Easy Ways To Renovate An Old Garden

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Every once in a while, a garden needs a little change; a little something to spruce things up. There are many ways to give a garden a face-lift. A gardenia plant can add drama with its bright white flowers and add ambiance with its sweet scent. Lighting can give a garden a new look and make the area accessible in the evening. Give outdoor furniture a good scrubbing to make a patio area look as good as new. And, of course, pull unsightly weeds and prune hedges for a clean and polished look. A few small changes in your garden can make a big difference.

Add Ambiance in the Garden

Plants can dramatically change the look of a garden. Bright flowering plants add pops of color that can strategically draw the eye to specific areas of your yard. Interesting leaf shapes add texture. Weird and unusual plants help spark interesting conversations. New plants can be planted in containers and sprinkled around the garden or a new flowerbed, patio or walkway can added. Add a few small groupings of plants on a patio or around a garden bench to add a fresh touch. Here are some ideas:

  • Scented plants, such as gardenia and tuberose, add a sweet fragrance to the garden when the flowers are in bloom.
  • Plant an herb garden next to a kitchen door. Herbs emit pleasant aromas when touched.
  • Use crotons to add color. Crotons are brightly colored leafy shrubs that are easy to maintain and keep their color all year long.

Spruce up Old Furniture

Does the patio need a new look? Instead of buying new patio furniture, consider giving your old patio furniture a new look. Metal and rattan furniture can be made to look new with a fresh coat of spray paint. Replace old cushions with bold colored fabrics.

While giving patio furniture a new look, don’t forget to clean and paint fences, decks, pergolas, arbors and privacy screens. These structures may need cleaning every few years. A pressure washer can quickly rid a deck, walkway or fence of built-up dirt and algae. A good scrubbing and fresh coat of paint can help garden structures look brand new.

While giving the patio area a new look, take some time to clear out those small messy areas that creep into the garden:

  • Organize those piles of planters and dried up plants around the gardening bench into neat and tidy stacks.
  • Prune plants that hang over the patio to create more useable area.
  • Hide waste and recycling areas behind a privacy screen or small hedge.

how to renovate a garden how to renovate a garden

Create Calming Effects with Water Features

Water features are not only attractive, they create a calming atmosphere in the garden. You don’t need a large pond or waterfall to enjoy the sound of running water. A birdbath with a fountain is relaxing and provides birds with a safe place to get a drink and cool off during the heat of the day. A small sitting area with a garden fountain creates a peaceful and tranquil space. Here are a few tips for using fountains in the garden:

  • Place the fountain where it can be seen from inside the home.
  • Put a reflective object near the fountain to catch the sunlight and reflection off the water. Try gazing balls, wind chimes, stain glass decorations and garden statues.
  • Plant small shrubs, annuals and perennials near the fountain to make the fountain a focal point.
  • To enjoy the fountain at night, add lights to illuminate the fountain of water or nearby plants.

Maneuvering Around the Garden

Every few years it’s a good idea to step back and take a critical look at the trees and shrubs around the yard. If trees and shrubs have not been pruned in a while, now may be a good time. Here are some advantages of pruning trees and shrubs on a regular schedule:

  • Keeps plants from looking leggy
  • Plants stay a manageable size
  • Helps increase sunlight to desired areas
  • Enhances the view

Is there an unsightly strip of ground in your garden that just won’t grow grass or any other type of plant? Consider installing a walkway or a rock garden. The walkway could be as simple as laying a path of stepping-stones. Rock gardens can contain a collection of rocks, paving stones and low growing flowering succulents such as Ice Plant, Purslane, and Hen and Chicks.

Refreshing Garden Maintenance Tips

There are a few garden chores that will keep a garden looking fresh all the time:

  • Fix irrigation systems as soon as repairs are needed. Poor irrigation leads to unhealthy plants.
  • When flowering plants have quit blooming, cut off the spent flowers. Some plants can be tip pruned to make the plant bushy.
  • Keep flower and garden beds weed free. Apply mulch to keep weeds at a minimum and reduce watering.
Last Updated: May 23, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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