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Some people want a garden that’s an extension of their living space, others want an area in which to eat, relax and socialise. Green spaces can also be the perfect place for kids to play, can provide a bed to harvest fruit and vegetables or can offer you the chance to grow row upon row of beautiful flowers.
Matt’s top tips:
1. There are ways to jazz up your outside space without too much time or effort – or money for that matter. Start by surveying what you have already. Just power washing the concrete paving or painting a brick wall or fence can provide a facelift. A lick of masonry paint in subtle shades for example will complete the look for a cool, contemporary space. You can inject further colour with window boxes, plant pots and seasonal blooms.
2. Consider lighting carefully as well. Small spaces, like balconies and yards, look especially pretty decked with rows of outdoor fairy lights and there are simple solar lights you can get to help mark out borders or show off features.
3. If you have a bit more cash to splash, you could install a water feature, put in a garden path or add some decking. Creating an area to dine al fresco is a sure-fire way to make the most out of any outdoor space. Balconies and patios will look great with a simple folding table but big spaces could take large furniture including canopies for shade, swing seats and benches.
4. When it comes to choosing what to plant in your garden, examine your space carefully. Sit in different spots at various times during the day and discover which areas get shade or sun and where it is damp or dry.
5. Do your research. Look at which plants will work in which areas. Costly mistakes have been made by buying blooms which are totally inappropriate for the area they are intended. You should also consider what your garden will look like in every season. It’s worth purchasing some evergreens, such as Photinia ‘Red Robin’, Holly, Box, Viburnum tinus, Bay Laurel and Mahonia, which are leafy all year round.
6. Keep on top of garden maintenance. Gardens are evolving things and weeding, raking and pruning are vital if you want yours to stay looking pretty.
Garden centres all over the country are bursting at the seams with everything you need to develop the perfect outside space. From plants and blooms to BBQs, parasol and solar lighting, there is plenty available to create your ideal outside space.
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