all year round, it might be worth considering artificial grass instead. And let’s be honest, there’s no bigger eyesore in a garden than a patch of dead grass.

Moving to artificial grass for your garden doesn’t have to be costly either. For instance, there are a lot of factors that can influence your overall budget, such as your garden size, the cost of fitting the grass and the type of grass you opt for. First things first, order lots of samples before you commit to one, so you’re certain that you’ve found the right shade, material and price point for you.

Artificial grass doesn’t fade in the sun, it’s also low maintenance and pet-friendly too, making it a great option for busy households. The main responsibility once you’ve had artificial grass fitted is keeping it clean and tidy but this is a quick and relatively easy task to stay on top of; all you need is a brush to sweep up any fallen leaves and a pressure washer to remove those tougher stains.

Also, if you plan to put up a pop up gazebo in time for a spring BBQ or garden party this summer, you won’t have to worry about the gazebo damaging your lawn either – or facing the task of repairing it after months of no exposure to sunlight or water.

4. Make your own bird bath

Adding a bird bath into your garden is a great decorative item – and you’ll also have the joy of encouraging more wildlife into your space.

It doesn’t have to be costly either and can be a fun project to work on if you’re able to find a concrete planter on Facebook marketplace, and repurpose it into a homemade bird bath.

However, bear in mind that lots of planters have drainage holes which won’t hold water. If yours does, start by coating it with a non toxic polyurethane sealant and apply 2 – 3 coats to protect the bird bath and stop the water from seeping through the concrete. Then leave to dry overnight.

To fill the hole, use a non-toxic silicone caulk and put it over the bottom of a rock and then place it neatly over the hole. You can also fill it up with stones.

5. Upgrade your patio space

Sometimes all you need is a thorough clean and some stylish decor to completely transform a patio space. To clean, use a broom and strong detergent as well as applying weed preventatives between the joints of your paving slabs. Next, if you have a power wash, it’s worth using this to remove any built-up dirt and ensure the cleaning product has been rinsed away properly.

Once the cleaning is done, consider purchasing an outdoor rug, adding some string fairy lights and getting an outdoor table with chairs to make your garden look even more inviting. You can also accessorise with pots and planters to bring some colour and texture into the space.

If your garden is relatively small, besides using colour to make the space feel bigger, you could also look to bring a mirror outside for a similar effect. Strategically placing a mirror in your garden will help to create the illusion of more space, as well as helping to capture and reflect the natural light, and showing off all the best angles of your planting efforts.

6. Build a Hugelkultur bed

Of German origin, hugelkultur translates to ‘mound or hill culture’ and it’s the process of layering logs, sticks and organic waste into a garden bed.

If you are looking to switch things up in your garden this spring, then using the Hugelkultur method for filling raised garden beds will bring multiple benefits. Not only is it cost efficient since buying bags of soil and compost isn’t cheap, it’s environmentally friendly too as the logs and branches you bury in the ground undergo carbon sequestration. Overtime, it will also help with water retention as Hugelkultur tends to hold water very effectively and will improve your soil too due to how nutrient dense it is.

To build one, firstly you will need to clear the area where you’ll be putting your Hugelkultur bed and make sure it’s level. Then place a single layer of cardboard to keep the weeds at bay and add some big logs, ensuring there are small gaps (roughly 2 inches) between them. Cover this with 1 – 2 inches of soil and then get your hose and water it down so that the soil fills in the small spaces between the wood.

Add medium sized branches and sticks to the soil covered logs and repeat the cover process. Afterwards, add plant waste, leaves and grass clippings and press this down before finally adding compost.

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