How do you create a versatile outside space where you can host friends and family, grow seasonal flowers and vegetables and enjoy the outdoors all year round? From balcony to back garden, the key is to treat it like an extension of the home.
From welcoming planet-friendly pollinators with a DIY herb garden, entertaining guests with an inviting al fresco dining set up, to unique decor ideas to make your space shine, read Trouva’s guide to transforming your garden in 5 easy steps.
Forget supermarket-bought flowers and veg, grow your own. They say that if something isn’t trying to eat your plants, then your garden is not part of the ecosystem. From windowsill planters to allotment-size plots, invite bees, butterflies and more by planting your own seeds. We love Herboo, Growbar and Piccolo, three brands that champion all-level gardening with seed packets suitable for most spaces. Thanks to their design-minded packaging, they make great gifts, too. Just pick up your Niwaki tools and get growing…
Whether you have a terrace fit for two or a garden with room for all the family, curating an inviting area is key to maximising use. Bungalow DK’s mattresses, coming in bohemian prints and summer stripes, became a cult hit during lockdown as an easy way to create comfort outside. Multitasking as both sun beds and bench cushions, they make your space cosy in winter in front of the firepit and comfortable for al fresco dining when the sun is shining.
In smaller spaces, grow your flowers in statement plant pots of varying sizes to create depth and add interest - just park them on your patio or doorstep. Hanging planters add a touch of ‘70s bohemia whether hung around the house or on external walls, while box planters work wonders for perking up window sills. We love Ferm Living’s sleek Plant Box series, which can double up as smart storage in any room in the house, and Hachiman's eco-friendly recycled paper and pulp planters. Got more room to work with? Use large beds of taller foliage to create dividing ‘walls’ that break up your garden into ‘rooms’, giving the illusion of more space.
Outdoor spaces are exposed to the elements, which means that getting the lighting right is crucial to spending more time out there. When the sun makes an appearance, you’ll need to keep cool in the shade. Enter: the statement parasol. HKliving, Business and Pleasure and Monchiqe Parasol all do garden-to-beach umbrellas in retro stick-of-rock stripes and kitsch ‘60s florals. When the temperature dips and day turns to night? Grab an LED or solar-powered powered lamp to extend the evening, and keep cosy in front of a fire pit. Now you can enjoy your garden from dawn ‘til dusk.
Outside space looking a little lacklustre? Consider using colour to brighten up otherwise neutral spaces. From metal gates to wooden fences, a lick of paint can transform surfaces and make a statement. We love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which is perfect for giving plastic furniture, plant pots, sheds and more a refresh. Just choose your shade, follow the brand’s guide to using the paint outside, et voila: an easy way to add some personality to gardens big and small. Alternatively, go bold with playful decor: we love Julie-Anne Pugh’s striped watering cans and planters, Garden Glory’s pastel-hued hoses, and Talking Table's bold outdoor rugs.