Spring Garden Makeover

Feeling impatient for a garden scene filled with colour and blooms? Then we have the solution.

Maybe it’s a reaction to winter’s grey colourless days, but there’s something about the first days of spring that makes gardeners everywhere want to get outside and splash the landscape with colour. But unless you’re a magician, it’s not possible to cast an instant colour spell over your garden ... or is it? If you combine potted bloomers with pots of paint, you’ll create a scene that stamps the spring season on your gardenscape.

The secret to creating impact in a garden is to concentrate your flowers and decorations in one place. So don’t try and sprinkle odd blooms in every bare spot you find. Instead, choose an area and make it the outdoor canvas for your spring masterpiece.

5 steps to a spring garden makeover

1. Paint the fence
Transform a conventional grey paling fence with paint and you’ll brighten the whole mood of a garden. To make the job quick and easy, hire a paint spray-gun for 1-2 days. We chose a two-tone colour scheme of deep brownish-purple for the fence, Dulux ‘Yarwood’, and watermelon pink for the lattice, Dulux ‘Jules’.

2. Install feature posts
A grouping of timber posts, set at varying heights and painted a brilliant pink on their front faces, creates an eye-catching garden feature. They’re also a clever way to bridge a difference in heights, such as from a high fence to a low wall.

3. Colour theme the plants
Choose a colour theme for your flower plantings, to give the garden strength. Here, deep pink repeats and strengthens the paint colour used on the posts and latticework.

4. Add a water bowl
Any garden view receives extra charm from a water feature. The simplest of all is a water bowl sitting on a bed of white pebbles. You can personalise the bowl with basic mosaic decoration

5. Bring in the furniture
Complete your garden by adding a table and chairs. You don’t have to buy new stuff, just tart up what you have with fresh paint for the table and new canvas for the chairs. Sand furniture to prepare it for painting and use the original director’s chair seat and back as your pattern for cutting out and stitching the new canvas. Attach the new canvas to each chair.

Make a recycled planter

A raised planter, brimming with blooms, adds height and impact to any flower garden. And you can make your own by creatively recycling an old compost bin. Start by cutting out a couple of planting holes from the front face of the bin, before placing it in position. Fill with potting mix to the first hole, place a plant in the hole, then plug the hole with coconut husk to prevent soil from leaking. Repeat the process for the other holes then plant out the top of the bin.

Gardener’s tip

To enhance a water bowl grow a floating plant on the surface such as the charming aquatic fern Azolla filiculoides.

How to install feature posts

They may be one of the most basic materials, but vertical timber posts, painted in feature colours, create a dramatic garden feature. Position them in a random grouping (we used a set of four) and vary their heights to add visual interest. And remember, any timber that will be in contact with soil, like these, must be H4 treated.

Gather your supplies
90 x 90mm H4 treated pine posts (4); bag of quick-set concrete; spray-marking paint; post-hole digger; post level; circular saw

Mark positions for posts with spray-marking paint.

Dig post holes about 50cm deep using a manual post-hole digger (you can hire one from equipment hire stores). In hard soil, use a crowbar to loosen soil in the holes.

Use a post-level to ensure the posts are perfectly upright, before you cement them into position.

Pack quick-set concrete into the holes around each of the posts, then add water at the recommended rate to make a slurry.

When the cement has set, paint the posts. We used Dulux ‘Yarwood’ (brownish-purple) on three sides and Dulux ‘Jules’ (watermelon pink) on the front faces of the posts.

To alter final heights of the posts, cut them off with a circular saw.

Give it a spray

To change the colour of large expanses of lattice and garden fence, a paint spray-gun is the way to go. It will make a laborious painting chore quick and easy. Paint spray-guns run on electricity and can be hired from equipment hire stores.

Mosiac water bowl

Gather your supplies

800mm-diameter black concrete bowl (pre-sealed); protective gloves; Knead It Aqua; Davco Sanitized Colorgrout in black; Glass Mosaic Additive; bucket; 4mm notched spreader; bronze mosaic tile sheets (2); sponge; lint-free cloth

Wearing gloves, block bowl’s drainage hole with Knead It Aqua filler as per directions. Remove any excess prior to filler hardening, which takes about 20-30 minutes.

Put mosaic additive in a bucket then, slowly add black grout powder, mixing constantly until you obtain a lump-free, thick, creamy consistency (the usual mixing ratio is about 20kg of Sanitized Colorgrout to between 5-5.5 litres of Glass Mosaic Additive). Allow the mixture to stand for about 5 minutes before using.

Spread adhesive around base and up the lower sides of the bowl’s interior.

Press a sheet of mosaic tiles firmly onto the adhesive, ensuring mosaics are well bedded and the adhesive works up into the grout joint.

Spread adhesive on the rim of the bowl and cover with individual mosaic tiles, allowing for a small grout gap between each tile. Once all the mosaic tiles are in place and embedded, wipe with a slightly damp sponge to remove any excess adhesive.

Leave adhesive to set for about 8-24 hours before polishing mosaics with a soft, dry lint-free cloth. Fill bowl with water.