Turn your tiny terraced city garden into a seaside retreat complete with beach hut styled shed and grass skirt parasol. Let me start from the beginning, Hi! I’m Melissa, Charlotte’s little sister and in March I came out of a five year relationship.

I thought it was the real deal, marriage, family, the works, so it was a bit of a shocker when it ended so abruptly. We lived together in the house I’m still in and at the time of the break up I was tempted to move, everything reminded me of him. The bottom line was I simply couldn’t afford to, besides, it was my home.

There was some moping, and significant wine drinking (!) but rather than wallow in self pity I decided to do something with the resources I had available and try and cheer myself up. I’ve never really done anything with my garden before and with summer approaching I thought it would be nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy (one too many) frozen margaritas with friends.

I’ve always wanted to live by the sea, so I decided to go coastal with my decor. I know this probably isn’t the norm for a mid-terrace fairly near the city centre but who cares, do whatever the hell you fancy I say! By the way, I’m not expecting to win any best in show awards, I love my little space but it’s all done with a pinch of much needed humour.

I started by making my shed into a beach “hut”, painting it with Cuprinol Sea Grass and hanging pretty lantern lights. I bought a selection of “happy” flowers that I love, sunflowers, gerberas and fuchsias and my Dad treated me to two rose bushes, “New Dawn” (appropriate) and “Hot princess” which is my favourite shade of bright pink.

I am very proud of my vegetable patch! I grow rhubarb, runner beans, potatoes (the Charlotte variety obviously) strawberries and raspberries as well as a selection of herbs. My patio set was dirt cheap from some outlet store off the M5, it’s not exactly glamorous but it does the job. My favourite thing is my parasol, I thought Charlotte was going to die laughing when she saw it. If you want one for yourself it was a tenner off ebay 🙂

My driftwood decoration was from Brighton, I went for my birthday weekend with my friend Lizzie 3 months after the break-up and we had a brilliant time, it was the first time I’d properly laughed in ages so it’s a permanent reminder of getting on with my life and all the good things to come in the future.

For other bits and bobs I’d recommend having a look in B&Q and Matalan, there is some right old rubbish in both but you can find some nice things too, and they are cheap. My pink flower fairy lights were from B&Q, think they were about £12.99.

My garden has become a place I can go to relax and switch off, read a book or as I mentioned before, invite friends for cocktails! I certainly feel much better than I did 6 months ago but I do have my moments… I’m still holding out for Prince Charming so if you know him, and he would appreciate club tropicana on the outskirts of Birmingham, give him my number.

If you could recommend any flowers or veg I could be planting now in time for Spring it would be appreciated!