1. Paint Your Old Fence
While an old fence can be an eyesore, it can be easily transformed with just a scrubber brush (to remove cobwebs and dirt), paint brush and can of paint. Turn plant foliage into a feature by choosing a deep purple-brown colour so the bright green leaves really stand out against the fence. Flower colours will also stand out against the darker backdrop and look even more vibrant. (A deep olive works nicely, too.)
Before you paint your fence, however, find out if you own it and therefore are within your rights to paint it. If your neighbour owns the fence then you'll need to ask their permission first.
2. Attract Birds
Bring life into your garden by adding a bird feeder, bird bath or bird house. Watching birds flit around the garden feeding, bathing and chatting is very calming and grounding—like an antidote to a fast-paced life and high anxiety.
The best bird bath with have sloping sides to provide variable depths of water to accommodate different species and will have grippy sides. To help birds feel safe from predators, place the bath in a location with good visibility yet near enough tree branches or a shrub so birds can find cover if they become alarmed.
A squirrel-resistant bird feeder can helps birds, especially small ones, feed in peace. Place the feeder in a quiet place that isn't too sunny or too windy, yet is near enough so you can see the birds easily. A bird house may only bring significant wildlife activity to your garden in the springtime. It can be worth the wait, however, as witnessing baby birds poke their heads out to see the world for the first time is a site you'll never forget. Freestanding birdhouses are most effective at keeping squirrels and cats away.
3. A New Outlook for Potted Plants
Find a new use for old objects like wood or metal ladders, stools or chairs by turning them into pedestals for your potted plants. They'll be easier to see, and can help you create bring height to your garden and create a staggered look. Plus if you can recruit some old furniture from your house then it might not cost you anything!
Old muck boots can also make an interesting home for seasonal flowers—especially if the boots are red!
4. Add Pops of Seasonal Flower Colour
Invest in a few small, pretty ceramic or zinc pots for your table. Something simple like geraniums can be all you need to create a lovely, bright focal point to draw the eye against the (usually dull) backdrop of an outdoor dining area.
You can choose a long, rectangular pot to suit the proportions of a long table or one or more round pots. If you want to keep things simple, round pots are ideal as you can simply place potted flowers you buy from the garden centre directly into your pretty ceramic or zinc pots without repotting.
5. Bring Warm Light to Your Space
To help make the most of summer evenings in the garden, introduce a warm light source such as hurricane lamps to place on the table or dotted around your garden. Another option is outdoor fairy lights that you can string along a fence or through a small tree.
If you don't have access to an outlet, solar lights can be a good option but these can sometimes disappoint in real life. Make sure you have a sunny spot for the solar panel so the lights get a good charge during the day—and check reviews before you buy!