As summer draws to a close, you’re probably evaluating your garden and wondering how to make it even better for next year. Check out these garden makeover ideas.
Upgrade your outdoor dining experience with a stylish patio
This patio is not just a space for relaxation or outdoor dining – it’s also part of the journey from the house to the garden room
Summer 2020 has been challenging in some ways, but no-one can deny that the weather has been sublime. With restaurants closed, “eating out” has come to mean al-fresco dining in the garden. Having a dedicated dining area makes eating out into pure pleasure. A sturdy table and chairs mean that the whole family can sit comfortably and enjoy their meal. No more balancing plates on laps whilst trying not to kick over the drinks that are on the floor.
When not being used for dining, the table can become a work desk, an art studio, or somewhere to study.
A roomy patio with nice level surfaces and attractive pavers is the perfect setting for your dining table. Add shade, shelter, and lighting so that it can be used around the clock. Little wonder that patios are at the top of our list of garden makeover ideas.
A winding path makes a trip around the garden into an adventure
Paths are an essential part of a garden. They’re a practical way of moving around without getting your feet muddy. But they can also embrace the concept of hide and reveal. Whilst a straight path leads you directly to where you want to be, a winding path creates a journey. As part of your garden makeover you could combine a winding path with clever planting. Perhaps design in some secret seating areas, and maybe add pieces of art to create lots of interest in the garden.
Tame those slopes with terracing
Undulations in a garden are great but can be difficult to manage. Build retaining walls and create terraces to bring a whole new dimension to your plot. Plants viewed at eye level look completely different to the ones that sit at your feet.
Each terrace could have a different function. For example, one could be for dining, one for playing, and one for growing vegetables.
When designing and building retaining walls it’s vital to make sure that the structure is strong, durable, and properly drained. Always consult an expert before you begin.
A series of steps, terraces, and retaining walls adds interest to this garden and is a great way to cope with the sloping ground.
Use a pretty pergola to add height to your garden
One of the biggest mistakes I see in garden design is concentrating all of the interest on the floor. Great pavers, beautiful planting and maybe a water feature too. But your garden is 3D. Use structures to lift your gaze away from the ground and up to the treetops and the sky. A pergola can be used to create arches, tunnels or shaded seating areas. They’re also great at blocking the view from neighbouring upstairs windows. Plus they’re the perfect foil for growing climbing plants. Imagine how pleasant the trip to the shed could be if you were bathed in the heady scent of honeysuckle and roses. Gorgeous.
Showcase your favourite art
Art doesn’t have to be indoors. You can buy all sorts of beautiful items to adorn your garden. Trending at the moment is stained glass but I also love using natural materials to create garden features. Rocks, boulders, aggregates and architectural plants combine to make eyecatching and unique features. Your garden makeover could also incorporate water, to bring soothing sounds.
Art can bring a strong theme to your garden. Add sculpture for an Italianate garden, nautical items for a coastal themed garden, screens and cushions for a Moroccan feel. Use unique features to help your garden remind you of your favourite places and people.
This garden has been designed and created especially to complement the bespoke art sculptures within it
Make your garden more wildlife-friendly
Whether we realise it or not, most gardens are shared with a plethora of wild creatures. From insects to birds, amphibians to mammals, UK wildlife is diverse and fascinating.
Take the time to relax quietly out of doors and see how many garden visitors you can spot. Want to see more? There are lots of little tweaks you can make to encourage wildlife to visit – or even inhabit your garden.
- Make a hedgehog hole at the bottom of your fences so that Mrs. Tiggywinkle can travel from one garden to the next.
- Put some bird nesting boxes in quiet spots around the garden.
- Add a water feature – it needn’t be large to attract thirsty birds, bees, and other beneficial creatures.
- Think hard about the planting. Aim to have lots of pollinator-friendly flowers for at least 9 months of the year. And create sheltered spots for overwintering creatures.
Whatever you do – please think about how you can bring wildlife welfare into your garden makeover ideas.
Refresh your beds and borders
Every garden needs a refresh from time to time. Shrubs outgrow their spaces, herbaceous perennials don’t last forever and somehow the borders just get – well –boring.
Trimming or removing woody plants, splitting and removing perennials, and bringing in some fresh plants makes a bit difference to your outdoor space.
If you’re not sure what to plant where it’s worth investing in the services of a garden designer. A professionally designed planting plan takes the guesswork out of choosing and arranging plants. Finish the whole thing off with some smart edging and a nice thick layer of mulch.
When investing in a garden makeover, you’ll want to get the best possible return for your spend. Lighting means that you can enjoy your outdoor space at any time of the day or night and in any weather.
Think about illuminating your outdoor dining area to extend those lovely summer evenings spent with family and friends. Instead of shutting the curtains of an evening, light up the garden so that you can revel in the view…..and maybe spot some night time wildlife in action.
Don’t forget to light steps and paths to ensure safe travels around the garden after dusk. I also find that garden lighting comes in handy when it’s time to let the dog out for his bedtime toilet break.
Brainstorming your garden makeover ideas
If you are thinking of making some changes to your garden, the team at Manor Landscapes are brimming with garden design ideas. Get in touch today to arrange a site visit so that you can find out what it will cost to bring your ideas to life.