When we first moved into our house three-and-a-half years ago, the garden was the type of outdoor space you’d find at the back of any bog-standard new build home. I really wish I had a ‘before’ photo, because seriously guys, it was awful. We’re talking unpainted pale wooden fence panels, terrible quality grass, cheap-as-chips patio slabs and no plants/shrubs/flowers/interesting features whatsoever!

Fast forward to today, and it’s completely transformed. I mean it’s never going to win Garden Of The Year, and the quality of the grass is still awful (I can count twenty two dandelions from where I’m sitting), but hey: it’s my first ever garden where I’ve attempted to try and grow anything but grass. I now love spending time out here: pottering with a watering can, digging up dandelions(!), giving the kids marks out of ten for their star jumps on the trampoline (the trampoline is opposite the shed but no-one wants to see pictures of that right?!). It really does feel like an extension of the house.

Lisa’s New Build Garden {What We Did}

  • We crossed over to the dark side with the shed and the fences by painting them in Cuprinol Urban Slate and Cuprinol Silver Birch respectively. This made a HUGE difference. The greens of the garden really pop against the grey, and even though I was slightly concerned that using moody hues might make the garden seem smaller, it actually had the opposite effect.
  • The patio was titchy, so we extended it by adding a couple of extra rows of slabs. Now there’s actually room for an outdoor table and chairs, and space to walk around it.
  • We asked a landscape gardener to install raised planters made out of railway sleepers, and to incorporate easy-to-maintain plants, shrubs and trees. Our garden is quite overlooked so we also sought their advice on the best types of trees to plant in the raised beds that would provide a bit more privacy.
  • I spent yonks choosing the right outdoor furniture. I was keen to find pieces that were modern (so they matched the era of the house), stylish but kid-friendly. The rattan chairs were from Cox and Cox, and the table is an outdoor dining table from Asda which I spruced up using leftover paint. The outdoor sofa is a modular sofa from made.com and is one of the best purchases we’ve ever made. It’s ridiculously comfy, the cushions still look as good as the day we bought it – that’s despite being constantly left out in the rain/overnight, and the ottoman part can also be used as a coffee table if you whip the cushion off.

To see a couple more pics, and for a sneak peek of my nearly-finished kitchen, head over to Rock My Wedding today for a shoot that took place in my garden.

Lisa’s New Build Garden {Next Steps}

  • See that big expanse of brick wall behind the table? It has been crying out for some greenery since the day we moved in, but as it’s not visible from inside the house, it’s been my last priority. Well, on the weekend I bought a large tall planter from Homesense a bit like this linear planter and I intend to plant roses or some other kind of climber that will hopefully cover the wall. (If you’re in the market for garden stuff get thee down to your local Homesense: they’ve got some bee-you-tiful stuff in at the moment).
  • Most of the cushions in these shots are indoor ones which have been scooped off the sofas in my house, so I’m in desperate need of outdoor cushions. I’m eyeing up these woven ones from Maisons Du Monde.
  • I loved having bright, vibrant blooms in my garden for the Rock My Wedding shoot, so I’m going to do some research into colourful, low-maintenance flowers that don’t mind a) shady spots and b) being plucked by kids. (If the green-fingered readers amongst you have any recommendations, I’m all ears).
  • This is the exciting one. I’d love to replace the patio slabs with concrete tiles, a la Emily Henderson. My tile of choice is that instafave, the Lily Pad, in dark grey encaustic cement. (Again, if anyone has done similar, I’d love to hear your advice). Until then, I’m going to invest in an outdoor rug…B&Q have some beauts. And would you just look at this outdoor pouffe.

For more inspo of the garden variety, I blogged about splurge/steal outdoor furniture last summer and some of the pieces are still available. It’s also worth checking out Allison Sadler’s home tour as she has an absolute peach of a new build garden.

Do you have an outdoor space which you’re planning on tackling this Bank Holiday? Or maybe you’re the proud owner of a newly spruced up garden?

Enjoy the long weekend guys x

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