Many garden DIY projects can be realised in a single weekend, or less.
Whether you’re laying a path, assembling a compost bin or building a barbecue, the key to success is forward planning. Before getting started, think carefully about the best position for your new feature, any site preparation you’ll need to do and what materials you’ll use.
Too cold to be in the garden? Check out these projects for a winter greenhouse.
Show off your garden DIY skills with the help of our practical projects, below.
Lay a path
Garden path created using sleepers and gravel
If you’re thinking of laying a garden path you could opt for simple, informal stepping stones or something more substantial such as a brick path or decking. If you choose stepping stones, consider the most suitable materials for your style of garden such as sleepers, slabs or slate. Think too about what you’re going to surround them with – perhaps gravel or low-growing herbs like thyme and chamomile.
Make a wheelie bin cover
Wheelie bin cover with sempervivum planting
Wheelie bins are a necessity, but they don’t make for very ornamental garden features. This wheelie bin cover can be painted and planted up with a variety of low-maintenance plants like sempervivums and herbs.
Lay a patio
Laying a patio with slate slabs
You can lay a garden patio in as little as a weekend. Once it’s complete, adorn it with some of our favourite plants for patios.
Create raised beds
Contemporary raised bed
There are various ways to build a raised bed. One of the simplest is to use scaffold boards, or for something that will last longer, opt for railway sleepers or breeze blocks covered with render. Try this contemporary raised bed or a raised bed created using natural stone.
Build a compost heap
Adding grass cuttings to the compost bin
Like raised beds, there are several ways you can create a compost heap. The important thing is that they measure at least 1m x 1m x 1m to allow sufficient heat to build up, aiding decomposition. Try this wood pallet compost bin or you could opt for a leaf heap that can be used to make compost or leaf mould.
Create a cold frame
Cold frame in the garden
Cold frames allow you to overwinter plants, harden off young seedlings and shield succulents and alpines from wet winter conditions. Try your hand at creating a cold frame using recycled materials.
Build a brick barbecue
A homemade, permanent brick barbecue should last you a lifetime. It will also save you the money that you’d otherwise spend on disposable, shop-bought models. Follow our step-by-step guide to building a brick barbecue.
Start a patio veg plot
Patio veg including kale, tomatoes and fennel
Many crops can be grown in containers, which is particularly useful if you have a small garden. Check out our pick of the best fruit crops for containers and our advice on getting the best from container veg. Or, follow our tips on starting a new vegetable patch.
Build a greenhouse
Greenhouse and polytunnel in the garden
A greenhouse will greatly extend the range of plants you can grow in your garden. Follow our guide to building a greenhouse, and then get started with our essential greenhouse guide. You could also consider building a small polytunnel.
Create a garden pond
Small garden pond and surrounding plants
Garden ponds make fantastic wildlife habitats, providing a home for dragonflies, frogs, newts and many other species. Make the pond as big as your space will allow. Use our guide to creating a garden pond for help. Be sure to include a sloping edge to allow hedgehogs and other animals access.