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6 QUICK FIXES; Give your garden a lift in under a day with these great mini-makeover ideas.

1 SWEET PEAS OBELISK Start off some sweet pea seeds now - either in modules or small pots.

While you wait for nature to do its thing, you can be building an obelisk. It can be created in either a bed, a border or a great big pot. Keep it simple with three or four canes tied together at the top. Use plenty of string to give extra support.

3DEEP BED Create a deep bed with a few planks or in a deep pot. If it's too deep, fill the base with polystyrene or other 2 SUMMER BULBS It's the perfect time to plant up summer-flowering bulbs - everything from gladioli to dahlias and lilies. Plant them in plastic pots half-full of multipurpose compost or in loam-based compost. Gradually top up the pots as the bulbs begin to grow. When they're coming into bud, drop the pots into decorative containers.

light bulky material so you use less soil.

Fill up with compost. You can use it to grow spuds, an assortment of veg or make your own cut-flower garden.

4 MAXIMISE YOUR SPACE If you've got an old mirror hanging around, press it into service. The smaller your garden the more effective it can be.

Hang or fasten your mirror to a fence behind an old window frame or a few pieces of old timber made to look like one. It can be any height but use it to double a spectacular feature. Make sure it's fastened securely as it can be disconcerting for pets to see themselves.

5HERBS IN POTS It's always convenient to have herbs close at hand. One of the best ways to ensure easy picking is to grow them in pots. It's best to create two main pots. Use one for Mediterranean herbs that like to be well-drained and in full sun - such as thyme, rosemary and sage. Devote a separate pot to leafy herbs which don't mind a bit of shade - parsley, basil and tarragon. Mint and chives can have their own pots.

6 PAINTING TO CO-ORDINATE An inspired way to bring your garden together is with the addition of paint. Your first target could be the shed, but fences, arches, trellises and even flower pots can be co-ordinated by using one or two colours. Go for an exterior quality emulsion paint - it needn't be expensive - and you could always ring the changes next year.


Easy pickings... chives, fennel and mint in pots

Sun lovers... rosemary, sage and thyme

Pictures: GETTY

Sitting pretty... just a few simple changes can lift your garden
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 30, 2014
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