SUMMER is here, and you may feel it’s too late to begin sprucing up the garden if you haven’t started already.
But a well-cared for garden or balcony can be such an enjoyable space to spend the summer evenings, and there are some simple ways you can make the most of it – without spending a penny.
Whether you’re most looking forward to garden parties or simply want somewhere to spend some quality time outside, here the experts at Zoro and Gumtree UK share their top tips for elevating your outdoor space for absolutely nothing.
See the light
Focus on brightening the area by increasing colour and light.
Potted plants are ideal for adding much-needed greenery to small yards, and ensuring there are lots of mirrors and reflective surfaces can help bounce sunlight into every corner.
You can bring things you already have inside the home into the outdoor space to achieve this, or check out local Facebook groups for items being offered for free.
Go green and clean
An unkempt garden can appear dingy, so make sure you wash your walls, flooring including the patio, furniture, and other décor to keep grime, moss, and lichen at bay.
A washing up liquid solution will do for a weekly clean.
About a teaspoon of washing up liquid diluted in two litres of warm water works perfectly.
You may find you need to do monthly or seasonal treatments with specialist products depending on environmental factors, like how much sun your garden gets.
Once a year (or more often if necessary), be sure to pressure wash your patio to keep it in the best condition.
You can also use a pressure washer to remove weeds from driveways, paths, and paving.
You can rent pressure washers or you could even try borrowing one from a neighbour – community groups are also a great resource for borrowing items.
Trim and tidy
Bushes, shrubs and trees will need to be kept on top of to ensure they look their best, and so that they don’t encroach on your space.
You’ll be able to tell by eye how often you need to trim these, but it’s usually around twice a year.
A sharp pair of kitchen scissors will do the job for most plants needing a trim.
Cut out the clutter
Clutter can get in the way of creating your dream garden space, so ensure you have plenty of storage to keep equipment out of the way while you’re not using them.
An outhouse, shed, or garage is ideal for this, but if you’re short on space, a trunk or closet will do.
A good tidy-up costs nothing but a few hours of your time.
Forage for freebies
As mentioned earlier, local Facebook groups and neighbour community groups can be great places for picking up free items people are looking to rehome.
For example, Gumtree UK’s Hannah Rouch says: “Hard landscaping can cost a small fortune – but you can pick up paving slabs and sleepers second-hand from local sellers on Gumtree.
“Often people doing a bit of a renovation job themselves will have discards they don’t need, plus you’ll be able to give them another lease of life instead of going to landfill.”
Transform tired garden furniture
If you have leftover paint from another project, you can also give your garden a new lease of life.
Hannah says: “Paint can transform tired garden furniture from faded to fantastic.
“Just like you would indoors, think about how colour can add to your garden space.
“Opting for black and neutrals can create a relaxed and modern look, while a pop of colour on furniture can create a fun and playful feel.
“For longevity, make sure you use a weather-proof spray paint on metal or an outdoor fence paint on wood and add a glaze of varnish where needed, so it can stay looking fresh year after year.”