An Instant Makeover For Your Small Garden

I love pootling about in my little garden! I’m extremely happy in my own little world snipping and planting then admiring my hard work with a nice little glass of something in hand in the evening! When we first bought our house it had next to no plants left in it, this was 15 years ago now and we had to start again from scratch. The garden was all raised above the level of the front door so it flooded and as a result we had to relevel the whole thing which left us with absolutely nothing at all, just a gravel drive! What I will say is that whereas you can upgrade your house in an afternoon with painting and upgrading accessories, a garden takes a bit more perseverence. That said, here are 5 things you can do today that will instantly makeover your outdoor space.

1 Redefine Borders

Instant French Style Garden Makeover

Simple as it might sound, getting your hands on some edging scissors and maybe a half moon shaped garden spade is probably the best place to start when tidying up your outdoor space. While I like nice full flowerbeds and borders, it’s true that when there’s no defined edge to them, they can look a bit unloved. So, using your spade, straighten up the edges and then use your garden trimmers, manual or electric to cut the grass edge. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.

2 Paint Trellis

Painted french style trellis
Image : The Garden Trellis Company UK

I confess to being a trellis snob unashamedly! There’s nothing that screams paint me more than wooden panels of garden trellis – so please, what are you waiting for! If you also happen to be the owner of trellis that has very large diamonds or squares, you can make your existing trellis look a million dollars by making these smaller. You’ll need the same dimensions in wooden batons cut to size and a drill to complete the job before painting but gosh you’ll be pleased with the end result.

Instant French Style Garden Makeover

Paint garden gates and unsightly fence panels in harmonious colours, I love Farrow and Ball Hardwick White for the garden, it really looks so lovely against white, green and mauve cottage flowers.

3 Cut Back Hedges and Shrubs

INstant french style garden makeovers

One thing I love seeing here in France are the village hedges that each commune plants. They are a lovely mix of red robin and neatly trimmed hawthorn, right up there with the box shaped lime trees in my book!

As I’m writing these tips, I’m realising that much of what I’m telling you I’ve been passed down from my lovely Dad who is a great gardener! He will be pleased I was listening! My Dad always recommends trimming shrubs and bushes into orderly shapes, be that rounded or squared off to add an instantly smarter feel to the garden. You don’t need to have expensive plants to create an orderly look, just a sharp pair of secateurs in your back pocket! Since I’ve been doing this, literally, almost creating topiary from very everyday shrubs, my garden has looked so much smarter.

A bit like with having a great haircut, if you give yourself a really good template to work from, maintenance will be a gazillion times easier too.

4 Be Organised

When I used to live in a town centre house, I often used to come home to find that people had chucked litter in my garden or worse still, leave binbags on my doorstep! It was a great reason for moving out to the countryside! My neighbours used to use their own garden space as an absolute dumping ground, bottles, newspapers, ewww, it drove me nuts. So, while I totally get it that litter is an unsightly problem that’s often hard to hide, I think if you can keep it as organised as possible then you’re onto a winner.

What I’d recommend to start with is separating areas of your garden off, say a painted trellis screen to hide the bins behind, or a lockable storage box for kids toys or gardening tools if you don’t have a shed. We’ve got a Brabantia fold away washing line so we don’t always have to have a washing line in permanent residence in our small garden. We put painted ( of course ) trellis across the middle of our garden to create the illusion of two rooms which works well for us as a space to keep the dogs contained too. Designating areas of your garden as you would your home will not only give you much better use of what might already be limited space but you’ll also enjoy being out there in it more if you’re not constantly plagued by eyesores.

5 Add solar lighting

Solar Lights
Image : Lights 4 Fun

A simple joy but one that instantly will light up your life I promise! I like Lights 4 Fun as a lighting brand, they have really stylish outdoor lighting options and they’re great value too. Pop some stake style solar lights in front of your newly trimmed shrubs and trellis or string some bistro lights across your bbq area. There’s no need to worry about having access to electricity out there or worry that you’ll forget to turn them off!

I hope these have been helpful if you’re feeling a bit meh about your own garden. You don’t need a huge budget to make a massive difference. Feel free to post me a pic if you’d like a bit more advice X

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