8 easy updates to transform your garden

These easy planting and styling projects will have your garden looking it's best in no time

Spruce up beds

Gloucester bistro set, £320 for a table and four chairs; Debenhams

Give your garden a speedy makeover for summer. Remedy fading flowerbeds with mature bedding plants, fill gaps with plants in pots, trim hedges and lawns, and tie up any straggling climbers. Just add a new set of table and chairs, and you’re ready to enjoy the view.

Get creative with cans

Painted empty tin cans make a good home for cyclamens. Spray the cans with a water-resistant paint and leave to dry, then pierce the bottom of the cans (for drainage) and on opposite sides of the top edge. Thread metal wire through the top holes and make a handle to hang the cans on a trellis.

For similar spray paint, try the PlastiKote Outdoor paint, £6.66 for 400ml,

Furnish your garden with flowers

For an inexpensive display idea, recycle an old chest of drawers as a home for plants. Use leftover outdoor paint to perk up the sides and top of the unit, then paint the drawers in different colours. Fill the drawers with potted plants

to create a two-tier display.

Build an étagère

Ladder painted in Mockingbird Blue, from £28.99 for 2.5ltr, Sadolin Garden Colours range, Homebase

Turn an old stepladder into a shelf unit for potted plants with just a few wooden boards.
Sand the ladder, then give it two coats of specialist outdoor paint. Coat the boards in the same colour and use them to display a mix of plants in pots, crates and watering cans.

Create a window box

Upcycle a vintage crate into a window box. Line the crate with plastic sheeting so it doesn’t leak, then fill with compost and mix in some slow-release fertiliser. Fill with your chosen plants and water well.

Arrange a cut flower display

Cut flowers aren’t just for indoors, they look the part in a garden setting, too.

For impact, stick to a few colours and use vases or jugs of different heights.

Tie small posies with string at the base so they splay outwards and pop a single stem, such as an allium, in a vase on its own. Group the vases together on a tray to create a table centrepiece.

Use lots of pots

Brighten up an old shelving unit with a coat of outdoor paint in an uplifting shade and some decorative metal edging. Plant white violas in small galvanised pots and line them up to create a simple, unified display.

Set up a potting table

A console with a zinc surface is ideal as a potting table, but any small wooden unit will do – just make sure it’s treated with preservative. Store small tools and packets of seeds in drawers, and stack pots and watering cans on a shelf underneath so they’re always to hand.

For a similar potting table, try the Aldsworth, £280, Garden Trading

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