candle cottage patioSpring is finally here; as well as spring cleaning our homes, many of us will look to sprucing up our outdoor spaces as well.

As the weather gets warmer and the evening lighter, there’s nothing nicer than imagining sitting out on the patio with friends. With that in mind we have put together some idea you might like to consider to enhance your gardens.

Take stock of your garden furniture.

Before you hit the garden centres, take stock of what you already have, what needs repairing and what needs replacing? You might be surprised that a simple varnish to wood furniture and clean to other garden furniture can save you from replacing the set.  When looking at new garden furniture, consider that since outdoor living space is an extension of your home, choose pieces that continue the flow of your design style inside.

Plant your perennials.

Now the early morning frost has stopped, you can now plant your perennials with confidence that your plants make it through to summer. You might like to consider the colour scheme and vibe you are looking to achieve; tropical, cottage garden or rustic wildflowers perhaps.  Add in a few plants that attract bees, our natural pollinators that will make sure your flowers bloom.

If you don’t have a large garden, why not build a container garden on your small patio or balcony, this will give you the same hit of nature that we all crave after a long winter.

Build a fire pit.

Creating a personal fire pit for your garden using inexpensive materials is surprisingly easy and a fire pit is perfect for entertaining late into the night on the patio when temperatures drop. It also gives an instant focal point and a place to gather around.

A wooden cover can turn the fire pit into a table for drinks and hors d’oeuvres until the sun goes down and then can be removed when it’s time for relaxing and toasting marshmallows.

Create more shade.

We know that the draw to being outside during the warmer months is obviously the sunshine, but all day sun exposure can be damaging. Don’t feel limited to a simple patio umbrella, there are many more stylish shade options: buying (or building) a pergola for a sitting or dining area, raising a Sun Sail for a more modern look, or hanging a large umbrella from your tree’s canopy.

Let there be light.

While a state-of-the-art lighting plan can be expensive and should be installed by professionals, there are many things you can do to create atmosphere with lighting on the cheap — sometimes using items you already have in your home.

Wrapping trees with fairy lights creates an enchanted forest effect. Filling a hanging lantern or birdcage with an entire string of fairy lights adds a concentrated burst of rustic brightness.

Solar powered or LED lights on stakes can illuminate a walkway and delineate the edge of a patio, and similar styles have adjustable spotlights to shine up onto your home, fence, or foliage.

Hang outdoor curtains.

Create the feeling of another room simply by adding curtains to fully or partially enclose any outdoor space and make it feel more intimate. Attach hooks to the underside of an awning, pergola or porch and hang a curtain rod between them.  Outdoor fabric will have more durability, but if you can be diligent enough to take it down between uses, a floaty transparent fabric can create a beautiful, ethereal effect.

Create some Zen.

Add a water feature and wind-chimes for soothing sounds and create privacy from neighbours by strategically planting trees or hanging baskets. Add a garden sculpture and plant bushes to attract butterflies. 

Nature has been proven time and again to have restorative effects on the mind and body, so, with the sunny weather on its way, why not create a space in your garden where you can relax, read and generally just “unplug” for a little while.