Quick Changes

How To Transform Your Garden With A Few Quick Changes

Transform your garden with an instant makeover. These quick, simple ideas will achieve fresh new looks in key areas and create beautiful focal points in no time at all.

Add a Structural Focal Point

For a fabulous focal point with a hint of romance, it's hard to beat an arbour. It draws the eye and gives the garden a reason for 'being' - so that you can sit in it's midst and enjoy the scents, colours and sounds. An arbour can also act as a decorative screen, hiding something unsightly like a compost heap or an area at the end of the garden which is difficult to cultivate because of dry shade or poor drainage. It can also be used to create some mystery by hiding what lies beyond. This partition can provide space for a separately themed area with a completely different look to that of the main garden - maybe a jungle paradise or a vegetable plot.

There are many different options available and a great selection of products on our website from Forest Garden and Plum Products. The two main questions you need to ask yourself are what effect are you trying to create and how much space have you got? If you want to create a focal point to make people stop and look at the garden then you need to work out whether you only have room for a bench or whether you have space for an arbour or gazebo. If you want to create a sense of movement and flow which will draw people through to the next bit of the garden then you want to think about using an archway or pergola, possibly with some fencing or screening either side.

Whichever structure you decide upon you need to then consider its design. Look at what is available and which materials would look good in your garden and are in keeping with your house. A modern house with a patio or decking would probably suit the clean lines of a simple arbour with elegant simplicity, however this type of garden building would make an attractive addition to any garden and could even be stained or painted to complement its surroundings. If you want to entice people to sit down, enhance your new seating area even further by providing cushions and planting up a variety of interesting terracotta pots with scented plants.

If you are creating a boundary to another area you have to decide how much or little you want visible as people get closer. You can use traditional willow hurdles for a complete screen or an open fence of rustic poles to allow a view of what lies beyond! Whichever you choose they will provide robust support for climbing plants. A pergola or arch part way along this fence would also make a great focal point and could be used to frame the view or a particular feature.

Add a Garden Feature

You could consider adding something static such as a large ceramic pot, a statue or a bird bath. Or how about introducing motion with the gentle murmur of a water feature, this will not only transform your garden but provide an enduring talking point too. You will need to connect it to a waterproof electrical supply but any self-contained water feature uses its own water supply held in a container below. You just need to keep it topped up as water evaporates and if you use Algon Organic cleaner your water feature will be kept clear of unwanted algae. As Algon is organic it is chemical free, harmless to pets and long-lasting. It can also be used on a wide range of garden structures including brick, stone, concrete, tarmac, decking, paviors, roof tiles, fabric awnings, glass, garden furniture & polycarbonate.

We have a number of self-contained water features from Kelkay on our website. Their range is varied to suit individual taste and different garden designs from traditional to modern and also includes a number with lights so you can enjoy them whilst sitting out on warm summer evenings. They have a range modern designs & naturalistic water features which would look ideal nestled among your plants providing a mesmerising cascade.

Create instant impact

If you want to smarten your garden up, one of the easiest ways to give the whole garden a neat, professional finish is to add definition with edging and borders. Once again the materials you choose need to be in keeping with the rest of the garden, house and patio. You can put a neat edge around your lawn with plastic edging strips which will still allow you to mow but prevent weeds creeping into your border. Alternatively, you can put in taller edging to give you a raised bed which, if bordering a lawn, will need strimming to keep neat. There are several options such as landscaping sleepers, mini sleepers, border log rolls and horizontal border edging. These can be especially useful if you want a planted border at the edge of your patio because they give a neat edge which contains the soil whilst providing extra soil depth in what is usually a difficult area to plant.

Wall Space

Last if not least, don't forget your walls. Wall space offers a wonderful opportunity to add features to provide increased interest in your garden. Attach decorative trellis and grow scented climbers, The Venice Planter comes complete with trellis so you can have them on the patio too. You can also attach decorative metalwork pot holders to the wall and you have got a great place to grow herbs, tumbling tomatoes or strawberries. There is also a huge choice in wall art around at the moment too. You can try coating with exterior varnish to slow down the rusting process or let it age naturally and blend in.

With a bit of imagination, planning and a trip to the garden centre, you can freshen up your garden with a new look this summer and impress all your friends!

Julie Parker
My interest in gardening & wildlife stemmed from childhood days spent working in the garden with my parents & reading books on anything from robins to giraffes. As time has moved on these influences have stayed with me inspiring the creation my own garden & leading to interests in fish keeping & the natural world around me. I still love to read & hope that the knowledge I gain will make topical reading through these articles.