We spend so much time updating our homes with new wallpaper and paint jobs that the garden comes last on the to-do list. Then spring arrives, and it becomes clear how outdated our backyards are.
If this happens to you, then don’t panic. You can take some simple steps to create an outdoor space that combines practicality with modern design techniques.
Regardless of budget, anyone can modernise their garden with these ideas. Let’s take a look at some of them now.
The Cactus Garden
If well-pruned rose bushes aren’t your thing, then you can opt for a more contemporary look with cactuses. The prickly plants remind people of being in the desert, but they’re cropping up regularly in English gardens.
As an ideal summer plant, cactus thrives in the sunlight, but some can even survive the harsh winter months, contrary to common beliefs.
The Opuntia family (also known as prickly pear plants) is a hardy enough plant type to survive the cold, and it frequently appears in Canada.
Before you decide to add a cactus garden to your outdoor space, make sure you know which plants will thrive and remember, the UK weather is unpredictable.
To create the right look, pair your cactus with stones and garden rocks. You’ll have an exotic outdoor space, which is sure to please anyone that visits. Better still, cactus plants are much easier to maintain than traditional English plants.
Yes, you read that right. Say goodbye to traditional wood and embrace glass decking inserts for the ultimate contemporary look. Glass works best on higher tiers because it creates a transparent effect that allows you to see the grass.
If you don’t have a multi-level garden, you can use the inserts to create a balcony for your wooden decking.
This idea isn’t for everyone, but if you have a suitable garden, it can look incredible. One of our favourite glass balcony ideas is creating a bridge over a flower area or pond. You can add glass inserts to the walkway, which looks high-end.
Ditch the traditional BBQ and go for a modern grilling station. It’s healthier, you can cook a broader range of food types, and it’s ideal for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Grilling stations allow you to cook vegetables, pizzas, meat and seafood outside, without the added inconvenience of streams of smoke coming from the BBQ.
Grilling stations are great for families because they can cook healthy meals while enjoying the outdoors. You can also use the grill for parties, gatherings and to add extra value to your home.
Switch to Modern Seating
Plastic garden chairs are out, making way for some stylish, sustainable alternatives that will bring any garden into the 21st century. Rattan furniture is eternally popular, and as you can see from the image above, it looks incredible.
Other options include wooden benches, fabric snug seats, and waterproof garden sofas. You can do so much, but if you want to go the sustainable route, look for recycled options that will add some style to your garden while benefiting the environment.
Let’s face it; traditional garden furniture doesn’t exactly have a stylish look. But you can avoid paying high prices for furniture you don’t really like by creating garden benches. We love the idea of building a seating area that spans your decking.
Use wood or any material you feel would work in your garden to build the bench, then cover the seats with bright cushions. You’ll end up with an area for socialising and save a lot of money in the process.
If DIY isn’t your thing, there are plenty of seating options and some good deals in gardening stores such as Homebase.
Swing Into Summer
What happened to those garden swings we loved when we were kids? With their stripy and floral designs, they weren’t exactly stylish – but most households had one. Luckily, the swings are still popular, but they come without the questionable embroidered cushions (unless you want them).
So if you love the idea of a modern garden swing seat, you have a lot to choose from. Wooden bench designs give a rustic yet appealing look, but we’re big fans of the pod style swings that scream elegance.
DIY Hobbit House
Traditionally, wendy houses were something every child wanted. From hosting tea parties to socialising with friends, the tiny wooden homes gave every child an outdoor space to make their own.
While wendy houses are still common, hobbit holes offer a magical element for children. Better still, if you know your DIY, they’re pretty easy to build. The Pith + Vigor Blog has an easy to understand guide, and according to the writer, the DIY project costs around $250.
If you decide a DIY hobbit hole is a too much work, a wooden playhouse looks modern, and it’s perfect for the kids to store their toys and play.
The Clip Lock Patio
Clip lock patios are made to be sustainable, and they’re a fantastic option if you don’t want to commit to building a patio. It works in the same way as temporary flooring solutions. You click and lock the tiles together to make a functional dining area for your garden.
The best thing about click and lock patios is how easy they are to install and remove. If you’re having a child’s birthday party in your garden or want more space, you can easily take the patio away and replace it later.
Change the Design of Your Garden
If your garden is particularly outdated, then you might want to consider changing the layout and design. While this idea costs more money, it could be a worthy investment and add value to your home.
Garden space is a defining factor for undecided buyers, and implementing a modern design could make it a more attractive environment with added functionality.
It’s important to put your stamp on the property, and a personalised garden plan will take all of your preferences into consideration while maintaining the structural elements that make your outdoor space unique.
If you need to brush up on your garden skills, you can read our beginners guide here.