Four easy ways to spruce up your garden…

Category: "How to" Guides, Sureset Blog

Posted 10th June 2016 by Jim Newton


Looking for ideas to spruce up your garden?

Summer is here, which means now is the ideal time of year to start thinking about the outside of your home and sprucing up your garden. For many of us, the global health crisis of the last year and a bit has renewed our relationship with our homes and gardens. The warmer days of summer are perfect not only for creating a gorgeous outdoor living space, but also for using it.

Time to catch up on the jobs that you have been putting off during the cold, wet months and get your garden ready for some summer action!

Here are four areas of your garden where we think your valuable free time will have the most impact …

1.     Pathways and patios

Pathways and patios are fabulous features for any garden. For starters, few gardens are perfectly level, which can make it difficult to walk around, especially if you or your loved ones have mobility restrictions. What’s more, wet ground can turn into a muddy mess if there’s too much foot- or other traffic on it. A SureSet resin bound pathway makes it much easier to move from one part of your garden to another. The surface is level and permeable, which means slipping and tripping hazards are greatly reduced, and it’s easy to keep clean and to maintain.

A patio can be one of the most versatile spaces at your home. You can use it as an outdoor room where you and your family and friends can enjoy meals in the sunshine or under the stars, as a space in which to relax with a good book, as a place in which to do yoga or other exercises, and more.

If your existing pathway or patio is in good condition you could probably get away with giving it a good clean. If it’s not, there are many quick and easy ways to spruce it up:

  • Re-lay the surface – resin bound paving can be laid onto existing paving such as concrete or asphalt
  • Easily scrape out weeds with a thick piece of wire or an old knife
  • Get creative and make a mosaic using decorative stones, recycled shells or coloured glass
  • If it’s concrete – paint it
  • Add interest by planting succulents, aromatic herbs or miniature pinks between slabs or in cracks. It will soften hard edges and create a pretty ground cover that can be walked on
  • Introduce a water feature or hang a mirror – adding charm and stimulating senses.

If you have small children or grandchildren who visit often, you might want to consider creating a kid’s play area in your garden. As wonderfully soft as lawn can be, it’s not necessarily the idea surface for the area. If your children play there frequently, it may struggle to grow, and you could be left with bare patches. Uneven ground may also lead to children tripping, slipping, or falling. Use SureSet’s Playbound to create a colourful area that, thanks to rubber granules, provides a relatively softer impact if a child trips or falls.

2.     Sheds, fencing and external walls and doors

Fencing and external walls and doors play an important role in kerb appeal, which is how attractive your property appears from the street. Depending on where your shed is, it also could influence your home’s kerb appeal (or your or your neighbours’ opinion of the state of your garden). The last thing you want is for your fence, external walls and doors, or shed to be an eyesore. Thankfully, there are various options you can use to prevent that from happening.

All of these features can be given a new lease of life using the same methods:

  • Paint – to make the area either blend in or stand out
  • Varnish – to protect and leave a natural finish
  • Cover with willow or bamboo for a softer appearance
  • Cladding – both decorative and protective
  • Brick effect render – a two coat system such as Quick Setts.


3.     Redefine borders and trim hedges

If you’re not going for a deliberately wild look, you can spruce things up by defining or redefining borders and areas within your garden with bamboo or willow screening – a cheap and effective option that is widely available.

When it comes to hedges, bushes and shrubs, instead of just trimming them why not try topiary? You don’t have to be too adventurous and create something with intricate detail, you can start by clipping them into squares or spheres. If you want plants that provide a sense of structure in the garden, can make good hedges, or that are easy to topiary, you’ll find plenty of native options. A few of them include:

Box (Buxus sempervirens) – Left unclipped, box grows into a small, pretty tree. When pruned, it becomes thick and dense. Box is one of the best options for topiary.

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) – While not the best option for topiary, holly can bring structure to your garden. Plus, its glossy leaves in summer and bright red berries in winter provide year-round beauty.

Yew (Taxus baccata) – Yew is a fantastic option for hedges and for topiary. However, think twice about planting it if you have small children or grandchildren, as it’s highly toxic.

  4.     Introduce lighting

Many of us have floodlights and wall lights for convenience and security, but they can be harsh and not ideal for creating an atmosphere. Some lighting options could see you transform your outdoor space into an enchanted forest or a fairyland. They can add to the ambience, highlight artworks, prize specimens, or various features in the garden, or simply help to create a scene that your guests will remember. So why not consider:

  • Hanging lights – in most shops there is now an endless choice of fairy lights, lanterns, stars, butterflies…
  • LED lights – ideal and easy to include into wooden decking and in resin bound driveways, patios and pathways
  • Solar lights – for the more environmentally considerate of us, there is a huge range of solar lights including hanging lights, wall lights, spiked lights and even animal-shaped lights
  • Finally, why not get really creative and make your own? It’s simple – tea lights and candles in jam jars are a quick, cheap and easy way to give your garden some gentle, romantic light for warm summer nights.

Please note: water and electricity don’t mix, and we always recommend getting a qualified electrician to carry out this type of work.

These are just a few ways in which you can get your garden in tip-top shape this summer. Explore our paving ranges and be inspired!

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