This spring make your garden somewhere you will want to spend time over the summer, and start looking forward to long warm evenings of entertaining, and quiet sunny moments with a book. Now is the time for Canadian homeowners to wake up that tired space, give it a sort out after the long winter months, and reinvigorate the areas that need a shake-up.
There are plenty of springtime jobs to do in the garden, even for those who don’t have a green thumb, and we look at a few of the non-plant related tasks you can do now to make the biggest impact for a truly fantastic summer-time space.
Tidy up time
The place to start, as with any home project, is to tidy the space. Over winter dead leaves accumulate, furniture gets moved to protect it from the elements, and unattractive plant pots from last year’s summer are left, giving the garden a tired and dreary look. Spend time clearing any rubbish, sorting items that haven’t survived the winter weather, and make the garden tidy and clear.
In the process of tidying, the garden will instantly look more inviting, and will be a good backdrop for any furnishings, plants and accessories you add.
Try a new colour
Plants are not the only way to add colour to a garden. Consider any outside buildings you may have, and the fences or walls in your garden. Freshening up the paint, or adding a new colour can give the garden a whole new look and feel.
Calm muted blues and greens are harmonious and create a tranquil vibe, whereas dark grey, black and navy give a more sophisticated feel. To add a hot Mexican, or Moroccan edge to a party garden, choose a more daring colour like vibrant fuchsia, bright mustard, or even a pop of tangerine. For a complete feel, echo the colour palette around the garden through coloured plant pots, cushions, and your planting scheme. Whatever colours you opt for, your garden will thank you for the fresh paint, which can make even an old shed look brand new again.
Clean up the patio
Use a pressure washer to wash away any dirt and debris from the patio or decking. Do not forget to clean any steps or ramps leading to the property too, as not only will this make a much more attractive entrance to the garden, but also ensures accessibility. Over winter paved and decked areas notoriously build up deposits of moss or lichen which not only spoil the appearance of the garden but can be slippery underfoot when wet. By power washing these areas you can restore them to their just-laid glory.
Rearrange the seating
Use the task of bringing out the garden furniture as an opportunity to rearrange the layout of your outside space. Consider where the sun hits at different times of the day, and how you want to use your garden. Maybe the fire pit and BBQ area would be better at the end of the garden to catch the last of the evening sun each day. Or maybe the bistro set would be ideal in a side nook, for quiet morning coffee with friends. Think about which plants you want to show off more this year, and which garden views are the most pleasing. By ringing the changes in seating areas, you can make your garden feel a little bit different in the coming months, without spending a penny.
Hang a mirror
In home design, increasingly we talk about ‘bringing the outside in,’ and in garden design the reverse is true too. To make a truly comfortable outside space you can fill it with indoor/outdoor rugs, outside fairy lights, and weatherproof cushions, and more and more often garden seating areas resemble any other room in the house. In this vein, mirrors are a great way to make the garden feel homely, whilst having a few other benefits too. They can increase light in a dark corner, make a small space feel larger, and if placed by a particularly beautiful plant or ornament, make a really special focal point.