A few landscaping tweaks can turn a tired outdoor area into a fabulous drawcard you can’t wait to spend time in. We go through our five ideas to transform your outdoor home for spring.
Just as you may have spent the winter hibernating, so have your garden and outdoor spaces. As the first weeks of spring roll in, it’s time to start preparing all those slightly neglected areas for the long, hot summer.
Here, five tips to transform your outdoor space and garden into an oasis ready for alfresco living.
1.Include spaces for relaxation
Outdoor areas needn’t be just for entertaining. A quiet nook can be invaluable when you want to escape for a little me-time. A thoughtfully positioned sun-lounger or hanging chair, preferably in a spot with a leafy outlook, can create a private getaway for one. Don’t forget to design the space so you can relax there of an evening, too – ambient lighting will help set the mood. Invest in citronella candles or coils to keep any insects at bay and plant basil, mint, lavender or marigolds as these are natural deterrents.
2. Refresh and repair
Updated paving and pathways can transform your outdoor area from a space that’s seen better days to an inviting place to be. Large-format pavers, for example, can make an outdoor space look and feel clean and expansive. Now is the time to weed, prune, mulch and fertilise your garden so it’s looking its best, and fill in any gaps with flowering plants that add colour all season long. Also, look over any timber furniture, decking, pergolas or fencing – the onset of spring is the time to clean, restain, repaint and do general maintenance.
3. Get ready to party
A party to you might be getting together with a few close friends, while to others it might mean inviting dozens of people over. However, you like to socialise, tailor your outdoor area accordingly. An outdoor kitchen, plenty of seating options and a music system suit bigger crowds, while cosy festoon lighting, armchair nooks and intimate dining areas set the scene for small gatherings. Make any get-together festive with colourful outdoor rugs, cushions and statement pots and plants.
4. Add some designer style
Inject some architectural flair into your outdoor area with retaining walls, raised garden beds and bench seating – they neaten up edges and add interest and texture. Retaining wall blocks in dark grey will recede into the background and make greenery and flowering plants pop. Segmental interlocking masonry blocks make good-looking, easy DIY retaining walls or raised garden beds in no time. If you prefer a more rustic feel, timber-look concrete sleepers are a good choice – and last a lifetime. Replace pool decking that looks worse for wear with slip-resistant engineered pavers or cement-based composite decking boards. They’ll give it an instant revamp and will dramatically reduce maintenance for years to come.
5. Make use of the whole backyard
Your house may have a seamless indoor-outdoor connection, but why stop there? Think beyond the deck to create garden rooms that draw you outdoors. A sunken firepit with bench seating; an outdoor jacuzzi under a pergola draped in wisteria; stepping stones that wind through a herb garden; a balustrade breakfast bar facing out into the garden – the only limit is your imagination. Strategic lighting will make areas even more enticing when the sun goes down.
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