Spring is in the air, and it’s that time of year when we all long to be outside as much as possible. And those that have gardens are able to simply step out of their doors and enjoy al fresco living.
Unfortunately if you don’t have a garden, it isn’t quite as simple. However, there are a few things that you can do to feel like you’ve got a garden, even if you haven’t.
In this article we take a quick look at three ways you can pretend to have a garden:
One of the key interior design trends at the moment is “bringing the outside in”. It grew in popularity during the pandemic, when many of us were confined to our homes and unable to go anywhere much for a very long time.
Some of the key ideas that are part of this trend are:
This is an obvious way to bring the outdoors in. Having real plants and flowers in your home can really help to reduce stress and bring you peace of mind.
You don’t have to fill your home with plants. Either a large plant on its own, or a group of smaller plants, may be enough. You can also try to align them with any greenery outside your window, which can add more depth. And if you are a bit short on space, why not try hanging plants?
If you think artificial plants and flowers are a bit, well, tacky . . . . think again! You don’t have to look far before you find some wonderful examples. They can look just as good and lifelike as real foliage, but it doesn’t matter if you forget to water them! And they are also more robust, and safer for people with allergies.
Wallpaper has been making a bit of a comeback in the interior design world, and feature walls are very popular. A feature wall with wallpaper of either a floral or leafy design could really add a touch of nature to your room.
If you want to have a more natural feeling environment but without looking fussy, a simple way to do this is to feature the colour green in a few places in your home. For example you may want to paint one or more walls a pale or dark green, or perhaps feature a green item of furniture such as a textured sofa or distressed shabby chic style unit. Any of these small tweaks can help to bring a sense of the outside into your home.
If you have an outside space, no matter how small, there are things that you can do to bring it to life. Whether you have a balcony, patio or small courtyard, try these tips to make the most of it:
However small your outside space, it will look more spacious and more inviting if you frame the entrance to it with plants. This will lead the eye from the inside to the outside and create the illusion of depth.
This is the situation where more is definitely more! Fill the space with as many plants as you can fit in. Have fun planning your space and deciding what goes with what, and try to have plants of varying heights as this will achieve a more 3D effect. Also aim for a balance between greenery and colour.
Well why not! Putting a layer of artificial grass on your balcony or patio can not only brighten it up but also make it much more lifelike as a garden area. It will also cleverly disguise any uneven or grubby floor surfaces.
A living wall does what it says on the tin. It’s basically a vertical garden where your plants are arranged upwards rather than on the ground. A living wall is a particularly helpful idea for a very small outside space and can be a wonderful way of disguising an otherwise unsightly wall or fence.
You can create a living wall either by having climbing or tall plants at the bottom of the wall or fence, planters attached to the wall or fence, or a combination of them all. Whether you cover the whole wall or fence, or just feature plants over parts of it, you will create a lovely area of greenery to enjoy.
Another option to pretend you have a garden is to borrow someone else’s! Especially if you are a keen gardener.
One way you can do this is to keep your eyes and ears open around your neighbourhood for anyone – perhaps an elderly person – who may need a bit of help with their garden and, in return, might be happy for you to use it from time to time.
Or try the website Lend and Tend, which aims to match up people needing help with their gardens and people wanting to use gardens.
Also ask around if there is any kind of garden borrowing scheme in your area. For example, last summer a garden borrowing venture called National Plottery was run for a few weeks by the New Zealand wine company Stoneleigh. It enabled groups of up to six people to borrow a garden for two hours for a small charge, and included wine and nibbles. Proceeds were given to charity.
Then of course, you may want to consider an allotment. This can be a great way to have a dedicated plot of land, enjoy gardening, and get to know new people. If you are interested in an allotment, the first step is to contact your local authority, who will be able to provide you with details of local sites. If they don’t currently have vacancies you can add your name to the waiting list for your nearest site.
This can take a long time, so it’s also worth having a look at adverts on The National Allotment Society website to see what else may be available.
We hope that the above tips help you to feel like you’ve got a garden this summer . . . even if you haven’t.