Five ways to transform a boring backyard on a budget
- Mums Tips
- Get Creative
- Published on Friday, 21 September 2018 13:10
- Last Updated on 20 September 2018
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Autumn and Spring are perfect seasons to spend time in the garden but I am personally a disaster in every gardening matter. So I have asked Nicky Roeber, who is the Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres, to give me a few tips on how to transform a simplistic garden in a beautiful backyard on a budget. That’s what she told me.
Typically, when we think of the perfect garden, thoughts of healthy green grass, bursts of colour in multiple flower pots and a wide selection of plants spring to mind — with an impressive price tag to match! But, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to get your backyard into tip-top shape and transform it into a stunning garden for both family and guests to enjoy.
If you’re looking to rejuvenate your yard this year, read on to find my top 5 tips for transforming your backyard on a budget.
Give it a deep clean
We all love the refreshing feeling of a summer clear-out, but many of us tend to neglect our gardens in the process of this. Because of their man-made concrete floors and walls, you should really be thinking about giving the floors a good pressure wash. These surfaces are particularly susceptible to builds ups of moss and grime, which not only looks unsightly, but is also dangerously slippery when damp. By giving them a good clean you’ll not only reveal their original colour, but you’ll reduce hazards as well.
The same can be said for any walls or fences surrounding the perimeter, particularly if you’re considering re-staining or re-painting these. Blasting away any dust or dirt before you refurbish these is really important, as it will give you a clean, smooth surface to work with. When re-painting, you should opt for waterproof paints for your fences and sheds, which can keep your garden in great condition for as long as 5 years.
Decorate the space with plants
As yards are defined as uncultivated spaces, there’s a significant lack of grassy areas and soil to grow things in. Homeowners without these things sometimes feel as though they can’t have the luxuries of planting and growing their own greenery, flowers or fruit and vegetables. However, all of this can be done in containers with a bit of soil and some seeds. This is a great opportunity to get the kids involved with the gardening and to teach them a thing or two about the plant lifecycle — and they’re bound to love monitoring their growth! For a cost-effective option, you could even upcycle those old drawers or tin cans into homemade planters, which the kids can decorate using paint and shells.
It’s best to use every inch of a small garden space, so soften up the look of any bare concrete walls or old fences with climbing plants like clematis or honeysuckle, or dig out your DIY kit to attach hanging baskets to them. You can even dot some large potted plants around, like oleanders or gardenia trees, to juxtapose a pop of colour against the grey concrete tones and to give it an established garden feel.
Deck it out with furniture
Every garden needs a great furniture set for everyone to relax on, whether that be a classic silver metal set, or a hardy varnished wooden one. Whatever you choose, be sure to check the measurements of your outdoor space before committing to your dream dining set. If you have a really small space, leaving most of it open for the kids to play in will be a good idea. This might mean ditching your dream L-shaped rattan set and investing in a more suitable and simplistic bistro set, but this doesn’t have to be any less aesthetically pleasing: well-looked after garden furniture will speak for itself.
If you have a slightly larger space to work with, why not pick up a couple of outdoor bean bags or large cushions from your local garden centre to match the relaxed and laid-back atmosphere of the garden? The kids will love these after a hard day’s work helping you prune the flowers!
Fit it with ambient garden lighting
Large outdoor lights can certainly be expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget this might not be the best option for you. To help soften up the space, you could also try attaching draped fairy lights onto walls and fences, as well as wrapping them round your plants for that warm summer’s night lighting effect.
Lanterns are also a great idea for lending some light to a dark space. Position these at intervals around the border of your garden and put some battery-powered tealights and candles inside for instant brightening — just be careful they’re not in a risky place where they could be a trip hazard!
Make it kid-friendly
While full-sized play equipment is most probably out of the question, feed your children’s imagination and curiosity with a wall chalk-board or a mini teepee for them to relax and seek shelter in. As the hard concrete floor can be a risk for them, laying down some large garden cushions or thick blankets can help to protect them if they fall, as well as being the perfect set-up for their own teddy bear’s picnic!
Buying some toys and games for them that can be tidied away in sheds or the house: this way, they won’t take up too much space when not in use. Inflatable paddling pools and bubble wands will keep them occupied for hours — especially handy if you’ve got a busy day in the garden planned!
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a stunning backyard, with problem areas such as no grass or beds for planting, having easy solutions. So, follow these tips to take yours from boring backyard to grand garden! And let us know how you got on with it. It would be great to compare notes.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums