Easy garden ideas – simple updates to transform your outdoor space

Garden looking a bit tired but short of time or cash? Our easy garden ideas will have things looking better in no time.

There are plenty of ways to give your garden an instant lift without having to call in a gardener for some hard landscaping. We’ve brought together our favourite summer buys, quick tips and easy garden ideas that will spruce up your space. And most can be done in the time it takes to mow the lawn!

If you have a summerhouse or shed, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint for an instant lift. Try moving a garden bench to a new spot and creating a quiet area for rest and relaxation. Dress it up with plenty of cushions and think about sprucing it up with fresh paint if it’s been left untreated for a few years.

Does your patio need some attention? Again, try moving things around for a fresh take – could the bench or table and chairs be repositioned? Plant plenty of tubs around the seating area with scented blooms and herbs for you to enjoy. Fences might need a facelift too, so think about colour blocking to add some modern pizzazz to your garden. Alternatively look at using bamboo or reed screening positioned in front of fences to transform the look – these options are eco-friendly too.

Make your outdoors great. See all our garden ideas

This is the perfect time to spruce up garden decking or paving by giving it a thorough clean. A pressure washer will do the job with very little effort – and the transformation is so satisfying, you’re definitely going to want to Insta the before and after!

If there is a dark, gloomy corner, try transforming it with a weatherproof mirror positioned to create a focal point where there previously wasn’t anything to see but cobwebs. Other projects to consider include an easy water feature, such as a tub, to add the soothing sound of running water without having to go all out and install a pond, or creating an outdoor ‘kitchen area’ with a brick-built barbecue space. Read on for more of our easy garden ideas…

1. Turn your deck into a sitting room

After 2 outdoor living room SAH June 17 p98 garden makeover

Image credit: Jamie Mason

Create a much-needed extra living space by investing in an outdoor sofa. Up the comfort factor with plump cushions, side tables and an outdoor rug, and make the most of the warm weather.

2. Set up a drinks station


Image credit: Lakeland

If you’re entertaining outside, serve iced coolers from an easy-to-fill, Kilner-style drinks dispenser set on a wooden crate. It’s also great to have out when the kids are playing in the garden, filled with squash or water so they can help themselves.

Get the look
Buy now: Kilner Cocktail Drinks Dispenser 6L, £16.99, Lakeland

3. Brighten up brickwork

Give an old garden wall a facelift by planting succulents in its gaps. Add grit to the planting hole, push in the plants and leave to settle. sedums and sempervivums thrive with very little water.

4. Choose seating that swings


Image credit: Cox & Cox

With space for not one buy two people to relax into, this hanging chair can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors. It makes a relaxed style statement whatever the weather, especially when you add on-trend faux furs and tufted cushions for extra comfort.

Get the look
Buy now: Double indoor/outdoor hanging chair, £675, Cox & Cox

5. Plant herbs or bulbs in jars and tins


Image credit: Colin Poole

Why spend a fortune on planters when you could create a pretty display with recycled jam jars and food tins. Just be careful to sand down any sharp edges for you pot them up. Just remember to place a layer of stones at the base of the jars, and pop holes in the bottom of tins for drainage.

Take plants to new heights. Trend alert: Leggy planters are everywhere

6. Paint the shed


A pretty potting shed or smart summerhouse can be the focal point of any garden, but a shabby one can really spoil the view. Cheer up an outhouse with a fresh lick of exterior paint – we’d choose a sage green, deep blue or charcoal grey.

7. Add a bench


Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour by placing a sturdy garden bench in a corner of your garden. Make yourself comfortable with soft outdoor cushions and maybe even a seat pad. We love the side table that doubles as a drinks cooler.

8. Tidy up the lawn with hidden edging


Image credit: Brent Darby

A neat edge will keep your garden looking tidy. Moulded plastic edging, hidden in the earth keeps grass and weeds away from your beds and brick or stone edging help to frame your lawn – it’s available at all good DIY stores and garden centres. Your friends will wonder how you did it!

9. Create a cooking corner


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

If you love entertaining an outdoor barbecue area is a must and doesn’t have to be expensive. A built-in brick bbq looks professional and blends into the surroundings well. Bring the feel of the kitchen outside by fixing utensil shelves and spice racks to a wall.

10. Treat fences to a new look


Image credit: Alun Callender

A garden fence is a fantastic blank canvas for you to express your creativity. For a contemporary look, paint strips in complementary colours. Not only will you be adding valuable protection, you’ll be making an artistic statement.

There’s plenty for where that came from! Garden fence ideas to inspire you to create a garden you’ll love

11. Throw some shade

garden paint ideas

Image credit: Jonathan D Jones

Make the most of hot summer days and create a shady corner in which to sit and relax. A simple awning like this one is easy to create – you could recycle on old sail or even sheets.

12. Build your own benches

suburban side garden with firepit

Image credit: Colin Poole

If you’re really into DIY, why not create your own outdoor seating area using roofing battens or decking planks? You could even make the hinged so that the whole unit doubles as garden storage for tools, or outdoor cushions. Continue the theme by building your own brick fire pit, allowing you to enjoy your garden late into the evening.

As you can see, you don’t have to splash the cash to get the garden of your dreams.

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