I'm a garden expert – how to transform your garden into a bright and colourful space for as little as £4

SUMMER is just around the corner, and if you think your outdoor space is looking a bit bland it may be time to inject some colour.

Outdoor expert Marianne Shillingford has given her top tips to transforming your garden for as little as £4.

Creative director Marianne, from wood treatment company Cuprinol, said: “There’s a couple of easy hints and hacks which will help prep your garden, so your guests can relax in style – and are sure to keep your garden looking stylish not just for summer, but all year round.”

Here are her top tips for fun and colourful design garden ideas…

1. Get the seating right with a pallet sofa

Why not create the perfect hosting space for summer with a “free” pallet sofa.

Start by cleaning and sanding four wooden pallets, before screwing them together to create an L shape. 

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You can then add paint and squashy cushions to finish off the effect.

2. Use the power of colour

Refreshing wooden garden furniture with a fresh lick of paint will instantly make your space look more pulled together.

And with just two coats, you can give it up to six years of protection from the elements to keep your space looking fresh far beyond this summer. 

Why not try White Daisy on a wooden table, Sweet Sundae on a bench and Beach Blue on a chair, to set the scene for summer celebrations and cheer up your space all year round.

They can be picked up for as little as £4 for a tester pot. 

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3. Get yourself a projector

Why not create your own outdoor cinema to bring your garden to life?

This might seem an expensive extravagance, but you’d be surprised how cheaply you can pick one up, especially in the sales. 

Then you simply connect your projector to your film source – typically your smartphone or laptop. 

You can project the picture onto pretty well anything that’s white, even an old sheet tied between two trees or fence posts.

4.  Cosy is key

You want your outdoor space to feel relaxed and inviting. 

So, when it comes to decorating the space, start by thinking about your pillows and blankets. Your seating area should be as snuggly as possible, especially if you’re watching a movie in the evening, when the temperature drops. 

Think squidgy cushions and faux-fur throws.

5. Making a living wall

The latest fashion statement for outdoors is a living wall, according to Tayshan Hayden-Smith from BBC's Your Garden Made Perfect.

They're also the best way to dress a small garden space or even a balcony.

All you need is to attach some guttering with drainage holes to a bland wall, and then you can fill it with any plants you like; from herbs to floral displays – the world is your oyster.

You can even spruce up the wall or the guttering with masonry paint to inject an added bit of colour to your design.

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6: Choose hardy plants

If gardening is not for you then the worst thing you can do is plant beautiful and extremely high maintenance plants.

Samantha Richards from Gazeboshop told Fabulous said: "Knowing how to look after your garden on a budget is all about making careful choices."

Here are some garden plants you should opt for:

Lavender – Easy to care for and attract bees and pollinators into your garden.

Geraniums – Extremely hard to kill and can bloom for months, without a need to deadhead.

Yucca – An evergreen, hardy exotic plant, a yucca has a thick stem and requires little watering and deadheading, instead it just needs the odd stray leaf picked up.

Wildflowers – Wildflowers are grown with the intention of looking wild, so won’t require any pruning or cutting back.

They grow easily, usually just from a scattered seed packet, and their bright flowers help encourage pollinators into your garden.

False indigo plants – You can plant and forget about these beauties as they take roughly a year to pop up.

They are both pest and disease-free, meaning they will bloom from late spring to early summer every year, and require little attention.

Butterfly bush – Suitable year round, the butterfly bush is guaranteed to wow guests with the shrubs attracting winged butterflies to gardens as they bloom.

They can require annual pruning to keep them in shape for the next year, but these summer lilacs are worth the little maintenance they require.

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Hydrangeas – If your garden sees less sun, hydrangeas are perfect as they can live up to 50 years and prefer partial sun.

They are ideal for new gardeners since they can tolerate almost any soil, meaning you won't have to go out and purchase anything new to plant them. 

Violas – To fill out your garden in the cooler months, opt for violas which are primarily cool-season bloomers.

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