Garden Refresh for £200

A couple of months ago I shared our plans on Instagram to do a garden refresh before we have our extension done.

The back of the house will be extended outwards so naturally some elements of the garden will need to change and be revamped. The extension works aren’t happening until 2019 now so that left us with a patio area that was lacklustre and definitely not welcoming for summer BBQ’s. To add to that, the garden is what you see when in the kitchen cooking or washing up so I really wanted to do a garden refresh so it wasn’t such an eyesore – with old furniture, dead plants and scruffy pots (all my fault as I’m definitely not green fingered!)

When we bought our house last year, sadly the owner had passed away but you could see the garden had been something he was proud of. It’s full of beautiful and established plants and trees so is lovely and private, much of which we don’t want to change as it’s so lovely. But the patio area needed a new lease of life. There was a lion water feature on the side of the garage (which wasn’t my cup of tea) and some broken trellis that also needed work.

The plan to complete the garden refresh was to create a seating area and up-cycle a wooden bench we recently inherited from Ben’s late Gran and some chairs my parents had before I was born. I think flowers and plants make all the difference so some new pots and plants and maybe even a lovely parasol.

I love upcycle stories but rarely get the opportunity to do them myself with a busy job and young family. This time, I made use of the warm weather we were having and I worked in the evenings and some lunch breaks to get sanding and painting done. Ben jetwashed the patio in an evening and Harry helped me pot up the plants. Over the space of a couple of weekends and evenings, we transformed our dull and dark patio into a light and bright seating area. Here it is!

I wanted to spend around £100-£200 in total on the garden refresh so was a woman on a mission!

We used Cuprinol Garden shades in Natural Stone to paint the bench and chairs. £15 from B&Q. It need a few coats but has a lovely finish.

I bought most of the plants and pots from Morrison’s Garden Centre and they cost around £50.

The giant lantern was a total bargain at £20 from John Lewis. We had a gift voucher from friends for £20 so that was put to good use. The candles are all from Marks and Spencer and cost £15 for all three.

One of the biggest expenses was the IKEA Cantilever Parasol. It was a spur of the moment decision on my Friday off; I had Ben’s car (the larger of the two) and Harry and I went off to Ikea. Cue giggles and hilarity watching me squeeze the huge boxes into the car, creating a cardboard armrest for both of us. It was £95 but really was a worthwhile investment. It looks so stylish and is perfect for the really hot days we’ve had this summer.

Of course, what seating area is complete without new cushions (you can see Ben’s eye-roll can’t you!) These cream and navy woven cushions were only £12 each from Dunelm and I love them!

We are so pleased with how it has turned out and it’s such a pleasure to sit out there having a BBQ or just a cuppa watching Harry play.

It took some hard work and dedication over a short time frame but it’s amazing how little you need to spend on an up-cycle to make a difference. If we hadn’t bought the parasol it would have been a garden refurb for £100 but I do think the parasol finishes it off nicely.

Ben also embarked on a separate project at the top of the garden to create a play area for Harry with old wooden planks and some bark chippings from Lidl (before and after below).

I hope you love our garden refresh as much as we do, let me know what you think in the comments below. Have you completed an upcycle you are proud of?

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