Our back garden summer makeover


I have written many times about how our back garden is more of a yard than a back garden. It’s quite small but has room for a small patio set and some storage for all the plastic garden tat my son has accumulated over the years. With Freddie making his appearance we wanted to make the garden much more family friendly and accessible so we looked into laying some artificial grass and it has transformed the space. 

We couldn’t quite afford to do an Alan Titmarsh job on our back garden so we opted to tidy up the main space which is a raised platform of concrete slabs with a small border around two of the sides. I was worried that both Freddie and I couldn’t make the most of the beautiful weather with just a concrete back garden so did some research and took the advice of my Father-in-law to buy some artificial grass with an underlay underneath.


We bought our artificial grass online (in Ewood from Express Grass) and the delivery was incredible. It came within a couple of days and it was all in great condition. We bought from there as they sell the grass in quite wide pieces and we wanted a complete piece we didn’t have to cut and match up. We wanted to lay it as one whole piece which really worked well. My Father-in-law had offered to help Shilts lay the grass and so one sunny day, they got to work on transforming our grotty back garden.

The first thing they did was de-weed and sprayed the areas where the weeds came up. Next they pressure washed the slabs so they were pristine. It was important to make sure the area underneath the grass is as smooth as possible to prevent any uneven lumps, bumps or annoying rips in the grass. The adhesive was applied next direct to the concrete and the underlay placed on top.

As we needed to ensure drainage of rainwater was possible, they made many small holes in the underlay so that the rainwater could drain down. No-one wants soggy grass! The artificial grass was then laid down on top and smoothed out. This was stuck down with adhesive so the grass isn’t going anywhere!

It’s amazing how quickly the look of grass can transform a garden. I’ve never seen greenery in the back garden before so I fell in love with it. It really does change the appearance of what was a very grotty backyard.

Garden furniture

Thankfully, we decided to buy new garden furniture (Monaco) from B&Q before the rest of the country wanted some and had it delivered direct from the manufacturers. We opted for a two seater sofa with two single chairs and a table that can be used as a coffee table or a table with raised legs. It’s brilliant that it converts to either in just a matter of seconds. We bought an elegant cantilever parasol from The White Stores and it is so lovely. We had to buy an additional stand and fill it with sand and water to hold its position but we’re so pleased with it.


We bought a bag of bark from B&Q and filled the borders around the grass. We kept the concrete border blocks as they seemed to be in good condition and we didn’t want to give ourselves any extra work. We moved the storage units around in the garden so they weren’t taking up valuable sitting or playing space and they seem to fit really well in their new positions.


As IKEA is just down the road from us, we bought some artificial plants to pot around the borders and I really like them. I don’t have much luck keeping plants alive so artificial ones are my friend! I then bought some solar lights from The Range and they’re just what we need to give the garden some light after hours.

We couldn’t afford new fences over the summer but had ideas to change them as soon as we could. Unfortunately just recently, Storm Bronagh had other ideas and tore one of our fence panels to shreds meaning we needed to replace them as soon as possible. Thankfully, a local builders merchant deliver fence panels for a very reasonable price so we bought three for the side we’re responsible for and pray our neighbours on the other side will take the hint to replace their side fence panels so they match. I’m sure they won’t care, but never mind.


We are so so pleased with our back garden makeover. I think it looks really lovely and it’s so practical. We’ve had the boys playing in the paddling pool, we’ve had a BBQ, we’ve had evenings just sitting outside in the beautiful weather catching up with friends. It’s been brilliant and it’s now an additional space for us to use.

All in, the mini back garden makeover cost us just under £900 and I think for the times we’ve already spent out there, it’s been totally worth it. It’s an additional space for us to use, the boys can play in the garden, we can cook and eat out there and it’s a brilliant space to just have a mug of coffee and five minutes peace (if only!)

Shilts and his Dad did an incredible job of transforming our back garden and I am so, so pleased with it. Hopefully it won’t take much maintenance aside from a lick of paint to the fence panel once they’re dry but I think it looks fantastic! Thank you so much Shilts and Keith!

Disclosure: We bought everything mentioned here but wanted to share where we had the grass from as it’s so brill! 

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  • Reply Lauren Elizabeth 04/10/2018 at 2:15 pm

    It looks amazing Emma, I would love artificial grass but our garden is so big it’d cost a fortune! Plus we have lots of garden birds that come to visit and I worry it’ll affect them if we remove bug habitats.

    • Reply Emma 07/10/2018 at 9:22 pm

      If we had a bigger garden I doubt we would have done anything like this to it, our little patch was only a few metres wide so not too big at all x

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