Top tips for brightening up small gardens and backyard spaces from Folies of Stansted
Lucy and Sally Lewis from Folies of Stansted have suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing for brightening up any outdoor space...
Small gardens and backyard spaces are so much fun to create and enjoy. And even if you have a big garden, creating smaller areas within it can provide you with a special place to eat, entertain or simply relax.
Tip No 1... plants just want to thrive. Many plants will even grow out of cracks in paving, so if you give them a little space and just a little TLC they will generally reward you. You can use anything to grow your plants in, giving your garden an individualism that speaks of your creation.
Take, for example, an old chest of drawers. This is an ideal space to create a lovely focal point that gives different heights and is relatively quick and easy. You can repaint the drawers if you want to, using any old leftover paint that you might have. The idea is that it might fade and wash off, but that is part of the look.
Then simply open the drawers at different intervals to give a tiered effect. Fill them with compost and plant away. It is nice to have a variety of plants in the drawers to make different heights and some that will trail over the edges to soften the look. As we are just coming into summer bedding season, you could plant up with geraniums, verbena, trailing nepeta, begonias and so on.
People often throw away old furniture that has outgrown its use, so you can pick up great bargains on freecycle sites.
Container planting can also give you an instant-effect garden. If you use different size pots, you can create an aesthetically pleasing combination that draws your eye to that area. If you have a shady spot, it is an idea to plant luscious green-leafed plants like hostas, ferns and grasses. This will produce a tranquil feel to an area that you may otherwise struggle to plant in, and the bamboo and grasses offer free sound effects as the leaves softly brush together.
If you are placing your pots directly onto soil rather than a patio, you could think about taking the bottom off the pot or drilling lots of holes in the bottom. This will help you in two ways. Firstly, you can contain a plant that might otherwise be invasive, such as a bamboo, and secondly you will have to water less frequently because plants – ingenious survivors that they are – will find a way to get their roots down into the ground enabling them to draw water up, saving you time.
Terracotta pots are great for creating that Mediterranean feel. Fill them with geraniums and other vivid colours to take you instantly to an Italian garden or your favourite Mediterranean hot spot.
Rustic metal is great for an old English cottage garden effect. Fill them with perennials like delphiniums, lupins and foxgloves for that perfect English summer feeling.
How many people have now got too many reusable hessian shopping bags that are looking a little bit sad because they have been in your boot for a little bit too long? Why not plant some of them up? They make great grow bags for vegetables and herbs. They look stunning planted and hung on a wall. If you cut some slits in them, you can use them like a living wall with trailing plants growing from the pockets.
To see some of these ideas, why not pay us a visit and try our delicious locally roasted coffee, freshly toasted paninis and homemade cakes, or why not sample our Hazel End wines, chilled to perfection? We always love a chat and love to hear your own creative ideas. See you soon.