From a mud pit to a place to sit – this garden was revamped with a £4 B&Q bargain

See how this couple created a stylish outdoor space complete with a roped-off patio area and comfy seating

garden with seating area on patio
(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

Landscaping a garden can be a pricey business, but if you simply want a budget refresh of your outdoor space, then why not look at some free garden ideas? That's exactly what this homeowner did, along with making a few savvy purchases when it came to supplies and taking on the work herself, which meant she could transform her garden without spending a fortune.

Kerry Bevan, from Doncaster, turned her mud pit of a garden into a relaxing place to sit, and the results are incredible. A few rain showers had turned the outdoor space into a muddy mess, so the mum of three decided to take matters into her own hands. 

'The idea behind the project was simple – I wanted somewhere nice to spend time in the garden,' she says. 'Plus, it’s my husband's 40th in the summer and we wanted to invite friends and family over for a BBQ to celebrate.'


before shot of a muddy garden

(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

As you can see, the far end of the garden had turned into a 'slip-and-slide area' that couldn't be used, so the couple had their work cut out for them. 

‘We worked on the garden during the weekends as we work full time,' Kerry told money-saving community 'The majority of the work was done over about four weekends, then we carried out the odd touch-up afterwards.'

It wasn't all smooth sailing though, with the weather proving a problem. ‘The rain was a challenge when we first started,' Kerry recalls. 'The garden was full of mud and we spent most of our time trying not to slide all over it. Then the cement mixer broke after laying around three slabs, so the rest of the cement was mixed by hand!'


garden with seating area on patio

(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

Despite the rain and broken equipment, the couple ploughed on and transformed the area with a stylish roped-off patio idea and garden seating area that they can now enjoy. ‘I originally wanted a pergola over the patio area and my husband, Neil, drew up some plans,' says Kerry. 'After talking about it, he suggested the post and rope version, so the space would feel more open. We bought 18 metres of rope from B&Q at £2.49 per metre and I dyed it in the washing machine with black Dylon!'

Next, the couple marked out the area where they wanted the patio and dug out the remaining grass, along with holes in which to sink the fence posts into, before concreting them in place. ‘We added a timber frame to create the edge of the patio before compacting the soil and levelling it,' says Kerry. 'Membrane was laid to keep the weeds out and hardcore was added and compacted.

‘The slabs came next,' she continues. 'We laid and cemented them, filling the gaps with pebbles to keep the slabs in place.'

patio in garden with stencil

(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

Turning the patio into even more of a feature is the stencilled design that you can see on the slabs, something that the couple created themselves. 'Neil made the stencil from an offcut of plywood from B&Q that he bought for £4,' says Kerry. 'If we'd bought a stencil that size it would have cost us around £30 from online retailers! 

‘He went for a design that was easy enough to cut out with the jigsaw and that would fill the majority of the slab,' she continues. 'Then he drew out the 60cm x 60cm square on paper, drew the design on a quarter then transferred this onto the plywood to match the size of the slab.'

garden with bench and planting

(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

To the side of the patio is a planted border, with a bench, that Kerry's dad made for her. ‘It turns into a picnic table and I painted it to match the garden,' she says.

‘We laid the reclaimed turf around the patio area and seeded in between to help cover any patches,' Kerry recalls. 'Finally, we planted a variety of plants and trees in the corner to add some colour and help to disguise an unused area. A lot of the flowers were from Asda, where we got three trays for £5. Other plants came from a local garden centre and cost between £8 and £12.'

black fence in garden with planters

(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

The flowers aren't the only saving the couple made. 'The paving slabs came from my parent’s garden as they no longer wanted them,' says Kerry. 'The turf was also from their garden as they wanted a change and decided to replace their grass with slate and gravel.'  

At £35 a tonne, the couple bought two tonnes of hardcore from local company Adwick Aggregates. ‘We also got all the decorative pebbles that sit around the slabs from there at £4 for a 25kg bag, as well as the sand and cement used to lay the slabs,' says Kerry.

‘The fence posts used for the patio area were also from B&Q at £21.65 and we cut them into two. Then I bought the hanging solar lights from B&M for £20, along with the rattan-effect edging that we used around the plants for £7.99 a pack.'

garden border with plants

(Image credit: / Kerry Bevan)

It's easy to see the amount of work that the couple have put into their garden and the benefits now that they're able to use the space. So, do they have any advice for anyone taking on a similar project? 

'If we were to do this again, we'd hire a cement mixer and wacker plate,' says Kerry. 'When we were compacting the ground under the slabs we used a sledgehammer with a plate of wood attached. It was a good workout for the arms but a lot of hard work!’

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at