A Quick Garden Design Idea That is Cheap and Cheerful - Required - 15 Minutes of Creativity

You have 15 minutes to liven up a drab garden. Friends are coming over for a BBQ, the garden looks depressing and you get a burst of creative energy. What should you do?

1. A very quick but effective idea is to explore two design principals ‘repetition’ and ‘context’ with whatever is lying around the home.

2. What do you mean?

3. First, let me explain ‘repetition’.

Grab some household items that have the same shape and colour. Arrange these items and shapes in various ways, over and over again to create a pattern. The pattern is created via the repetition of similar looking items. Patterns can create visual harmony and when done well can provide candy for the eye.

4. Now lets make the repetition even more interesting by playing around with ‘context’.

Take the items out of their normal setting and use them for a purpose for which they are not usually used or locate them in a setting where they are not normally found.

5. Help – I need an example please?

6. Ok, choose a colour like red.

7. Go to the kitchen and select only red items that are either round or a semi-circles like apples, cups, bowls and tomatoes.

8. Go outside and arrange all your red items in a line or some type of recognisable shape in the middle of the garden or maybe off to one side.

9. Then repeat your red garden accessory arrangements throughout your outdoor space. Consider hanging some red cups from a tree or the clothes line. Through careful use of repetition the eye will pick up on some fun patterns.

10. It is also unusual to see red fruit, vegetables, cups and bowls used in this context. Often this ‘unusualness’ can create visual intrigue.

Fun patterns and visual intrigue can turn a drab garden into an inspiring outdoors. And an inspiring outdoors may result in a memorable BBQ.