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3 ways to change your outdoor space without hiring an expert

By Rikki Cook

We’re blessed to live in a region that has wonderful weather, allowing us to spend lots of time outside. During the summer months, a good garden extends your living space, so it’s worth making it somewhere you enjoy and find relaxing.

Whether you want an outdoor dining space or somewhere to curl up with a book, we’ve got some ideas to get your garden looking good without calling the experts in.

1) Make pathways attractive with a touch of creativity

Broken, dirty or old pavers and pathways immediately make a garden look uncared for and unattractive. Gravel is a great replacement option because it’s relatively cheap but still looks modern. It doesn’t require much maintenance (like cleaning your stone pavers) and is long-lasting.

Old strips of wood, such as fence posts or bits of household furniture, also make great paths with a bit of chopping and weatherproofing. They’re ideal for shorter paths, like those that connect one section of grass to another.

You can also look at what spare materials you, your neighbours or local businesses have lying around to create edges to your pathways. Bits of wood, stone, or even upturned glass jars make for great borders on the cheap. With a touch of paint and some weather-proofing where necessary, they can line your pathway neatly, making your garden look professionally designed and cared for without much effort at all.

If you do already have stone pavers and you’re keen to keep them, try getting creative with some spray paint and a stencil to make them patterned. At the very least, give them a scrub to get them back to brand new.

2) Fill empty spaces with cuttings and watch them grow

While an individual plant or two may not set you back too much, an entire garden’s worth of new pots can add up. If you’ve got a reasonably large space you’d like to add some colour to, ask friends and family for donations from their gardens. A number of flowers and bushes grow successfully from clippings and you might get some plants you’d never have thought of buying.

Keep in mind that perennial plants are those that flower again next season- which will save you replacing them again next year, or buying more if you do go down the garden centre route. Plus, certain plants, such as grasses are easier to maintain than others – though anyone donating clippings should have some handy advice for caring for your new additions.

3) Think outside the box with new containers

Continue the art of recycling what other people can spare by getting creative with your garden features. Instead of boring plant pots, find other objects you can fill with soil and turn into attractive features – unused watering cans are a popular option right now but you can pick almost anything you can fill and that can stand up against the elements – even an old car tyre looks good with some colourful flowers inside.

The same goes for water features, which can be a costly investment if bought brand new. An old sink could make a chic looking pond, while an old tin can bathtub can add some rustic flair to your outdoor space. Just resist the urge to turn out all your junk into your garden, or you may feel more cramped than relaxed.

At Ray White Alexandra Hills, we know property inside out. Whether you’re looking for a rental, to buy a home or sell your existing real estate, get in touch with our friendly team.

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