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It's not just the house which can do with a spring clean and a declutter. If you're lucky enough to have a garden or patio area, no matter how small, there are lots of ways you can make it look more appealing.
It’s not just the house which could do with a spring clean and a declutter. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or patio area, no matter how small, there are lots of ways you can make it look more appealing.
And don’t be put off by the lack of British summer. If you do the legwork now, it means you can enjoy spending time in the garden whenever the sun does make an appearance!
From fun activities like buying cheap garden accessories to ones which require a bit of labour, these quick, easy and cheap ideas will help to make your garden look cleaner, tidier and prettier without you having to spend lots of cash.
Cheap garden ideas and updates don’t always require green fingers – in fact, even scrubbing the patio after a long winter or adding a bit of paint to the woodwork can breathe life back into your outdoor space. And it doesn’t have to just be you doing all of the graft either – get the kids a trowel or a brush and get them helping out in the fresh air too.
Pretty pots can always be purchased pre-planted (we won’t tell if you don’t), giving you a bright and beautiful display and the chance to try growing your own fruit or veg as well.
Your garden should be an area to relax in and enjoy once all of the hard work is done, so don’t discount the value of a good patio set or barbecue either. You can pick them up relatively inexpensively at your local garden centre or hardware store, and many larger supermarkets are doing fantastic discount ranges too.
So round up your team of helpers, get outdoors, and work together turn the garden into your favourite ‘room’ of the house.
When the sun finally starts to shine (fingers crossed!), you’ll be so glad you made the effort!
If your garden's lacking in colour, buy a colourful wooden planter or
two (filled with lovely plants of course) which you can stand them on
the patio or on the lawn. It doesn't matter what sort of planter you
buy, but raised planters are particularly useful if you're growing
delicate flowers or fruit and vegetables as the raised part gives more
protection against pests (and any pets). If you've got old plant pots,
you could give them a new lease of life by painting them - go for calm
summer pastels or brighter bolder colours.
Online gardening store Garden4Less has a good-value selection of modern granite planters and terracotta ones with a more Mediterranean feel.
Many gardeners recommend fertilising the lawn a few times a year (between one and four times). How long it takes depends on the size of your garden but on average, it should take a couple of hours maximum.
Fertiliser can make the grass look a lot healthier by filling up bare patches, preventing weeds and also making the lawn more long-lasting and resistant to foot 'traffic', pets and pests. You can pick up reasonably priced fertilisers from supermarkets, DIY stores and local garden centres. It's an easy way to make the garden look greener and more inviting.
You don't need fancy tools to spruce up the garden, but if you don't have what you need and you're on a budget, check out Freecycle and Freegle to see if anyone's giving anything away. eBay is another good resource - as people update their own gadgets, they're often selling older ones at a discount.
might get lucky and even find the more expensive items such as lawn
mowers and strimmers for next to nothing. eBay can also be a good place
to buy seeds (for flowers, herbs, vegetables etc) especially if you're a
novice and just want to test your green finger skills to begin with.
Garden lighting can add a lot of character to your garden and means you can sit out on the warmer nights. The choice of garden lighting is huge, from battery-operated lamps to solar-powered lights. To save money (and do your bit for the environment), solar-powered lighting is a good option. The variety is immense, from tea lights to lamps, many of which can be staked into the ground (perfect if you don't like DIY).
Alternatively, you can go for energy-efficient bulbs to save on bills if you're looking at non-solar-powered lights. Draping string lights around a plant or over furniture can look lovely in the evenings as well.
Fancy water features aren't what we're talking about. We mean something as simple as a bird bath. Not only will it look great, but it will attract birds to the garden which is perfect if you've got kids as they will love looking out for the birds as they visit your garden for a quick wash.
Gardening website greenfingers.com has a lovely selection of simple bird baths from as little as £9.99.
Top tip: Attract extra wildlife to your garden (if you want to!) by building a teepee-shaped pile of logs for hedgehogs to burrow in.
An old crumbling fence can make a garden look a bit withered so invest a
weekend into bringing it back to life. You'll need to sand it down and
use an undercoat or primer before giving it a new lick of paint but it
will make all the difference. It doesn't have to be white or brown
either - have a look in your local DIY store for other colours which
Most sheds can stand the test of time but if yours looks
more shabby than chic, all it needs is a scrub down and a paint. Sheds
don't have to be brown either - you could go for blue and white for a
'beach hut' feel or go the whole hog and turn your shed into a cosy
garden retreat with wicker furniture if you've got alternative storage
space for the lawnmower and other gardening gear.
Just as adding colourful cushions to the lounge, new towels in the bathroom and different bed linen in the bedroom can change that space, you can update your garden by adding small inexpensive touches such as candle holders for the patio table and new cushions for the patio set. Even a vintage-style watering can, bird bath or a barbecue set can give the garden a more welcoming feel.
If you've got any outdoor metal decorations, give them a new coat of outdoor paint to spruce them up. Supermarkets, Argos, Wilkinson and garden centres are great places to pick up garden accessories on a budget.
Top tip: Got rusty garden furniture that's seen better days? Slice a potato in half and apply a little baking powder, then rub onto the affected areas. The acids in the potato react with the soda and dissolve those unsightly brown patches.
As with spring-cleaning the house, often what your garden needs is
simple cleaning. If you've got a concrete patio, give it a really good
clean with a hose or bucket of soapy water and scrubbing brush or a
If the dirt refuses to budge, you might want
to hire a steam cleaning machine or pressured washer to shift it. You'll
be surprised at the difference it makes without all the muck.
Decluttering isn't restricted to the house - gardens are often littered
with bicycles, broken plant pots, toys and tools. Give it a good tidy-up
with the usual advice - store what you might use, recycle anything that
you won't (and can be recycled) and bin the rest.
how much better your garden will look when you've got rid of all the
bits and pieces lying around and you'll also be inspired to sit out
there more often or buy colourful accessories now there's more space.
Weeds are like dust. You can get rid of it but it will still return - however, that doesn't mean you don't dust! Weeds can really make a garden look messy and uninviting so pluck up the courage and book in a gardening session. It's free exercise and the garden will look great.
One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to de-weed is to use a kitchen knife and scrape the weeds out from the root. You can add weedkiller to the lawn to keep them at bay too. Just think of it as an hour or two's worth of free exercise with a well deserved cuppa and cake when you're done.
Top tip: For a chemical free solution that won't ruin your slabs or grass, pour boiling water onto the offending area. The weeds should shrivel up, and eventually clear up altogether.