Written by Charlotte Luxford

7 garden updates to improve your outdoor space

Outdoor living has become huge over the last few years. Not only because we were stuck at home a lot during the pandemic, but because warmer summers have made al fresco entertaining more palatable in Britain. So why not try a few easy garden updates to ‘level-up’ your summer entertaining game?

Good Homes magazine highlights some easy ways to give your garden an extra-special makeover this year…

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1. Upgrade your garden suite

A modern sofa set is one of the easiest and most impactful garden updates. An L-shaped design is not only more inclusive, but it’s a good way to zone off a dedicated seating area in your garden. A matching coffee table and two built-in side tables at either end are perfect for perching drinks and nibbles on.

The Camber corner sofa set (currently on sale for £1,899 from Furniture Village, pictured below) is made of 100% weather-proof PE rattan, has a versatile stool that also serves as a footrest/chaise end, and a glass-topped coffee table. If you’re looking for more of a bargain corner sofa set, try Aldi’s similar chaise-style set, which at just £299.98 regularly sells out, or B&M’s four-piece corner set with storage box and table at £600.

The Camber corner sofa set from Furniture Village

The Camber corner sofa set from Furniture Village

2. Add a living wall

Living walls are a great idea for urban gardens where there’s not much room for greenery elsewhere, or spaces where plants don’t naturally grow. If you’re not especially green-fingered, there are plenty of faux living walls out there for a stylish maintenance-free alternative.

This faux living wall panel system from Vistafolia (pictured below) offers realistic living walls packed with 72 faux plants per panel (from £288 per panel). For a bargain version, try Dunelm’s artificial eucalyptus and sedum wall panels (£80 for a pack of six), Dowsing & Reynold’s moss wall panels (£34.99 each) or Ikea’s FEJKA artificial plant panels (£5 each).

Living garden wall with sofa, yellow string seats and garden rug

Photo: Vistafolia

3. Transform the shed

Turn your tired-looking shed into a feature rather than an eyesore with a bright lick of paint. Add a trellis or garden wire for climbing plants such as rambling roses, sweetpea or even beans to creep up the outside once you’re done, and finish it off with a string of solar-powered bulbs. The stylish shed-cum-summer-house shown below is painted in Osmo natural oil paint from the Country Colour selection in Labrador Blue, priced around £25 for 0.75L.

Read more >>> 7 inspirational ways to transform your garden shed

Blue and white large outdoor shed in garden, goodhomesmagazine.com

Photo: Osmo

4. Screen it off

We all have those parts of the garden that are more functional than stylish – the bin shed, the jumbled collection of bicycles – but you can screen them off. Opt for a stylish metal screen with a built-in planter over the usual timber trellis for a modern and long-lasting way is a great way to hide something unsightly, create a little privacy from neighbours or even to zone a garden if you have a larger space.

Screens with Envy offers a wide selection of large garden privacy screens and trellises in a variety of colour and pattern options. They’re made from advanced wood composite material, so they don’t warp, age or mould. Below you can see them used in Good Homes editor Karen Walker’s garden to help zone the space.

garden screens creating zones in a modern garden with corner sofa, pergola and patterned tiles

Screen with Envy garden screens create zones in Good Homes editor Karen Walker’s garden. Photo: Lizzie Orme

5. Add a firepit

Make the most of the long summer nights with a firepit that will keep everyone toasty as the sun sets. This one should be top of the garden updates list for Love Island fans! Top tip: add a bunch of herbs to the fire such as lavender, mint and sage that’ll not only smell nice, but will keep pesky mosquitos at bay too. Pictured below is the Pittsburg small firepit, £139 from Dobbies Garden Centres.

Read more >>> 8 of the best firepits for evenings outdoors

Outdoor open firepit on balcony with wooden chair nearby

Photo: Dobbies

6. Paint a holiday wall

Holiday walls are the new summer trend for Gen-Z and Millennials. Born out of lockdown, when holidays were tricky and good social media content lacking, many took to creating a ‘holiday wall’ in their garden as a backdrop for better photos. A holiday wall is a space in the garden or on a balcony that is transformed to look like a picturesque holiday spot.

Fancy creating your own? Read DIY enthusiast Hannah Gale’s guide to creating a holiday wall, in partnership with Wickes, here.

Holiday wall with bright pastel rainbow colours and flowers in Brighton

Hannah Gale’s colourful holiday wall in Brighton. Photo: Hannah Gale

7. Create a mini allotment

Create a mini allotment plot in your garden with a raised planter – it’s the perfect way to get the kids growing their own fruit and veg, or for those with compact gardens to grow-their-own lettuce. Order the stackable small raised bed kit, shown below, for just £16 from B&Q. Stackable and modular, you can expand you garden allotment patch as you get more green fingered. Add a mesh tunnel cover (£28) to help keep pests off your patch.

Outdoor raised planter with net covering for home vegetable growing

Photo: B&Q

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