Last year, we sold our Victorian terrace in Bristol and moved to sunny Dorset. After a rather long wait for our sellers to find a house, we gave up trying to buy their 1930s semi and took the easy option – a brand new three-storey townhouse. I never thought I’d buy a new build, but it’s actually beautiful, with traditional-style features and bags of space.
The garden, however, is a little less inspiring, so I’m currently attempting to transform it into a colourful, Mediterranean oasis. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way…
When a lawn stretches out in front of you, with nothing to break it up, it can look deceptively small, uninspiring and bland. Even if you don’t have the time or budget to start changing your garden’s layout, there are little things you can do to break up the eyeline and make the space more exciting.
Defining a seating area is the first thing to do. This might be the closest section to the house, or the sunniest spot in the garden. A contrast in ground covering is the most ideal way to create zones, but if this isn’t possible, use flower pots, fencing or balustrade.
Light things up
I am obsessed with festoon lighting! It adds interest to a plain fence or wall, gives perspective and height and best of all, creates a beautiful ambience as the light fails in the evening.
Sort those pots
Nothing says ‘neglected’ more than pots of dried-up soil! Spend a day emptying them out and re-plant with lavender, shasta daisies, hydrangea and cosmos to add instant colour and life.
Create an outdoor room
Throws and cushions will both liven up a dull seating area, but go one step further and add an outdoor rug and mirror for the ultimate in al fresco luxe. I found my outdoor runner at Ikea for £7.50, but if you want something bigger try MiaFleur.
Living in a very tall townhouse, the garden feels like it’s down in a dip, so I’m planning pergolas to give it a better sense of perspective. You then have the perfect structure to grow vines and hang lanterns.