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It’s great to take pride in your home but often we forget about the garden. The garden, and any outdoor buildings are an extension of your home and there are a few easy steps you can take to really transform this extra space into a haven to be proud of. However don’t wait for the summer months as this winter is actually the perfect time to spruce it up. The cold weather is currently keeping everything at bay, so you have no overgrowth to worry about, and there is no need to worry about disturbing your summer plants.

Not everybody has green fingers, and it can be hard work looking after plants as they need the right balance of water, earth and sunshine otherwise you’ll be left with a garden full of overgrown or dried out, discoloured shrubs. However getting your lawn right can be less stressful, more practical and look very welcoming as it is transformed into a smart and tidy space to frame your home. Begin by taking a look at tatty areas of the lawn that may be stuck in the shade or overused; cut this back and replace it with easy to care for paving, gravel or pebbles. This will neaten up the lawn while giving you a practical non-plant surface and providing texture and contrast to the garden. You can always choose to place pot-plants on this area in the summer if you fancy giving it a go.

Not many lawns are flat, and if you have a sloping garden why not create some interest in the garden by adding a rockery, steps or even install a pond or water feature if you’re feeling brave. Sloping lawns are not just difficult to mow but can cause problems with lawn maintenance as rainwater naturally drains towards the bottom area. You’re then left with a dry top area and a swamped out area at the bottom of the lawn, particularly in the wetter winter months.

Create interesting spaces within the garden by dividing it into separate areas. Whether you use screening plants, borders, or even a bench or garden swing, you can transform the garden just be changing the space within it. Adding a bench or other piece of garden furniture can also be a focal point in the garden as well as dividing the space. Depending on the size of your garden, look at placing a statue, or a low-maintenance evergreen tree such as a palm which can instantly add interest to the space.

You can also spruce up existing furniture by giving it a lick of paint, get rid of weeds along paving edges or walls and remove dead branches from trees. This will also allow more light and promote better growth for plants hidden beneath trees. You’ll be surprised with the difference you can make with simple steps, and you’re now well prepared for the spring and summer coming enabling you and your family to make the most of the space.

by Cormac Henderson

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