Little Ways To Refresh Your Outside Space
The green shoots of spring are starting to appear and brighter, warmer days are on the way (hurrah!), so now’s a great time to take the opportunity to get out and start prepping your outdoor space. It’s likely that you’ve not made much of it in the past few months so things may need to be revived, refreshed and renovated. The good news is that a few changes here and there can make a big difference – even just a bit of cleaning goes a long way!
There’s nothing like a deep clean
While it’s common to give the inside of your home a spring clean, we don’t tend to think our outdoor spaces need the same treatment, but you’ll be amazed the difference a thorough clean can make. If you have a patio, sweep off any leaves and then wash or treat the surface with the appropriate cleanser. Often, a mix of warm water and washing up liquid, plus a sturdy broom, is all you need. Give your garden trowels and storage a check and good clean, and run your gardening gloves through the washing machine. You want to have everything you need ready ahead of the peak planting season.
Put some time in with your old pots
Unpack and check your plant pots before you start sowing any seeds. Clean them down with a hose and start thinking about which plants you’re going to put in which pots. Give any tired old terracotta pots a makeover by spray painting them – take your pick from bold brights, understated hues or textured and metallic finishes. If you have a terracotta pot that’s been broken beyond repair over the winter, use the shards at the bottom of other pots – this will promote drainage and stop plant roots becoming waterlogged.
Get creative with your planting
If you want to be inventive, swap traditional pots for old wellies, jam jars, an old wheelbarrow, old saucepans or tin cans. If you’re not particularly green fingered, a herb garden is a good place to start or easy, low-maintenance plants like ferns and palms add some greenery without having to be constantly watered. Or perhaps you’d prefer one of our zero-effort, artificial plants or trees? It’s almost impossible to tell them apart from the real thing!
Give your garden furniture a good rub down
Even if it’s been stored in a garage over the winter, garden furniture can get damp and mildewy, so spring is the perfect time to start rubbing it down and weatherproofing. Use low-grain sandpaper on wooden furniture and then paint it or weatherproof it with a wood treatment. Plastic or rattan garden furniture can be cleaned with a sponge and soapy water.
Finesse your fence
A quick but effective way of transforming your garden is by painting your fence. Choosing a dark green will help camouflage it and make your garden appear bigger. Alternatively, you might prefer to pressure wash and add a coat or two of vanish to restore your fence to its original state. For a more-natural feel, plant climbers in pots or flower beds at the base of your fence and watch them grow their way up as the year progresses.
Add a look-at-me focal point
Another inexpensive way to enhance your outdoor space is by adding a focal point. This doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing water feature but can be something as simple as an oversized planter or an bit of topiary (artificial or otherwise) in the middle of a patio. It will make a bold statement that draws people into the space.
Refresh your fabrics
Revive your garden cushions and pads after a winter locked away. Scrubbing stained cushions with a solution of warm water and washing up liquid, before rinsing them and letting them dry, is often all it takes to have them looking like new! If your cushions really are beyond redemption, we have a range of stylish designs, guaranteed to add a splash of colour to any garden. Our outdoor cushions are made with all-weather fabrics so they can withstand blazing sun or (unfortunately more likely) a spring downpour. You can also use fabrics to enhance your outdoor space by bringing the indoors out with an outdoor rug. Animal print, geometric and floral designs add a pop of personality, and they’re made from a waterproof composition fabric that looks great in rain or shine.
Don’t leave lighting to the last minute
Outdoor lighting is a very effective way of creating mood and ambiance in your garden – and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Great value string lights and garlands add subtle lighting and can work whatever size space you have. Alternatively, you can get inventive with glass jars and fill them with either candles or a bunch of fairy lights to add some twinkle. Fire pits are another great source of light (as well as heat). Make sure yours is in good working order and clean it up with warm soapy water ahead of the summer. It’s also worth making sure that you have some seasoned wood as it takes a minimum of six months before freshly cut wood is dry enough to burn.