I’ve been busy working on the garden all summer, with the help of Homebase, in the hope that we will give it a gorgeous Mediterranean makeover and create an oasis of calm and colour.
I love the spending time in the garden, although I’m not what you’d call an avid gardener, nor an experienced one. I do know how I want it to look and how it should fulfil the needs of our family and so with this in mind I’ve been using Homebase plants and products to nurture it back to life.
Before the Makeover
You may have read my first post in this series which showed how the garden had become quite overgrown and unloved. Many of the plants were old and gnarled and desperately needed either some drastic pruning or to be completely replaced. The weeds had moved in and in some areas, had totally taken over and there were some old children’s toys and garden equipment still lingering from years gone by. It needed some attention, lots of hard work and some lovely plants to ensure it didn’t become so overgrown and unloved that the children couldn’t play there and we couldn’t sit and enjoy the sunshine.
To begin with I reviewed the fabulous Garden on a Roll product which really kick-started the garden makeover and gave me some direction in terms of the theme. I put together my Moodboard which showed the kinds of plants I wanted to go for and how I was going to add that Mediterranean feel to our existing garden layout. The Moodboard was great to use as a reference point whenever I felt myself veering off course, and gave me a focus when choosing the new plants.
So I wanted to use some of our existing plants and the current layout but needed to inject more colour and interest. I wanted to create pockets of flowers, with interesting scents and textures whilst retaining that feel of the Mediterranean. I hoped to use lots of lavender and thyme as well as add fruit and vegetables for the children to become involved in.
After several weeks of purchasing and planting I can now reveal how the garden is looking. Bear in mind that many of these plants are still quite young and small so imagine the full impact once they’ve grown a little. But I hope you’ll agree, it’s looking pretty lovely now.
The Seating Area
In this shot you can see how different our patio eating area looks just by the addition of the beautiful umbrella. This one was half price over the summer and a bargain at just £30. A few colourful tea light holders finish off the table.
The Gravel Hot Bed Makeover
Next was the gravel hot bed, and this is where we put in quite a lot of work. After planting up the garden on a roll, I pulled out some of the overgrown, older plants to make way for younger, fresher varieties.
Here’s how it looked before:
And how it’s looking today:
Here I’ve used a combination of Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender to give it a very Mediterranean feeling. The plants are small but will grow and fill the space over the next few years. I’ve edged the space with these highly aromatic plants, and then added little groupings to give extra interest. In the middle we planted up an old painted toilet cistern with rosemary plants next to the mini olive tree. The grasses around the water feature, whilst not strictly Mediterranean add a different texture to the space which I love.
The very cute mini solar lights were also from Homebase and cost just £1.99 each.
The Shady Spot
The next area I have improved (and I’m really pleased with this one) is the quite shady spot on the other side of the path. We removed the old playhouse and have given this area an injection of colour with varieties of sage and grasses.
Here’s how it did look:
And how it looks now the Playhouse has gone:
Fruit and Veg
Then, as you may remember, I wanted to add some fruit and veg interest for the children. This also fitted really well into the Mediterranean theme and gave me chance to enhance the patio area too.
I grouped together Mini Olive trees with a Patio Apricot and Bay leaf on the patio, and planted Raspberry bushes in the Veg patch, and added a small Apple and Pear tree to the neglected raised bed at the bottom of the garden. Many of the colourful pots you see in the pictures are from Homebase too. The raised bed area looked like this before the makeover:
And now, once the wall has been painted and the plants put in with a lot of fresh bark:
The phormiums you see at the top left were planted in a group of 4 to give more impact and frame that area of the garden. They look beautiful in the summer sun and will grow over the next few years to give some definition in front of the trampoline on the deck.
Bistro Seating Area
Then finally I wanted to finish off an area at the top of the garden outside the back door. I’d started creating a little sectioned area but hadn’t finished and this project gave me the chance to do that. I wanted to add a seating area perfect for a morning coffee but make it feel like a secluded spot away from the rest of the garden. I already had the silver chairs and picked up this fabulous Bistro table in the garden furniture section for just £13 (half price and 10% off day!) and added the wonderful bamboos as a screen and a few more herbs to complete the effect.
Here’s the before:
And the After:
And so there we have the completed garden makeover! What do you think? I am thrilled with how it has turned out. It was a lot of hard work but I really feel like I’ve got my garden back now. The girls love it, especially the fruit trees and plants, and the space feels more useable and far more attractive.
I spent £400 on plants, accessories and plant pots. Mostly I chose younger, smaller plants to ensure a good variety, knowing they will grow in the coming years and fill the space. Some of the plants like the bamboos (£25), Olive Trees (£15) and Fruit Trees (£15) were a little more expensive but in the majority most plants were under £10 and many were under £5. The plant pots do add to the cost of a makeover like this, but I chose to shop at Homebase at one of their very popular 10% off days and so got a little extra value there. The plant pots ranged in price from £10-£25.
Thank you to Homebase for supporting me in this project. The staff at my local store in Nottingham were exceptionally helpful, offering advice and assistance loading my car. Twice!
Dislosure: I was provided with £400 to spend at Homebase for the purposes of this project. The comments, opinions (and hard work) are all my own.