7 ways to improve your garden

From extra storage to outdoor paint, improve your garden space with one of these useful extras

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1. Increase storage

Invest in a shed, storage box or use a summerhouse for additional storage in winter to keep soft furnishings, foldable seating and shades, such as parasols, and tools. The Posh Shed Company’s Gothic redwood and cedar shed (above) in Sadolin Northern Pike classic timber protection will add style as well as provide a practical solution to your space.

2. Use the correct paint type

Ensure you buy the right type of paint with this quick guide:

Exterior masonry: best for stone surfaces, walls and ceramics, hardwearing and weather resistant.

Exterior eggshell: best for a matt finish on outdoor wood and metal, including doors and timber window frames, not as hardwearing as masonry or gloss, so best used for doors and windows.

Exterior gloss: best for a high-shine finish on wood and metal, hardwearing and weather resistant.

Oils and stains: best for wooden fencing and decking to colour and protect the wood from rot and corrosion. Different shades of natural wood colours available.

5. Harris IC1004_5000253010042

Harris Icon angled masonry brush, £8.49, B&Q

3. Install on-trend hard landscaping

This summer, oversized square slate paving stones are right on-trend and ideal for large plots, while stylish linear plank-style stone paving is ideal for narrowing long, narrow gardens. The latest wood-look stone planks are also great for creating the look of decking. When thinking of what colour paving, consider buff-coloured sandstone for small spaces and darker shades as a backdrop to create a focus on colourful planting or statement topiary in a larger plot.

8a. Stonemarket Vitrified Gravity, Basalt

Gravity basalt square-format vitrified paving, W60xL60cm, £48 per m², Stonemarket

8b. Marshalls Fairstone Sawn Versuro Linear paving, Golden Sand Multi

Fairstone Sawn Versuro linear sandstone paving in Golden Sand Multi, W14xL84.5cm, £79.20 per m², Marshalls

14a. MelodyMaison_982513_RusticMetalGardenMirrorwithFou

Rustic metal garden mirror with four planters, H37xW61xD11.5cm, £46.95, Melody Maison

14b. SusanBradleyDesign_1151498_OutdoorWallpaperDamask

Outdoor damask wallpaper in brushed stainless steel, H100xW57cm, £220, made to order by Susan Bradley Design

14c. Wall Star Large Lifestyle

19c. Timber Press The gardeners guide to weather 9781604695540r

The Gardeners’ Guide to Weather & Climate by Michael Allaby (£15, Timber Press)

Become an expert at making the most of the British weather seasons to create an interesting, thriving garden year-round. This book gives plenty of insight into how the weather works and how you can take advantage of this to grow better crops to suit your location and the environment. With an introduction on climate, climate change and microclimates, this is an interesting and informative read.

6. Know your soil type

Andrew Mills, manager at Burncoose Nurseries explains how to know the type of soil you have in your garden – essential when planting and caring for crops:

  • Clay soil: feels lumpy and sticky when wet but rock hard when dry, which means it drains poorly and is heavy to cultivate. However, if drainage is improved it generally holds more nutrients than other types of soil.
  • Peaty soil: is dark in colour and highly water retentive but it is low in nutrients so needs plant food added for it to benefit plants.
  • Sandy soil: feels gritty to the touch but is better draining, it lacks nutrients though and dries out quickly.
  • Chalky soil: is more alkaline and usually quite stony, it can cause leaves to yellow and poor growth.
  • Loamy soil: has a solid structure, retains moisture and is full of nutrients.

7. Use non-chemical fertilisers

Keep your garden organic by growing fruit, vegetables and plants in chemical-free soil. Bio-Gro black gold fertiliser is a natural, concentrated seaweed fertiliser and plant health supplement, which dilute in water before applying to seedlings. By stimulating microorganisms, it improves the soil’s structure and water-holding capabilities, resulting in stronger, healthier crops.

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