Modern Garden

With summer on the way, it’s time to reclaim your garden from the grass and weeds (or embrace it) to create a space you want to spend time in. From atmospheric lighting and water features to encouraging wildlife and cultivating your plants, there are limitless ways to upgrade your garden.

Here at Likely Loans, we’ve collected some of our favourite tips from magazine.co.uk’s best home and gardening magazines so you can improve your home and make your garden your own personal paradise.

1. Define your areas

Make the best use of your space by stylishly dividing your garden into distinct areas. Manipulating your space starts with paths, steps and terraces, which are the linking areas of your garden. None of these has to be purely functional either, with plenty of ways to make even a simple path look stunning. Stick to a single colour palette or material to add cohesion and harmony - a mixture of coloured gravel and cobbles or brick and stone paving may look a bit jarring. By beginning with this, you’ll have each of your areas enclosed, ready to be designed individually.

See more on Country Living

Define Areas

2. Choose a garden style

If you want your garden to look expertly put together, one idea is to have an overarching garden style or theme to use as a base. These garden styles include traditional, formal, cottage, Mediterranean, minimalist and contemporary. It’s worth researching what each of these looks like for inspiration, perhaps on Pinterest, to determine what elements and aesthetics you’re particularly drawn to. Feel free to combine styles to break the rules and create something unique.

See more on The English Garden


Garden style

3. Rewild your garden

Rewilding is a gardening trend where you return your land to the natural habitats that provide water, food and shelter to its wildlife. It’s all about letting nature take back control, and when done, wildlife will once again have a home, creating a garden that’s soothing, uplifting and teeming with life. You have to teach yourself to take a step back - long grass, weeds and brambles are all a good thing, no matter how messy it may look. Other ideas include switching fences to hedges, planting wildflowers and making sure there’s always a water source, no matter how small.

See more on Homes & Gardens

Rewild your garden

4. Stylise your fencing

Fencing not only gives you privacy but brings definition and style to your garden space. Often overlooked, fencing is usually considered purely practical, when in reality, it can completely transform the look of your garden. Check out what the current season trends are for inspiration - adding a splash of paint to update an old fence can create a feature wall for your garden, or you could get a striking look with two-toned panels. Consider having trellises as well, perfect for growing climbing flowers for a more delicate look.

See more on Ideal Home

Green painted fence

5. Grow your own salads quickly

Dreaming of growing your own produce? Certain crops can grow relatively quickly, due to their short growing cycle, some with just a small number of weeks or months between sowing and enjoying a fresh, delicious salad. Leafy greens and radishes are better eaten when they’re still young so can often only take a month, while spring onions take around 8 weeks. If you’ve got a little extra time, both courgettes and beetroot can be ready to eat in three months. Wow your friends and family with your own home-grown salads in no-time.

See more on Grow Your Own

Radish gardening

6. Planting trees in small gardens

Just because you have a small garden, doesn’t mean you can’t plant a tree, it’s simply a case of researching the right ones. A well-positioned tree that doesn’t dwarf your garden or block out all the light can be a stunning focal point for the garden. It can be tricky, however, as you need to know how high the tree will grow, how long that will take and whether or not the roots may damage the foundations of your house - that’d be the last thing you want. If you find it hard to decide where you want your tree or plan on moving in the future, start by growing your tree in a pot.

See more on Gardeners’ World

Peach trees

7. Light it right

What’s the point in a beautiful garden if you can’t stare at it all day long? LED lights are the perfect way to add magic to your outdoor spaces, not to mention the practicality, especially if you host outside frequently. The best way to light your garden is to use a combination of sources, using it to highlight texture and depth, focusing on any parts of your garden that are particularly worth looking at, like water or trees. For a more atmospheric effect, try candles and lanterns.

See more on House Beautiful

Garden lighting

8. Small garden ideas

Small gardens are the reality for many of us, which is why there are so many ideas out in the world for how to make the most of it. It’s important to start with functionality - what do you want your garden to do for you, and how can you fit those elements in. Do you want to grow your own produce, or space for the kids to play or just a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the fresh air? Whatever it is, use that as your base and build around it. From there, you’ll want to start planting, whether that’s in flower beds, plant pots or even balcony boxes. This will usually be about beautifying your space.

See more on House and Garden

Gardening fresh herbs

9. Indulge in an outdoor cinema

What could be better on a warm summer’s evening than an open-air movie night? If you’ve got extra space protected from the wind and rain, and are willing to invest in a projector, having your own outdoor cinema may be easier than you think. Project a film onto a hung white sheet, grab some snacks and set up your own cosy sitting space to bring everyone together for a couple of hours enjoying your favourite film.

See more on Ideal Home

Outdoor cinema

10. Make it look like you hired a designer

You don’t need to spend tons of money on hiring a landscaper or designer to have a garden that’ll be the envy of your neighbours. Instead, learn from them and use their methods for yourself. Start by imagining your vision and theme based on what appeals to you and what you love. Then create a mood board or Pinterest board to help visualise what you want. It’s a good idea to collect everything you like and narrow this down after so you can see for yourself what patterns frequently pop up.

See more on House Beautiful

Stylish Garden

11. Plant flowers strategically

Every plant is unique, with its own needs, features and character. One of the most important aspects of your plant growth is timing, the seasons are everything here, especially if you want flowers all year round. Spring is all about bulb plants like tulips and daffodils, while summer turns to long-lasting perennials like acanthus and dill - although gladiolus is another beautiful summer flower. Autumn is the rise of the late-bloomers like dahlias, anemones and aster. Winter is tough for flowers, but you still have options like snowdrops crocuses and irises.

See more on House Beautiful

Plant Strategically

12. Buying a garden water feature

A water feature is a peaceful focal point of any garden, attracting wildlife and creating your own personal sanctuary. It can be quite an investment, so research is key. Logistically, a lot of water features don’t actually need a water supply, so you don’t need to worry, just top it up occasionally. It’s also worth testing water features behind buying so you get to hear it for yourself and decide if the sound is right for you and not annoying instead. Consider either buying one with built-in lighting or getting additional lights as this can really enhance the feature.

See more on House Beautiful

Water Fountain

13. Use Mulch

It’s no secret that plants grown in mulch grow healthier, discouraging weeds and taking far less time to maintain, but how do you choose which mulch is best for your plants? There are two main types: organic and inorganic. Organic mulches degrade to enrich the soil, which may seem like the easy winner, but certain plants thrive with inorganic mulches, so it’s not time to throw it out. Wood chippings and leaves are probably the most common, but grass clippings, compost and straw can all be used as mulch too.

See more on Good Housekeeping

Mulch

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