Garden upgrade ideas for £5,000 (or under)

Zopa’s hassle-free loans have helped 100,000s people do up their homes. Representative APR 17%.  But while we make managing your money feel good, we’ve turned to the experts to show you how to spend it to make your home look good. Here, we challenged award-winning interiors blogger Kimberly Duran to come up with a range of ways you can do up your garden, whatever your budget

For many of us, being able to enjoy our own outdoor space is one of life’s little luxuries. An area of our own to breathe in the fresh air just outside our door is always welcome when the days are longer, and the nights are warmer. 

However, if your own garden has been neglected or you haven’t yet decided to make the most of it, you could be missing a trick. Not only does a well-kept garden add value to your home, it creates an area for entertaining, relaxing or simply enjoying the great outdoors.

No matter what the size of your outdoor space, there are plenty of ways to maximise its use, extending your living area and creating a garden you’ll want to continue to enjoy throughout the warmest months of the year.

Pinterest is a great way to find inspiration for your garden and my Easy Garden Updates Pinterest Board has been created in conjunction with this blog post, breaking down a myriad of achievable ideas you can try to create a garden you love. 

While these ideas are broken down by budget, remember that you can combine the updates for your own personal requirements, mixing and matching from each section to make your dream garden a reality. 

Garden Updates Under £100

Sometimes, all your garden needs is a little spruce up. Jet washing your paving slabs is a great way to get rid of any dirt and moss that may have been left over from the colder, rainier months and give your outdoor space a bright new look.

Once you’ve tidied up the outside area, consider adding festoon lighting or solar lanterns, hanging them across eating areas or around trees and plants for added ambience as the sun goes down.

Want to add some additional areas for a vegetable or herb garden? My simple tutorial allows even a novice woodworker to create your own raised bed planter for well under £100. If you have access to old reclaimed bricks, there are plenty of ways to use them around the garden for borders and features too.

Simple shelving can be created using leftover timber from other projects, decking timbers, scaffold boards or pallets. Consider using similar materials to create additional privacy in your garden and incorporating a vertical herb garden at the same time.

Make outdoor entertaining easy with a simple decorated bar cart for parties and outdoor entertaining.

Looking for a serene and calm space? We love this tutorial for creating your own colourful water feature using inexpensive terracotta pots.

Garden Updates Between £100-£500

When we first moved into our previous home, our borders were a neglected mess of ill-suited plants and weeds. As inexperienced gardeners at the time, we were grateful for Garden on a Roll which took any guesswork out of what plants would be best suited to those areas. Over the course of a few years, our borders matured with shrubs, flowers and perennials all flourishing and it’s something I’d always recommend if you’re unsure about what to plant and when.

Are your bins a bit of an eye-sore in your garden? There are a host of ideas to conceal them without losing easy access using slatted style fencing or trellis.

If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, why not try your hand at building your own outdoor furniture? Whether you want to try your hands at creating your own chairs or using reclaimed timber to make a low-lying table, there’s a host of ideas and tutorials available to fully kit out all your eating and entertaining spaces.

Patience will likely be required but it will be paid off in spades by stencilling a tile effect on your concrete slabs or pavers, getting the look of tiles for much less.

portable fire-pit is another way to create a hang-out zone once the sun goes down and the cooler air moves in. We added one to the back of our garden without having to do any prep work.

Lastly, consider giving your fencing a new lick of paint for a bold and easy way of introducing plenty of colour to your outside spaces.

Garden Updates Between £500-£1000

If you really want to make use of your outside space in the warmest months, then why not create your own outdoor cinema? All you really need is a projector, a screen and plenty of comfy seating.

Come rain or shine, any small shed can be transformed into a small outdoor room, complete with seating, lighting and plenty of cosy throws and cushions for the perfect rainy-day getaway without leaving the garden.

Dilapidated fencing or a lack of privacy can make any garden look less desirable so you may want to consider replacing your existing fencing with a more contemporary look of vertical slats to bring your garden bang up to date.

Garden Updates Between £1000-£2500

We’ve never regretted spending a little more money on good quality outdoor furniture and our corner seating dining table has made eating alfresco in the summer months so much more enjoyable year after year.

Bring your outdoor living up a notch by installing an outdoor pizza oven or an outdoor kitchen in your back garden and make the most of every warm evening.

Want to add some height, shade and privacy to your garden? A pergola built over decking  may just be a great way to achieve all three. Consider including climbing plants at each post to allow nature to take its course and cover your structure in beautiful blooms and leaves over time.

Garden Updates Between £2500-£5000

Finally, if you’re ready to make big changes to your garden, then you may just want to call in professional landscape companies to make the most of the space you have. Creating various zones in your garden – from seating, planting, decking, greenery and play areas for the children – take time and budget, but could be well worth the spend to get the garden you’ve always dreamed of.

You may want to consider replacing old pavers or slabs with beautiful porcelain tiles to create new paths as well as areas for eating and relaxing which will continue to stay looking good year in and year out.

If you work from home or want to create a summer house or fully contained garden office, you may want to consider creating a much larger structure and kitting it out to create an area in your garden that works perfectly for your needs. You can even create your own outdoor pub!

Are you ready to get started? See your home improvement loan rate in just 3 minutes. You can apply online, with no fiddly paperwork and your loan is easy to manage on the Zopa app. Representative APR 17%.

About Kimberly: From accessible design ideas and DIYs to styling tips, splurges and the latest trends, multi-award-winning content creator Kimberly Duran has been teaching others for over a decade how to create a home that’s packed full of personality, no matter what the budget. Through her blog Swoon Worthy, she invites readers into her journey of creating an “eclectic boho glam” home and the interior trends and styles that inspire those decisions.

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