1. Create a potting table
If you love to potter about in the garden, create an outdoor workstation where you can pot up any cuttings and seeds you’ve collected along the way.
Sand down an old vintage work bench, table or dresser that you’re not using anymore, paint it (if you wish) sanding down the edges when it’s dry for a shabby-chic effect, then place the potting table in your favourite gardening spot.
It’s handy to have a set of drawers to keep your seeds dry and contained, and an old terracotta pot will suffice as a place to temporarily store your secateurs and trowel during the day.
If that rusty old wheelbarrow has too many holes in it to use ever again, don’t throw it away. That goes for other well-loved items like watering cans, galvanised bath tubs, troughs and even bicycles – they make wonderful planters that will give your garden a feel reminiscent of the ‘make do and mend’ era.
This wooden trough has been given a fresh lick of slate-grey shed paint to stand up to the Great British weather, then filled with beetroots, peas and lettuces. Label your planter using an alphabet stencil and white paint and don’t forget to drill holes in the bottom to allow drainage.
3. Make a secluded alfresco dining spot
There’s nothing like being able to sit out in your garden with a refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.
If your patio or a secluded corner is craving attention, transform it into a serene alfresco dining area, choosing lattice wrought iron furniture, a powder pink rose-print parasol and pretty flowering shrubs and climbers for vintage English country garden appeal.
If you have the space and budget, introduce a beautiful arbour with trellis sides, so clematis can clamber up with their beautiful spring-time blossoms.
4. Paint a birdhouse in vintage colours
Pick up a couple of birdhouses and get creative by painting them in various different pastel shades. This one has been whitewashed and given a pale green roof, but you can experiment with stripes, polka dots or whatever design takes your fancy – children can get involved too.
If you’re feeling really crafty try decorating the roof in a floral-print wallpaper then sand over it when it’s dry so some of the wood grain starts to show through. Seal it with wax and your birdhouse will take on a real age-old appearance.
Hung from tree branches, or nailed to fences and walls, these pretty birdhouses will give your garden a vintage look in just a few strokes of a paint brush.
5. Introduce homespun garden storage
Get your hands on some vintage apple crates (make sure you obtain the genuine article for that authentic look) then stack them on top of each other to create a homespun shelving unit to neatly stash old terracotta pots, welly boots and garden tools (on the top shelf out of reach of children). Nail the individual crates together and tie them to a wall or fence to avoid them taking a tumble.
6. Dig for victory with a strawberry patch
Make use of sunny a position in the garden and dig out a strawberry patch fertilised with manure and border it off with reclaimed railway sleepers, bricks or tiles.
Plant the strawberries in rows, 35cm apart, and keep them well watered. Sprinkle over straw for that vintage look, and also to deter any snails and slugs that would like to munch on the leaves.
When your strawberries take off, a mass of pretty white blossoms and ruby red fruits will adorn your garden.
7. Makeover a garden room
If you already have a garden room you could give it a makeover with a lick of fresh paint. This one has been revived with a duck egg blue shade and smart bright white window frames and door. The handle has been swapped for a ornate iron one and a lace netted curtain gives this garden room a vintage vibe.
Make the entrance welcoming by allowing the foliage to overgrow and lean a few colourful accessories here and there such as an upcycled country-style chair and a traditional cycle.