Transform your garden in 48 hours
If you feel like your garden needs to be refreshed and revitalised but you never seem to get a moment to work on it, here's a plan. Borrow a trick from those TV makeover shows and give yourself just 48 hours to rejuvenate your outdoor space. There's nothing like a deadline and a bit of adrenaline to spur you into action. So here are some inspirational hints and tips to help put your plans into practice...
Sort out your flower beds
Start with a clear-up. Give the beds a quick weed and clear or cut back overgrown plants. Take those cuttings to the tip and use the opportunity to remove any old rubbish too. Next, think about colour. Bedding plants are fairly cheap and will bring a dash of colour that should last through the summer. If you lead a busy life, you might want to consider creating low-maintenance beds with gorgeous but useful plants - herbs such as chives, lavender and rosemary need little more than a trim during the year. Alternatively go for an instant cottage garden feel with a mix of annual and perennial flowers such as poppies, foxgloves and grasses. For some inspiration, have a look at our easy garden design ideas.
Refresh your pots
Creating a colourful display of pots is another way to make an instant splash. You don't have to buy new pots - give them a scrub and a thorough washing and then a coat of paint will transform the old terracotta. And think about alternatives - recycle old planters such as wicker baskets or watering cans, plant them up so they overflow with ivy and you've helped create a fabulous cottage-style garden look. If you have some free wall space you can also create some splendid hanging baskets.
Repair your lawn
Don't ignore the lawn. A long winter, along with energetic children and pets, will really take it out of the grass. If your garden is relatively small, nothing will give it an instant update like a fresh layer of rich green turf. This shouldn't be particularly expensive - a new lawn of about 10 square metres will cost from £60 to £100 depending on quality and should take no more than a couple of hours to lay. Give it a thorough soaking when finished (probably best done at the end of the day so it will have a chance to settle before it's used) .
Restore wooden patio furniture and sheds
If you sit or eat in your garden, then think about giving tired wooden furniture a makeover. Wooden or metal chairs, tables and even decking, fencing and arbours will be transformed with a fresh lick of paint. Make sure you use a suitable garden paint such as Garden Shades from Cuprinol which offers 54 different colours.
It might even be worth splashing out on a new shed if you want to keep your furniture in tip top condition or create a new focus for the garden. Have a look at our guide to choosing a shed, but think about ordering in advance if you want the whole job finished in a weekend.
Lay a new deck
If you plan to use your garden to entertain, think about adding a decking area. Position is important. You'll need a flat area of the garden and if you want to eat in the evening, you might want a sunny spot not far from the kitchen (or barbecue). Alternatively if you'll spend a lot of the summer outdoors with kids, you might want to put it in shade. Or if you prefer to relax, think about adding screening - either a hedge, wooden trellis or fencing should do the job. For some ideas on designing a deck, take a look at our gallery of beautiful deck designs.
Laying decking isn't difficult. The Easy Build Patio Deck Kit from Very.co.uk costs £399 and will give you a softwood deck of about 2.5 metres square. This comes flat packed with instructions. Though it comes pressure treated, you might want to protect it with additional preservative such as Cuprinol Ultimate Wood Protector.
Finally, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Unless you've got bottomless pockets, you will probably need to keep a rein on your spending so set a budget. There are plenty of ways to transform a garden without breaking the bank. And once you've decided where your garden needs most help - fresh, colourful planting, a new patio perhaps, or a combination of things - sketch out a timetable for the jobs. Remember, you want to wrap it all up in 48 hours. Then all you need to do is gather your tools and cross your fingers that the weather stays fine...
Songs from the Shed began life as an army billet, briefly became the headquarters of The Cheese & Cider Society and now has shedloads of musicians wa... More Songs from the Shed began life as an army billet, briefly became the headquarters of The Cheese & Cider Society and now has shedloads of musicians wanting to record their tracks in her…
Date 26/04/12, Duration 2:34, Views 23113