Turning Your Garden Zone into an Outdoor Home

Friday, April 07, 2017

For some people, a backyard is a wonderland of opportunity in terms of gardening stunning flowerbeds, but a garden, for others, is just an outdoor space which came with the house. Whichever category you fall into, there’s so much you could be doing with your outdoor space that you’d never before considered. If you like nature but you just never fancied yourself as a green-fingered expert in the garden, perhaps you need to instead approach the task with the mentality you’d have when conducting a little interior design around your household; this can be a creative venture.

Turning your garden into something homely involves creature comforts just as much as planting flowerbeds, trimming weeds and other chores which you might deem mundane. This can be a fun project if you approach it with the right mentality. This is the extra room of your house which may have been neglected up until now, or perhaps it’s simply missing a bit of flavour even if you have done a little gardening in the past. The key to turning your garden zone into an outdoor home starts with the pieces of advice below.

Clear out pests

Unfortunately, you need to start with the boring stuff. Don’t be discouraged just yet. Think of this as a renovation of that old, dusty forgotten spare room in your house. Maybe it’s overflowing with cobwebs and endless stacks of boxes, but you know you’ll feel so much better once you’ve cleared it out and you have the opportunity to work with a sparkling, brand new room.

In much the same way, you need to start by “tidying up” your back garden and getting rid of pests. Any plants or flowers you do have in your garden [or hope to have at the end of this project] will be devoured by pesky slugs and other small creatures if you don’t work towards keeping your outdoor space free of them. Take it as a testament to the sheer beauty and attractiveness of your garden. Still, that doesn’t mean you should welcome your visitors with open arms.

Do some research, and plan your garden

Getting the perfect blend between nature and manmade elements is the key to a perfect garden, as you’ll likely want to push yourself further than a few garden gnomes dotted around the grass. You need to do some research and form a plan before you get stuck into your project, otherwise you might find that you haven’t calculated how much space you need for the flowerbeds and the path which will weave through them. You don’t want to realise halfway through that you’ve run out of room for everything, as you wouldn’t “improvise” if you were designing the layout for your living room or kitchen.

Your garden is much the same. You’re working with a finite space, but this patch of land can feel infinite if you do enough research. Looking into online magazines or perhaps even real-life libraries [books are still a thing] for inspiration might be just what you need to get started. You can cherry-pick your favourite elements from different garden ideas, much as you’ll be doing throughout this article, in order to create a solid overall image of the kind of garden you want.

Cut out or save any intriguing pictures to your computer, and start to form a plan based around them. Ensure you take some measurements of your garden and try to create an accurate diagram displaying where every object, natural or otherwise, will be situated. By doing this, you’re ensuring that you’ve planned for the space available but also that you’ve thought of everything you might want in your garden before you get started. Small improvisations are okay, but big improvisations might cause problems.

If you’re not quite sure which manmade things you want yet, then perhaps simply dedicating a certain patch of your garden to natural plants or flowers and another patch to manmade things will suffice as a plan. The following points will include some potential ideas if you’re still drawing a blank.

Keep it cheap

Believe it or not, renovating your garden doesn’t have to cost the moon and the earth. If you have a creative mindset, then this project can be a challenge in creativity with regards to doing a lot with a little. You can even look into getting some freebies online to add some character to your garden. Whilst old, tacky tools and peculiar items might have been things you would never have considered around your household, there’s something charming and aesthetically pleasing about an old, rusty watering can sitting amongst gorgeous flowers and the general nature of your garden.

If you’re wondering how freebies or cheap items could really blend in with the sleek, clean and chic aesthetic of your new garden, then perhaps you could see these old objects as retro aesthetic pieces with practical applications. That watering can could be filled with beautiful flowers or perhaps old and unused items from your own house could be unique and quirky plant pots for your outdoor area. Given that you’re trying to create a homely feel to your back garden, this is the perfect way to blend manmade creations and nature together.

A manmade flourish

Of course, even if you do want to keep this project as cheap as possible, you can reward yourself for conducting all this DIY work and saving yourself a heap of money. Allowing yourself one manmade treat as a centrepiece in your garden will help to lift the overall feel of the place. Perhaps you’ll create a fountain or a pond as the main focal point. In amongst your natural paradise, this might be quite a nice place to put a bench, sit and enjoy your surroundings.

Maybe you have a family, and the kids want something a little more exciting than a fountain or a pond [even though those sound quite exciting to me]. You could look into pool landscaping if you’re considering a centrepiece which could really transform your garden into an outdoor paradise in the summer. You could also look into a patio area with a dining table and barbeque. Your budget is the only limit, but hopefully that’s still quite sizeable given that you’ve probably saved a lot through sheer hard work and as many free resources as possible.


If you want your garden to truly become an outdoor room for you and your family, it needs to be somewhere in which you can relax on warm summer evenings. Much like any other room in your house, then, you need to ensure that there is sufficient lighting. You’ve put all this hard work into creating a beautiful, cozy outdoor space, and it’d be a shame if you could only use it during the day. Perhaps a well-lit patio area could become the spot for family film nights if you set up a TV in front of a few comfy loungers and lay beneath the stars. That’s when you know your garden has truly become part of your home.

The dull “practical” things

Your garden is still a part of the outdoor world, which means that forces of nature will try to reclaim and muddy your cozy garden paradise. Some form of upkeep is necessary in terms of weeding, continuing to remove pests if they return for your plants and keeping the grass as perfectly trimmed as it likely will be when you finish your project. Maintenance is crucial, but retaining the cozy, clean and beautiful image of your garden is also important. Compost heaps and wheelie bins should be kept out of sight in a hidden corner of the garden so as not to ruin the aesthetic.

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