Create your own little outdoor haven (Picture: Steve Fuller / Ginger Cat Studios)
Although lockdown is slowly lifting, we’re a long way from enjoying the freedom that we once took for granted and it’s a dead cert that, for the second year running, those who are lucky enough to have their own outdoor space will be spending a lot more time in it than usual.
Getting to grips with how to make the most of a balcony, terrace or patio garden can seem daunting, particularly if you’re starting with a blank canvas, are on a tight budget or haven’t grown anything more challenging than a cactus before.
To show how easy and inexpensive it can be, housing association Peabody asked influencer Jac Mercer of @tinyandthehouse to transform the terrace of the show apartment at its Pomeroy development in New Cross.
‘Being trapped indoors during lockdown has made us realise how much we like to be outside, and looking out at greenery, especially when you live in a built-up part of London as I do, is amazing,’ says Jac.
‘At the Pomeroy, I wanted to create something that really complements the space, also bearing in mind the budget of a first-time buyer.’
Her ideas for a cosy, comfortable and colourful retreat can easily be adapted to any compact outdoor area.
Influencer Jac Mercer designed this relaxing space (Picture: Steve Fuller / Ginger Cat Studios)
Flats at The Pomeroy boast much-needed outdoor space (Picture: F10 Studios)
‘Think of the garden as another room and begin with furniture, such as a bistro set, as you need to be able to sit out there,’ she says.
‘I used galvanised bins as containers. They’re cheap, very easy to find and really reflect the light, which enhances the plants, just drill holes in the bottom first for drainage.
Galvanised bins work as stylish (and cheap) plant pots (Picture: Steve Fuller / Ginger Cat Studios)
‘It’s a good idea to mix the height of containers and plants (place the tallest at the back). Create height with plant stands, or use an old step ladder to display pots at different levels.’
Jac has included low-maintenance plants such as eucalyptus, lavender and agapanthus, and stresses that you don’t need to worry if you lack the green fingered gene, as some varieties are almost impossible to kill.
Hydrangeas are a good choice for a small space (Picture: Steve Fuller / Ginger Cat Studios)
‘Hydrangeas are very hardy, change colour and you can leave the heads on after they’ve flowered,’ she says. ‘Geraniums keep on going and heuchera are vibrant foliage plants that can be mixed together.
‘Try not to be too rigid about colours as plants always look good, and you can’t go wrong as long as you water and feed them, and deadhead flowers when they’ve finished blooming.
Creating a garden doesn’t have to be a lot of effort; you can do it in a morning and suddenly have a beautiful space to enjoy.’
The Pomeroy is located in Zone 2, close to Queen’s Road Peckham and New Cross Gate Stations. More than 90% of homes have sold, and the final one, two and three-bed apartments start from £417,500, with Help to Buy on offer.
All have their own balcony, terrace or garden, and buyers will receive a free consultation with Jac on how to turn it into a space they love. Find out more here.
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