Garden

Home » Garden

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too!

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been deep cleaning the house and preparing the garden for summer. Okay, okay, yes it’s a little bit crazy that when business is booming and the wedding is literally days away we’ve decided to give ourselves all this extra work… But it’s really important that our house is lovely and clean when we leave it for our honeymoon, so when we come back we’re not coming back to lots of jobs to do.

We’ve had astroturf in the garden since I moved in 4 years ago, and I’ve never truly been happy with it. It never looked real and it was always wet and horrible (we live in England, why didn’t I think of this before!). The garden became a dumping ground in the winter and it ended up getting so out of control. One wet soggy day I decided just to rip the whole thing up and replace it with decorative stones. Little did I know how much of a job it was going to be but we’re FINALLY✨ getting there (not finished!).How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Why we chose gravel

Decorative stones can come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and they can play a variety of different roles in a garden from providing driveways to creating a unique garden border.

Gravel is easy to maintain, by topping up with extra aggregate if needed or if the area becomes dirty. There is also a range of colours and shapes to suit your home and outdoor space from traditional or creating a modern flair. Crushed gravel is ideal for pathways or driveways as the stones fit and come together.

It is a cost-effective and low maintenance way to decorate your outdoor space. Other than being cheap and low maintenance, there were two other reasons we opted for gravel, as opposed to alternatives such as patio:

  • Drainage – The use of decorative stone can be an ideal solution for drainage in your garden, pea gravel which contains small round stones are available in different sizes and colours. Pea gravel can provide decorative drainage for flower pots and beds.
  • Weed Control – Placing stones on a rockery or border can help prevent unwanted weed growth. It is ideal to remove any pre-grown weeds and roots before placing the stones, the stones will then create a barrier and prevent any regrowth of weeds or unwanted plants.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

It’s pretty versatile, too. The use of decorative stones on a driveway is becoming increasingly popular and is a great way to add a personalised touch to your home. With an aggregate driveway, no matter how heavy your vehicle is you do not need to worry about damaging the material underneath the wheel, stones for driveways and paths are extremely durable and do not chip and crack with excessive wear.

Storage

We received this shed c/o Wayfair a couple of months ago, which was great because it’s something we really needed. We always wanted to put some type of storage underneath the decking but struggled to find something that would fit. Luckily we found this one, and with a bit of DIY, we managed to get it underneath the decking. The great thing is, we also have tons of room behind the shed to store bits and bobs, too without it being an eyesore.

As you can see, it’s still not finished. This is where we still need to do a ton of work like pressure washing the walls and floors, cleaning the kayaks and organising the shed a little bit more (perhaps put some shelving in there). But for now, it does the job and it’s had a decent clear out. These are always things we can do another time and at least now we know it’s only an afternoon job, rather than a mammoth task.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Landscaping

Honestly, who would know that going to garden centres and filling your garden with luscious plants and shrubs would be oh so satisfying? I love shopping but I never thought I’d care about getting my hands dirty in the garden to plant some flowers. It’s pretty addictive and there’s so much to learn about when it comes to gardening and it’s pretty cool to see them flourishing. My fiancée says I’m old before my time because I like to bake fresh bread instead of buying it at the shop and I get excited about going to the garden centre to get new bedding plants 😂

Buying plants can be mega expensive, so we’ve started with some plug plants and small bushes, as opposed to buying mature trees etc. It’s slow progress, even our Jasmine tree is almost 4 years old and it feels like it’s barely grown, but it isn’t in the best spot. We might end up investing in some more plants but for the meantime, this will do (especially as we’ll be on our honeymoon this summer and barely be able to properly enjoy it!).

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Borders and Planters

Another good thing about decorative gravel can create an appealing border and can help protect plants from the attack of weeds. Using an aggregate with plants can help keep moisture into the soil the summer months. Depending which gravel you choose you can create different effects, whether it is natural or sand effect to blend in with other natural elements such as stonework and paving or black gravel to add a dramatic modern effect to your outdoor space, there is a large range that will suit any project.

Gravel is also a good way of adding extra drainage to your outdoor space and can protect excess water from building up and damaging foundations. Our hydrangea bush and border flowers are only just beginning to flower (and some haven’t even got that far), so I’m going to leave it a few more leaks until layering our pea gravel over these. We’ve started to do it for our rose bush and jasmine in the corner though, as these are a little bit more mature and I figure they’d be able to handle it.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Decking 

We had the decking put in when the house was built and although it requires a little bit of upkeep, I do love it. I’m always so surprised how much better it looks when it’s been pressure washed and been stained. This year we decided to go for a slightly deeper colour, teak. Every year we seem to opt to go a little darker to cover a multitude of sins but I actually prefer it being dark like this. We’re planning on pressure washing and staining the fencing and decking surrounding the gravel area, too which will bring it all together.

When we were talking to our friends and family about re-doing our garden lots of people said about getting more decking at the bottom of the garden, but there are a few reasons that turned us off it. Firstly, it’s waaaay more expensive and time-consuming to install, especially when you have a wonky shape garden like ours. Secondly, we liked the contrast that the gravel gives to the garden, instead of it all being one colour.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Cost breakdown

  • Bulk bag 800kg grey 20mm gravel £40 delivered from a local supplier
  • Colours teak matt decking stain 2.5L £20 from B&Q
  • Bedding plants, planters and shrubs £39 from a local hardware store

The thing that really transformed our garden here (other than blood, sweat and tears), was the gravel. So, if you are looking for a healthy-looking garden with low maintenance the use of decorative aggregate may be for you, it is easy to manage throughout summer and can create some stunning features in a garden adding colour and character. For landscaping projects, it allows you to keep the cost down as a decorative aggregate are cheaper than paving or other more extensive projects and you can enjoy your garden rather than maintaining it.

2019-04-12T16:49:57+00:00 April 12, 2019|Home Decor|

How to Make Your Small Patio Greener When You Live in the City

We all love outdoor living, no matter where we live. Those with limited space and resources often find it difficult to improve their living and enjoy the fresh air. If you currently only have a small balcony or patio, you might be thinking about making it greener without paying too much or having to work on the design too much. Below you will find a few tips on how to make your small patio greener and more enjoyable in every weather.

How to Make Your Small Patio Greener When You Live in the City | UK Lifestyle Blog

Add Low Maintenance Features

With limited space, you might not want to go for decking or stones, but you still want to create a good looking green space. You can install some artificial grass and feel as if you are walking on your own lawn. If the rest of your tiny garden is paved, you will love this green feature without having to squeeze the lawnmower in the tight space. You can check out LazyLawn for quality, easy to install grass features.

Improve Your Lighting

One of the best things about having your own patio or balcony is that you can improve your lighting and spend the nights outdoors when it is simply too warm or stuffy in the house. There are plenty of great solutions; from solar patio lights to lanterns that will do two things at a time; keep the bugs away and create a warm light for those romantic nights when you are enjoying your favourite glass of wine or cocktail and having a chat with your friends or loved ones.

Windproof and Waterproof Features

If you are planning to extend your living room to the patio or balcony, it is important that you protect yourself from the elements. You can add a reed screen that will not only give you the privacy in the midst of the city, but also prevent the icy wind from entering your little domain. You should also invest in a strong roof, such as a honeycomb panel, so you get the light in during the day and prevent getting wet when it is pouring down.

How to Make Your Small Patio Greener When You Live in the City | UK Lifestyle Blog

Plant Shrubs

When you have limited space, you have to get creative about greenery. Not all plants will survive the winter and the summer heat. The best way of adding green features is planting small shrubs in small window boxes and placing them around your small space. Alternatively, you can get them hung from the rails, and this will improve the air quality indoors and in your patio as well.

Pot Plants

If you simply don’t want to have permanent features and plants in your balcony or patio, you can get some sturdy pot plants or even artificial ones in your balcony. The windier your outdoor space is, the more likely you will need to opt for this solution. Still, you can get a peace of paradise and improve your mood and living area on a budget.

If you would like to make the most out of your small patio or balcony and enjoy greenery and outdoor living every day of the year, try the above tips.

2018-08-20T23:58:03+00:00 August 19, 2018|Home Decor|

Create Your Own Outdoor Living Room

Summer is here and this the time of year when many people want to make full use of their garden spaces. And one of the best ways of doing this is by creating a living room environment in your garden. If this is an aim that you have yourself, this article will give you a few pointers about how exactly you can achieve this goal.

Create Your Own Outdoor Living Room | UK Lifestyle Blog

Make the Space Accessible

Many people choose to put their outdoor living rooms nearby to their houses so that they are able to access the amenities that they need from indoors. Putting your outdoor living room next to your house also allows you to provide some shelter from the elements.

Keep the Layout Comfortable

Keep your outdoor living room a similar size to your indoor space – or even smaller if you would like. Even if your outdoor furniture is different from indoors, you still want it to be comfortable. Check out the Rattan and Lighting Company for some possible options. One of the great pleasures of an outdoor living room is the fact that you don’t have to make it appear too overcrowded with stuff. Plush textiles, cushions, blankets etc will help to provide the finishing touches to the space.

Give Plenty of Lighting Options

There will be times when you want to continue the party after the sun has already set. On these occasions, you should provide enough lighting to make sure that all your guests can still see each other comfortably! There are plenty of outdoor lighting options to choose from. And while you are shopping for them, you could also look into the hearing options which are available to you as well.

Create Your Own Outdoor Living Room | UK Lifestyle Blog

Keep it Private

It is a lot harder to properly relax if you feel like the neighbours are going to poke their heads over the fence at any minute to see what is going on. There are a number of different ways that you can create an added privacy effect. Billowy curtains are a nice cost-effective and elegant option if you want to go down this path. Otherwise, you could consider investing in some screens, which are a moveable solution. If you have green fingers, you can shroud your living room in plants and flowers to shield your outdoor space from prying eyes.

Add a Focal Point

All good living rooms are supposed to have a focal point – and this is probably not going to be your big screen TV like it is indoors! Some of the favourite choices out there include fire pits, fireplaces, fish ponds, and water features. Otherwise, if you have a complete outdoor kitchen area as well, your focal point could be your cooker or grill.

Creating an outdoor living room will give you years of fun and memories – and you can always add extra features over time to make it even more special. Follow the strategic tips in this article to create the space that you are looking for.

2018-08-08T18:37:35+00:00 August 8, 2018|Home Decor|
Load More Posts