The lazy gardener's guide to faking it this summer

dog on green grass

The last thing you want to be doing on a hot summer day is labouring in your garden, pulling out weeds and cutting the grass, all sweaty and bothered! We can all agree that is not a good look. Having an outdoor space that’s ready for parties and celebrations with just a sweep of the broom is, we believe, essential during this season.

With the summer holidays rapidly approaching, here are some easy garden upgrades you can complete in one weekend that will look great for this season and the seasons to come.

Add some artificial plants

The easiest and fastest way to spruce up your garden is to add some artificial plants to what you’ve already got going on. If your home isn’t blessed with natural light, artificial plants are a godsend, especially when you consider the vast range of fake garden flowers, trees, faux stems and bushes that are available. They sometimes look even better than the real thing, and they’re plants that keep on giving, come rain or shine.

Our tips for a weekend transformation:

  • Place your artificial plants strategically around your garden to create visual interest in empty spots.
  • Repot your artificial plants in attractive new pots. Try double-potting or experimenting with different colours and textures.
  • Add a little real dirt on top of your fake plant’s pot. This will make them look even more realistic

Plant low-maintenance real plants

Natural plants not only look beautiful, but also make great habitats and food sources for insects and animals who are vital for maintaining a stable ecosystem. While many real plants can be high maintenance, the following list of flowers are (almost) impossible to kill, so make the perfect choice for lazy gardeners.

  • Peonies
  • Petunias
  • Zinnias
  • Marigolds
  • Abelia
  • Succulents

Our tips for a weekend transformation:

  • Plant natural plants in raised beds. This reduces strain on the back and knees, and also limits the plant’s growth to make it much easier to manage.
  • Use a self-watering system. This means you don’t have to remember to water your plants or heft a watering can around. There are plenty of simple and high-tech options available.
  • Newly planted areas can look a little sparse as the plants will take a few seasons to fill out. Cover the ground between plants with slate, pebbles or another attractive aggregate material to make it look more complete.

Plant wall


Build a garden display wall

Adding in a single dramatic feature like this will transform your entire garden with minimal effort. Brighten up your outside terrace or patio by creating a display area for plants and garden ornaments, or transform a boring wall into a scintillating backdrop for your summer parties.

Our tips for a weekend transformation:

  • Artificial plant walls are an awesome way to add drama and greenery to your outdoor space. They instantly make the space feel modern and welcoming, and give you a real sense of privacy and comfort. There is a huge variety of styles to choose from, from flowery, colourful designs to simple, minimal ones. The best news is they’re really easy and quick to install.
  • Composite panelling or cladding are other great ways to instantly transform a boring wall. These low-maintenance materials are easy to install and take care of.
  • Combine different colours and textures to create visual interest. For example, clad the lower level of the wall with composite panelling, and the upper level with artificial plant walls.

Build some raised areas

Adding variations in height to your garden gives it a modern touch and helps balance out your space. You can create all sorts of raised areas, from decking to elevated artificial grass sections.

Raised sections are great for creating zones around your garden. This is especially useful if you’re dealing with a bigger, open garden and you want to add more interest and detail - or if you have a very small space and need to add extra functionality.

Raised flower beds not only look beautiful - they are also much easier to tend, because there is less arduous bending and kneeling down involved. Also, by raising the bed, you are restricting the growth of the plant, meaning it won’t get out of hand.

Our tips for a weekend transformation:

  • Composite decking is a great low-maintenance, cost-effective option for getting that elevated look for your garden. Find out why decking is perfect for your low maintenance garden here.
  • Did you know you can raise your decking onto multiple levels, joined with steps made from the same materials? You can find out how to do this in our installation guide. For safety, we recommend installing a balustrade around raised decking areas.

artificial grass lawn


Go simple with a minimal open space

Sometimes the best answer is the simple one. Embrace the simplicity of an open-plan garden; no raised beds, no plants, no pathways, no decks. Just gorgeous green grass as far as the eye can see. This makes for a great BBQ space, a playground for children and pets, or for outdoor games like cricket.

Check out this perfect minimal garden featuring our very own artificial grass for inspiration.

Our tips for a weekend transformation:

  • Lay artificial grass. Artificial grass gardens are about as low maintenance as it gets and they are great if you want a functional, minimal garden that is ready and equipped to sustain all your summer activities.


Add new textures and structures

Introducing a new pathway, border or zone will make a huge difference to your garden. Combining textures such as soft artificial grass with hard stone will add visual interest and help break up large empty spaces in a characterful way.

Our tips for a weekend transformation:

  • Mulch and gravel are the cheapest pathway materials, and they make construction simple too. All you need to do is remove the sod, roll out your weed membrane, and distribute your materials. Voila!
  • Stepping stone paths are another super-quick, low effort DIY pathway option for you to try. They don’t require much digging - just cut out a section of grass and dig a little soil underneath before slotting the stone or paving slab in. Adding a small amount of sand underneath can help to level the stones out if required.
  • Combining and contrasting different textures can elevate your garden and make it look more realistic. Try combining zones of artificial grass with areas of white gravel or rustic paving slabs. Small details like driftwood and round stones can elevate a standard garden to something unique and characterful.

pool decking garden

 If you’re looking for more easy ways to spruce up your garden this summer, check out our case study page and have a browse through our full collection ranging from artificial grass, composite decking and artificial plant walls for more ideas on where to start.


We’d love to hear about your weekend transformations. Tag us in your photos #selectgardenupgrade, drop us an email or leave us a review.

The lazy gardener's guide to faking it this summer