Procrastination induced dilapidation is a real issue for backyards across the nation, we need to start putting the same focus on our exterior as we do our interior leading into the warmer months. Great weather is coming soon, as well as long evenings that are best enjoyed with friends and family.
It can be overwhelming peering out to the semi-overgrown backyard jungle, faded seating and forgotten children's footballs. How can you turn this around before it’s too late?
Improving your outdoor living space doesn't have to be a time-consuming exercise, we've put together 5 easy-to-achieve considerations for updating your garden.
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels
1. Update your plants.
Greenery is the single most important element in your garden (after shade). After all, what is The Outdoors without plants? Take a step back and look at your space. Is the patio bland? Ugly concrete wall? A grating lack of texture in the yard? No greenery at all?
Tip: Take 4-5 photos of your space, nice wide ones and draw some green lines on it right in your phone. This will show you how you can break up space with some plants.
What plants do you ask? Here's a list:
- Box hedging
- Fruit trees
- Tidy wall creepers
- Hanging planters
It's key to remember a cohesive approach when selecting your plants. Do you want straight lines and a grid layout, or a more organic flow in your yard? Make sure it's consistent throughout.
2. Shade for your garden.
You’re about to invest quite a bit of time into planning, cleaning and setting up your outdoor space so you will, no doubt, want to maximise the amount of time you can spend enjoying the fresh air, warm sun and chirping birds with your friends and family.
Multi Canopy Cantilever Umbrella - Duo in the garden.
Key to your long-term enjoyment of the space is the shade you choose to install in your garden. Outdoor Patio Umbrellas are a great way to improve your space to allow quality, year-round usage. Protection from the sun during the warmer months, as well as the elements when the weather turns, is key to optimising your space.
Protecting the areas you're using is important - Outdoor Patio Umbrellas are great for controlling the amount of direct sunlight your dining and relaxing areas receive and provide comprehensive UV Protection which is key for all-day enjoyment. Don’t forget to cover up your spa pool with a wall-mounted umbrella!
SU3 Wall Mounted Umbrella - Shade for the spa pool
Cantilever Umbrellas are perfect for creating a welcoming atmosphere and encourage conversation at your next social BBQ, while centre-pole designs are great as a classic patio umbrella solution.
You can find the perfect outdoor shade companion for your space with our umbrella selector - try it out:
3. A new layout for your garden.
Have you ever rearranged your dining room or bedroom and felt like it was a completely new room with new energy? The same idea applies to outdoor spaces. A redesign or realignment of your garden space is an exceptional way to freshen it up. Wood is trending, combined with smooth concrete and softened with greens.
It's a great time to shift things around your garden. Consider a wooden patio area to replace an old paved one. Wooden decks or patios are a lot easier to clean; raised off the grass for added comfort and they can be coloured and recoloured whenever you choose. The downside of wooden decking is that the wood stain will fade over time, but the cycle shouldn't be more than once every 5-10 years if you use a premium product.
Try sectioning off your garden into zones such as:
- Vegetable patch
- Seating area
- Pool area
- Dining area
- Kids area
- Hammock relaxation area
- Barbecue area
Join these spaces up with paths, lighting and your own personal style which will enhance your brand new layout. It's great to express your style in your own way. You don't have to be a designer or landscape architect to create the perfect space for you.
4. Clean your garden.
I know it's daunting but it needs to be done - you can put as much effort as you want into designing, purchasing great fixtures and cooking the best pizza in your outdoor pizza oven, but if you don't keep your space clean, tidy and presentable it's going to impact the enjoyment for your friends and family. If you've let it deteriorate over a couple of winters a good idea is to have a working bee to clean it up.
Divide your space up into zones and try to get through one space at a time - don't flip between different spaces, you'll see progress faster and it will help keep you motivated. Invest in a quality water-blaster, it's very satisfying to see outdoor surfaces the way they were intended after a quick blast!
The promise of a delicious barbecue afterwards will be enough to get your friends around to make an afternoon of it.
5. Style your garden.
It’s time to create an experience for your friends and family. Style choices are key to creating a spot that's optimised for enjoyment and the style of your garden is an important element to its success.
Choosing the right colour and complementing it with furniture, accessories and fixings will bring a nice harmony to your outdoor patio area. Choose a colour that accents your home and keep an eye on expert trends for inspiration, I hear orange and blues are popular at the moment so why not look to pair blue cushions with a planter of orange marigolds, or a terracotta outdoor cantilever umbrella canopy with a hanging planter of blue iris'.
Accenting the earthier tones that are popular in home builds with saturated colours and wooden textures will create a stunning spot that you can proud to invite people to.
Don’t forget lighting. When the sun goes down you want to be able to continue enjoying your space so consider LED lighting around your garden.
- Solar powered garden lights
- Pole lights for the patio
- Outdoor Umbrella Lights
- String lights
Here's a great photo of a well-styled outdoor space project, a water-front-back-yard. A nautical themed design with a boat wheel to accent the design and built in seating with a Midnight Blue Dickson's Outdoor Umbrella Canopy
Multi Canopy Cantilever Umbrella - Duo on the waterside patio.
I hope we've inspired some exciting ideas for your back yard. The team at Shadowspec are passionate about helping people create great outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed by crowds of people all year round. Look after your friends and family with great food, drinks and an outdoor patio setting that everyone will want to return to, and help with the dishes afterwards!
If you're working on an outdoor project, get in touch with one of the outdoor specialists at Shadowspec, we're full of ideas to help you transform that outdoor space just in time for barbecue season.