Having your own outside space is one of life’s little luxuries. A place to enjoy nature and breathe in the fresh air when stepping outside your door is always a treat when the days are longer and the nights are warmer. But if your garden has been neglected for the last 6 months or you haven’t bothered to take advantage of making it an extension of the inside of your house, you could be missing a trick. Not only does a lovely well-kept garden add value to your home, it can also create a spot for entertaining, relaxing and simply enjoying the great outdoors.
Whether you have a small patio or a large sprawling estate, here are a few ways to create an outdoor haven to make the best out of the spring and summer months.
Zone Your Spaces
Have a look at your outdoor space – do you have areas that catch the sun first thing in the morning or perhaps an area that is perfect for escaping the rays on the hottest days? Think about how and when you wish to use your garden and plan accordingly. Your garden may have different functions depending upon who is using it and when. Consider an area for children’s play and a separate area to enjoy a barbecue with friends. Areas of grass, reclining chairs, or raised planters for a vegetable patch will all require different types of ground cover and you can use these variations to plan accordingly.
Create a Patio
Speaking of zoning areas, you’ll want to cover any areas you wish to have garden furniture in an easy-to-care-for material such as large format outdoor slab tiles rather than placing the furniture directly onto grassy areas. A small patio is a fairly easy job for a competent DIYer but if you aren’t as keen to take care of this yourself, consider the services of a landscape gardening firm to assist you in creating patio areas in your space. You can also check out our post on why tiles are almost always better than decking if you’re currently weighing up materials with which to fashion a patio area from.
Add a Pergola
If you don’t have large shady trees, adding visual height may be a challenge but it will create interest, especially for a less mature garden. Consider including a pergola in your garden design that can incorporate climbing varieties of plant – this will naturally create a focal point as well as provide a lovely spot to enjoy your outside space or enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning!
Add Ornamental Planting
Whether you choose long grasses, flowering plants, or evergreens, a variety of different specimens in your garden will ensure it looks great all year long. Consider a few simple edible plants that don’t require any expertise to grow and encourage wildlife into your garden by choosing pollen or nectar-rich flowers or those which produce edible fruit and seed.
Consider Your Lighting
When the sun goes down, does the party end with it? Encourage gatherings that last into the evening by considering your garden lighting. You can install lighting near any steps or paths to make getting around in low light easier or festoon lighting above patios for low-level atmospheric lighting. Also consider solar lights throughout your garden – these charge by the sun’s rays during the day, creating a welcoming atmosphere in the evenings. Lanterns and candles can be added to tables too, encouraging conversation and creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Add a Firepit, Barbecue Area or Outdoor Kitchen
And finally, entertaining can be hampered with constantly running back and forth to the kitchen inside. Most of us love a good outdoor barbecue but you can go one step further with a firepit to keep everyone warm in the chillier evenings. You might even want to consider adding an outdoor kitchen to make the most of the summer months. Find out if the outdoor kitchen option is right for you by checking out our handy How To Create an Outdoor Kitchen post.
So, that little lot should have given you food for thought when planning a garden design, but if that’s not enough, be sure to check out our full range of outdoor tiles and remember you can try before you buy with our free cut sample service!
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As a multi-award winning interior design content creator, Kimberly Duran is an Interior Design-obsessed American ex-pat, who chronicles her decorating journey and dispenses interior design advice in her personal blog, Swoon Worthy. When she’s not helplessly drooling over all the latest trends in design, she’s adding things to the imaginary ‘shopping basket’ in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects with her partner in crime, Wayne, stalking eBay for vintage bargains and filling her home with her favourite neutral – gold.