Many Brits used lockdown as an opportunity to go after the things they’ve wanted for a while. For some, this meant adopting their first pet or getting down on one knee, while others took the plunge and jumped on the property ladder.

Demand for new builds has soared in the past year and doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing. If you’ve recently bought a new build, you may be wondering what to do with your garden. While new builds are sold in peak condition, the state of the lawn usually leaves something to be desired. Here are some tips to liven up your garden.

Improve the soil

The soil surrounding a new build is often of poor quality, as it’s not uncommon for developers to sell the topsoil and leave clay subsoil underneath. Clear away any rubble and litter, being cautious of broken glass that could be hidden in the dirt.

Adding organic matter such as mulch, will improve the structure of your soil. Keep an eye on the soil in particularly wet weather, as heavy rain can compact the soil and flatten it out. This can be prevented by breaking the soil up with a large garden fork. Where possible, avoid walking on the soil as this can also risk flattening it down.

Create a feature path

An interesting feature path will inject some extra personality into your garden, with the added benefit of making it seem larger. Create a walkway to your front door, a path that winds around your garden or a destination path leading to a specific area… the possibilities are endless!

Choose a path which complements your garden and the style of your home. Keep it simple with minimalistic paving stones, or add a decorative touch with ornate slates and Moroccan lamps.

Build a patio

A patio will add a fresh element to a plain garden, while also providing space for outdoor furniture. Put your feet up and relax with a book in the afternoon sun, then enjoy drinks with friends in the evening.

Building your patio on a raised platform, around 20cm off the ground, will give you and your guests an excellent view of your garden and make the patio a focal point for the outdoor area.

Paving stones and slate become dirty easily, so use specific landscaping products to remove dirt from your new patio whilst you are still working on the rest of the garden.

Create colour with flowers and plants

Adding flowers and plants will really bring life to your garden. From brightly coloured flowers to aromatic greenery, there are plants to suit every garden and every individual style.

If you’re keen to get your garden growing as soon as possible, fast-growing varieties such as buddleias, mallows, poppies and cornflowers will bloom at speed.

Patio pots and window boxes will add an instant pop of colour, but be wary of buying a lot at once, as they can be quite high maintenance.

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