I'm a gardening pro– here’s how to transform your patio easily, on a budget & in just one day | The Sun

WITH the unpredictable albeit hot weather recently, more and more of us are spending the cooler evenings outside in the garden.

Which means never before has it been so important to have the perfect patio.

But if yours is more shabby than chic, don't despair as there are plenty of quick, easy, budget-friendly ways to get it looking stylish.

Chris Bonnett, founder of Gardening Express, says: "Patios are the perfect spot to enjoy fresh air, and can be a great place to have outdoor furniture to lounge around and relax to forget all your worries.

"Making sure your outdoor space is functional and serene will mean you’re more likely to use it.

"We all know, especially after the pandemic, how important spending a little time outdoors can be for mental health and wellbeing, and having a nice-looking place outdoors to relax can even add value to your home."


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Here, Chris shares his top tips to overhaul your patio in just one day – no huge expenditure required…

Get scrubbing

First things first, if the area has been neglected for some time it's going to need a good clean – and you'd be amazed how much of a difference this can make.

Chris says: "Get a strong stiff broom and get scrubbing to clean those tired looking slabs.

"If algae is a problem, household bleach is perfectly acceptable to use for cleaning the slabs to remove it – in fact that’s what many of the expensive branded patio cleaners really are.

"For really stubborn marks, you might want to consider a trip to the builders’ merchants to get a bottle of brick acid.

"This is used to clean concrete splashes and all sorts of sins in the landscape trade."

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Patio paint job

If after a good scrub your paving is still looking past it – fear not – you’ve just prepped it for a paint job.

Chris says: "Get down to a paint specialist and invest in specialist floor paint – it comes in all sorts of colours and sticks to glue to those slabs.

"You could go from grey to a vibrant colour if you’re looking to brighten up the area, and most stores can even tint and mix paint up to an exact colour.

Floral focal point

Once you’ve pimped your paving, it’s time to dress the scene with some greenery.

Chris says: "If you like bright colours, then it’s a good idea to bed plants that are available in a myriad of colours and varieties.

"Just be aware that these will need regularly replacing though as the seasons change.

"For something more permanent, opt for structural evergreens in planters – for example fragrant lavenders that will bloom every summer.

"Bamboos are structural and can add height, giving a sheltered feeling.

"If you’re prone to forget about watering, opt for plants that thrive even when neglected – succulents like Sedum and Sempervivum are perfect for unique planter displays.

They can be planted alongside indoor favourites like Aloe vera and Cacti during summer.

"If you want to get planters on a budget, go on eBay and you can find old barrels and containers from the food industry that will make the perfect planters – just carefully cut them in half and hey presto – you have big planters for under a tenner."

Get creative

Another idea that makes a huge difference is to replace old garden furniture.

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Chris says: "Look online for loads of modern ideas and designs on using waste transport pallets for benches and chairs – you just have to be able to source old pallets.

"Retailers are also selling off garden furniture this month, as they start to make way for Christmas stock, so you could grab yourself a bargain."

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