Written by Jessica Foreman
2020 has made us appreciate the little things more than ever – including the great outdoors. We’ve taken more time to soak up the sunshine, we’ve noticed birdsong for the first time since childhood and we’ve had to swap tropical holidays for home retreats.
This new way of living has highlighted the importance of outdoor space, leading to a surge in demand for homes with gardens. As a result, properties with south-facing gardens now carry a seven per cent price premium.
For those of us who are lucky enough to have a garden, the lockdown has also expanded our imagination as to what’s possible.
Here are five garden makeover ideas which can bring a little extra magic to your doorstep.
- The open-air cinema garden
A night at the movies makes for family fun and relaxing date nights – and with your own outdoor cinema, it’s possible to watch movies beneath the stars.
A jump in the number of searches for projectors on auction site eBay reveals a growing demand for garden entertainment, and Pinterest’s garden cinema inspiration board shows how they’re being used.
Pop-up screens, bohemian-style cushions and fairy lights define the look, which accentuates patios and paved courtyards. Decorating exterior walls with masonry paint can transform the entire look of the space – some of our favourite looks feature bright and bold backdrops.
- The nature retreat garden
One reason people love their gardens is much more traditional, but just as valid – for the soothing power of nature. An outdoor space filled with trees, shrubs and minibeasts provides a space for relaxation and learning for the whole family.
Not every garden appeals to the full variety of British wildlife, however. Paved driveways, bare fences and gravelled back yards aren’t so inviting for nature. Instead, consider swapping fences for hedges and climbing frames for trees to create habitats and freshen the air. Ponds create safe havens for frogs, dragonflies, bats and birds – but it’s important to keep your pond child safe, too.
Such gardens require maintenance, so you’ll need a lawnmower, shears and compost supplies. Locking garden equipment away in durable metal shed can help to balance security and storage needs.
- The always party-ready garden
This hasn’t been a year for parties, but get-togethers have been sorely missed. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and lots of people are looking forward to the weddings and garden parties of 2021.
By curating a party-ready garden, you can create a space that screams ‘entertainment’. If your family and friends love it enough, they’ll always want to spend time at yours – and you’ll get to enjoy a little luxury on quiet midweek evenings, too.
A permanent gazebo is a great feature to keep the party spirit alive in all weather. This range from Garden Street features barbecue-safe gazebos, sophisticated gazebos for your outdoor sofa and even spa gazebos to cover a hot tub.
- The slice of paradise garden
This garden style is simply adorable – after all, who doesn’t love tropical destinations? Bring a little of the holiday spirit home by laying decking and surrounding it with leafy and luscious plants.
It’s surprisingly easy to create the tropical look in cool climates – choose temperate-weather plants with big and distinctive leaves, such as the mahonia, then layer with UK-friendly palm trees.Hang a hammock in the far corner to complete the lazy island feel, then mirror with your very own beach-style bar, which might be crafted from an old shed. When it comes to sourcing inspiration for the details, we just love this tiki bar basement gallery for its range of colourful ornaments.