Transform your outdoors

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It may not seem like it with all this rain, but summer’s the ideal time to give your garden a makeover.

Getting a landscape gardener in tends to be expensive, often costing thousands of pounds, but for those on a budget there are lots of relatively easy and inexpensive ways to transform your outside space.

If you have a courtyard, bare brick walls can look drab and boring, but paint will transform them in no time.

Sandtex does a striking exterior Feature Wall range, but if you’re not that adventurous, painting the walls white will make a massive difference – they’ll be lighter, brighter and cheerier.

Try Dulux Weathershield Smooth Masonry Paint in Pure Brilliant White (£27.98 for five litres, currently three for two, B&Q). It’s a thick, rich paint that gives 15 years of guaranteed protection against the weather and is rainproof in 30 minutes.

To seal walls before painting them, use a stabilising solution such as Dulux Trade Weathershield Stabilising Primer (£39.94 for five litres,, which does a good job of stabilising powdery and chalky walls.

There’s nothing worse than dilapidated fences, so repair or replace broken ones. If you’re starting from scratch, fence panels are the quickest option because each panel covers a large area, but closeboard fencing, where you build up the fence with single vertical boards, is more durable and bespoke.

Finish off with a lick of fence paint – it’s much smarter and more modern than boring brown wood stain.

For nature-inspired colours, including some gorgeous blues and greens, check out Ronseal’s Woodland Colours range, with a donation from sales made to the Woodland Trust.

Use Ronseal Woodland Trust - White Ash (£19.99 for 2.5 litres, Homebase), a lovely warm cream paint, to bring a New England feel to your garden wood – it’s rainproof in an hour. Team it with a sophisticated grey, such as Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback in Silver Copse (£15.98 for five litres, currently three for two, B&Q), which is designed for fences and sheds. It’s also quick drying and glints silver when it catches the sun. Think a patio’s a bit past it? Decking is more contemporary and warm to the touch, plus it can hide eyesores like concrete and, if raised, can be used to level out sloping or uneven ground. Choose from decking kits or individual boards – Wickes often has boards on offer.