Spring is in the air. Windows and doors are opening and, suddenly, we’d rather be outside than in. Then we realise our outdoor ‘haven’ has become a disaster zone over winter. But with minimal effort and budget you can reinvent your backyard paradise for the summer days ahead.

Plan it out, then take a seat
Seating is paramount in the backyard comfort stakes. Be sure to plan the layout of your yard and, if space is tight, consider coordinating new seating – or at least keeping the styles in sync. Divide your space into zones – dining, drinks, lounging – consider flow and changes in landscape, and suddenly the seating world is your oyster. Think daybed, ottoman, garden bench, sofa (plus coffee table), bar stools, even a hammock.

These days, the range of outdoor accessories is vast, so style it up with plenty of cushions, a rug, lamp, wall art. Add to the serenity with a water feature – it doesn’t need to be elaborate. If urns and waterfalls aren’t an option, try floating some candles in a beautiful bowl filled with water.

Lighten the mood
A stunning ambience is easy with simple lighting. Strategically dot lanterns along pathways or as a table setting. Run fairy lights along the fence, in trees or around the pergola. And for that quintessential holiday vibe, light some Balinese-style torches – add citronella to keep the bugs away.

Last, but not least: the garden. Some lush plants or pops of flowery colour will complete your al fresco setting. It needn’t be your traditional, high-maintenance garden bed. If you’re not a green thumb, hardy grasses or palms will add an instant ‘garden’ feel. Or you could try a vertical garden, planter boxes or bamboo. And if gardening is your thing, why not challenge yourself and create a secluded secret garden.

PRODUCT IMAGES (top to bottom): The Outdoor Furniture Specialists, Freedom, Early Settler
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