My small garden makeover and how to create a relaxing outside space

18 Comments

The summer is here! Yippee! And what a start of the summer it is! But I’ll stop my excitement here as I don’t want to jinx it. I want the summer to last the whole summer! So I’ll move on to the subject that is inevitably linked to the summer – SMALL GARDENS!

If you don’t live in a huge mansion, there is a good chance that you have to face an issue that most of us have. How to make the most of a small garden? There might be lucky few who would call it a joke, but it’s not. The reality is that an average UK garden size is just 14mΒ². That’s a size of an ordinary bedroom. But outside speaking that’s a very small garden!

My garden might be slightly bigger than that but it’s still on a teeny tiny side to be honest. But by carefully designing and zoning out the space, we created a relaxed and welcoming garden that seems much bigger than it really is. And if your budget is equally small then you’ll be pleased to know that everything you see here is very budget friendly too.

So here’s our small garden makeover

As this was a second time we decided to tackle the small garden issue, let’s have a look at how it looked five years ago when we first moved in.

And then three years later…

And this is how our garden looks like today…

small garden ideas

OK, so maybe the grass isn’t in the best shape any more and there is a corner of the garden that is still not finished but if I was waiting for everything to be 100% finished, the summer would be over. So here’s what we managed to do ready for this year’s summer.

Al fresco dining

small garden ideas

Small table and chairs can be easily incorporated even in the smallest of gardens. Try to place them the close to the house as possible for easy access while dining outside. We used to have a table in the back corner of the garden and never really used it. By simply moving the table and the chairs we’ve created an outside dining area that we can use every day (when the weather permits that is). Also by adding special rugs for outside use you can zone out the area from the rest of the garden and make it look like an extension of the house.

al fresco dinning

These rugs are from Ikea, brought home from the last Ikea trip. They were on sale and I paid Β£9 for two so I don’t think you can beat that price. Although if your budget is more generous you should definitely check out Wayfair’s outdoor rugs selection, some real stunners there!

Table and chairs were bought on Ebay a few years ago. My cousin made these lovely fabric seats for us this year so the chairs are not just comfy but pretty too! And by adding bright colours to the garden you can be sure that it looks great even on the gloomiest of days. The wall behind the table needs repainting and I’m just considering the colour options as outside walls don’t always have to be white!

small garden ideas

 

Add some dark colours!

small garden ideas

That’s the other side of the garden where I painted the wall black. By doing this you make the greens in your garden really pop out. Don’t be afraid of making your garden looking smaller. And if you are, then stick to using dark colours up to the level of your eyes and light colours for anything above. But the truth is that dark colours are the best for creating a welcoming and relaxed outdoor space.

small garden makover

garden makeover

 

If you have old concrete slabs in your garden you can even go as far as painting them black like I did (which you can read about in this post). By mixing in some glitter you can create a beautiful clean look for under Β£20!

Also by painting the wall behind the bins black you can make them less visible. And let’s be honest, no one really likes this part of the garden. So the less visible the better!

 

Add a bamboo tree

Bamboo trees are one of the fastest growing trees and they are great for screening. So if your garden is overlooked and lacking privacy bamboo trees can solve the problem rather quickly. This bamboo tree is meant for the corner of our garden, but we need to lift few slabs to plant it in. Unfortunately that’s not a job for a small person like me. So I have to wait for Rob to come back from wherever he’s in the world right now (working, not holidaying) to do his bit. But how on earth me and the kids managed to bring that monstrous thing from Homebase last weekend I still can’t really comprehend.

bamboo tree in the garden

Add kids corner

That is if you have kids obviously! There is no point in denying their existence inΒ  order to have a beautiful garden. If there is nothing for them to do in the garden, they are gonna be bored and more likely to turn to their Ipads or tablets for some entertainment. And that’s not what summer is about. So encourage your kids to spending time outside. Even if that means slightly less glamorous looking garden.

 

kids garden ideas

kids garden ideas

kids garden ideas

I’m not particularly crazy about the swing, neither the trampoline. I’m actually already making plans in my head for a nice big pergola that will give us much-needed privacy from that side of the garden. But having a trampoline means that kids can bounce off all the sugar rush after eating too many cereals for breakfast. And painting the fence dark made the trampoline less visible, which means I can live with that big eyesore (at least for now I can).

Lights, lanterns and candles

garden ideas

It doesn’t matter what size is your garden. Lights, lanterns and candles are a must for creating a relaxed atmosphere. You can buy them fairly cheaply in shops like Home Bargain or even Poundland (these round lanterns are from Poundland and I dare to say they are one of the best buys ever!)

small garden ideas

Spend time in your small garden

That’s the most important part. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your garden is if you don’t spend some time out there. But by treating your small garden with some new plants now and then, and some old TLC, you’re more likely to love your garden, even if it’s the tiniest place on earth.

 

And that’s it. My garden makeover. Although not completely finished the immediate effect is that we can all enjoy some time in here whenever the sun decides to come out.

Oh, and here’s that bamboo tree in transport… Can you spot the kiddo? Poor Kasper… the tree was tickling him all the way home.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Stacey Sheppard
    April 30, 2018

    You’ve done a really great job here. Bet you can’t wait for summer so you can get out there again. We started a garden makeover last year and I really want to do more jobs this year. Part of the plan is to make it more child friendly. I’m definitely hoping to create a black board for them.

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2018

      Yes, we too have few jobs to do this year to make it the way I want. All we need now it the spring to come back ?

      Reply
  2. Mary Middleton | hellopeagreen
    April 30, 2018

    This feels like spring, which more than I could wish for. I always love blue and white together, a classic pairing that looks good no matter what the weather!

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2018

      Thank you Mary. Blue is such a great colour to decorate with, isn’t it?

      Reply
  3. Donna Ford
    April 30, 2018

    Great work! Lovely colourful re-vamp. I bet you’re just wishing for the sunny weather to return. Our garden is nowhere near summer-ready. Still have quite a bit to clear from the renovation…

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2018

      I think we’re all fed up with the weather now. It seems the spring has left this country for good ?

      Reply
  4. Fiona
    April 30, 2018

    The garden looks great!. Lovey planting and outdoor rugs are really great for adding colour in the garden.

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2018

      Yes, the rugs are great and a year later I can say, they are still in a perfect condition ?

      Reply
  5. Catherine Cornelissen
    April 30, 2018

    A beautiful garden makeover! I love the outdoor rug you have used – it adds such a beautiful textural element that compliments the foliage and plants beautifully!

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2018

      Thank you Catherine ? I think those rugs are my favourite too ?

      Reply
  6. Pati
    April 29, 2018

    You have done an absolute cracker of a job hun ! I love your garden so much

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2018

      Thank you Pati ? I hope to follow your steps this year and finally build that pergola ?

      Reply
  7. Marta Hutt
    July 9, 2017

    This time of year this particular article is the one I keep on coming back to on and on and on- especially that I’m ahead of a garden makeover so looking for an inspiration -so many elements from your garden I want to incorporate into my garden! ? Very inspirational! What paint can you reccomend for painting outdoor bricks?

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      July 9, 2017

      Oh, thank you, that’s very nice! The paint I used for the brick wall was the same I used when I was painting the slabs as I did it all in one go. I can’t remember the name or the brand but to be honest it was the cheapest one in Homebase πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Caroline
    June 30, 2017

    This is absolutely fantastic! It just goes to show, you don’t need a huge garden to have a gorgeous outdoor space. It’s just so colourful, I love the upcycled table and chairs and the Ikea rugs.

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      June 30, 2017

      Thank you Caroline, I’m blushing πŸ™‚ you always have something nice to say. I think for the first time here in this house I am actually happy with this garden πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Marta Hutt
    June 28, 2017

    What a lovely and inviting garden! love the colours, the zoning, the table styling and grey on the fence and brick!

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      June 28, 2017

      Oh, thank you, that’s very nice πŸ™‚

      Reply

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