Let’s focus on the positives at the moment. The sun is shining, it’s warm outdoors and spring has well and truly arrived. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space – no matter how small – now is the time to give it a little makeover. You don’t have to completely landscape your garden to create a welcoming outdoor space; here are our top tips for simple ideas to create an outdoor space you will love spending time in.
Consider your space
Whether you have a sprawling lawn or a tiny balcony, work to the strengths of your outdoor space. If your garden is completely in the shade for most of the day, create a cosy space with a fire pit you can sit around. A small balcony could be a peaceful place to sit and admire the view – a screen could add privacy from neighbouring balconies and you could dedicate the floor space to a table and chairs, utilising hanging planters for foliage. A large lawn could be divided into separate areas for dining, lounging and playing to create more intimacy.
Start by planning your outdoor furniture, ensuring that you have a comfortable place to sit out and dine or relax. Even if you only have minimal space to play with, you could add a small table and chairs or even a hammock! If you have a larger space, create separate areas for dining and relaxing, thinking about where the sun is for most of the day. Add cushions and blankets for extra comfort, using them on chairs or for extra seating on the grass.
Your outdoor space will look cold and stark without a little foliage to brighten it up. Colourful flowers will create a cheerful ambience as well as encouraging bees and butterflies into your garden. If you don’t fancy digging up beds, invest in a collection of stylish pots to plant out flowers and trees. Hanging baskets and wall-mounted planters are a great idea for adding foliage to balconies – you could even grow strawberries or tomatoes in a hanging basket! If space is really tight or you have an ugly wall you want to cover up, attach a trellis to your wall and encourage climbing plants such as clematis, jasmine or honeysuckle to climb up it.
Plan your lighting
Don’t neglect lighting just because your outdoors! During the warm summer months, you’ll enjoy spending evenings outdoors if you get the lighting right. String fairy lights along a fence or in the branches of a tree to add subtle lighting. Light pathways and steps with solar-powered lights along the floor for safety. If you have an outdoor light on the wall of your house, opt for a low wattage bulb to maintain a romantic ambience. If you have battery-powered table lamps, you could bring these outdoors in the evenings or light candles for extra light.
Think about the little extras
It’s the little extras that can complete transform a space if you have the time and the budget. Enjoying a fire in your garden is the perfect way to spend a summer’s night – opt for a stylish fire bowl or create your own fire pit with a ring of stones. Create a cosy nook with a hanging chair or hammock in a quiet corner. Fill flower beds with plants that bloom throughout the year for a constant display of colour. Install a pergola that you can train climbing plants to cover. Or install a water feature such as a small fountain or pond. Get creative with your garden to create a space that works for you.