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​Landscaping: 7 fresh garden transformations to inspire you

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
A small front garden by Anne Macfie Garden Design
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Getting the garden ready for summer is one thing, transforming it into something beautiful and special is another. 

We just love a good outdoor spot, and in all honesty, we pity anyone who doesn’t have a garden (or at least a little terrace with a few potted plants).

A garden works almost the same as an interior space in terms of décor and aesthetic beauty: there are certain rules to follow and certain steps to avoid. But at the same time, it’s an entire different ball game, seeing as a garden actually changes over time with seasons, plants growing, animals and creatures inhabiting the space, etc.

So, to inspire your inner gardener (or landscape architect), we thought we’d take you on a tour of 7 quite hideous outdoor spaces that got magically transformed into lush and beautiful gardens (actually it wasn’t magic, it was hard work and dedication – but you get the picture).

Take a look!

Garden 1: Before

Space was about the only potential this ‘before’ picture showed us – the rest was just a down-in-the-dumps look. Overgrown grass, a fence looking like it’s about to give up, plants and shrubs screaming for love, and just an overall neglected look.

Garden 1: After

Before and After - Transformation of dull garden into a fresh contemporary space perfect for Alfresco Dining by IS AND REN STUDIOS LTD

Before and After—Transformation of dull garden into a fresh contemporary space perfect for Alfresco Dining


But after some creative planning and decent maintenance, this area is now a terrific garden-meets-backyard-terrace space! Although the grass was replaced by some stylish tiles and timber decking, a touch of lushness was kept via the trees and plants.

A timber terrace with some bench seating (including oh-so-soft pillows) and a fireplace/braai area was added, turning this back yard into a stunning socialising hot spot!

Garden 2: Before

Another sad waste of a potentially fabulous space (insert frowning emoticon here). It seems rather strange that homeowners would let a spacious area like this go to waste via a threadbare lawn, uneven hedges, and a total dedication to weeds. 

If gardening isn’t your strong point (and not all of us were blessed with green thumbs, granted), we suggest calling up a professional to help you out, whether it’s an expert gardening service or a good friend who really likes digging around in the ground!

Garden 2: After

Oh yes, now that is more like it! Vibrant green grass, expertly manicured beds, and pristine topiary have all done a tremendous job at turning this garden around. 

Doesn’t this look like the perfect spot for a Saturday picnic with the kiddies?

Garden 3: Before

In all honesty, this looks more like a crime scene than a back yard garden. That mouldy decking has definitely seen better days, while the out-of-control weeds and decrepit garden shed only drag this space down even further. 

Help needed ASAP, please…

Garden 3: After

Simply amazing, don’t you agree? That picture-perfect lawn becomes the main focal point of this incredible back yard, as the gorgeous green adds a fresh and truly inspiring ambience to the space. 

Some pretty trellises, a lovely border, a tiled-up patio, and a cute little café table-set later, and this garden has turned into the perfect little spot for tea time.

Garden 4: Before

See how an ugly outdoor space can pull your house’s exterior down with it? Although we can see that it has a bit of potential, this garden is far from neat and beautiful with its overgrown weeds and plants, disorganised look, and just overall dirty look and feel.

Garden 4: After

Can you even believe that this is the same garden?

The designers in charge have opted for modern materials to zhoosh this space up like nobody’s business. We’re talking black tiles, stone pebbles, a wooden deck, and even a little garden pond that immediately enhances the house’s façade stunningly. 

Love, love, loving it!

Garden 5: Before

Ah yes, a pool in the back yard. Just a pity that the homeowners have completely ignored the rest of the space, seeing as it looks quite drab and uninspiring. And who wants to lie down on that dull concrete to enjoy some post-swim tanning? 

Any area with a swimming pool should look inspiring, inviting, and absolutely beautiful – which this space doesn’t.

Garden 5: After

Now this is more like it! The designers have used the singular palm tree of the existing space and based their tropical design scheme around it – and we think it works a treat.

Tiled flooring, wooden beams, stone walls, and it would seem that the pool also got a transformation. Much more befitting for a pool party, in our opinion.

Garden 6: Before

We think that this garden would not have looked that bad if the lawn and plants hadn’t been left to die. And chain fencing wasn’t added to the space. And some maintenance and clean-up was focused on…  

What to do, what to do… ?

Garden 6: After

Success achieved! Gone is the ugly and neglected garden space, and in its place blossoms a sunny and charming new spot that looks so inviting. 

The isolated sections and brick edging add amazing detail to the scene, while the plants have been freshened up and beautified so fantastically. And we can’t overlook that pond in the middle: a really clever eye-catching touch.

Garden 7: Before

Again: a space with lots of potential that has failed to attract an amazing gardener or expert landscape architect to help it achieve its full-bloom promise. 

So much space, so many beautiful possibilities…

Garden 7: After

This little garden has become so charming that we really just want to run barefoot through it. A stunningly green lawn is now in place, while creamy paving and terrace surfaces add a touch of contemporary beauty to the scene. 

Leafy trees and lush flowers take care of the blossoming levels and provide striking background imagery for when we’re enjoying a sunny picnic and taking selfies. 


Think you don’t have the time for a beautiful garden? Let’s see how to: Improve your garden over a weekend.

Which of these garden makeovers would you pick for your home?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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