As we’ve now all spent almost four months in our homes and gardens thanks to lockdown, we’ve had time to notice whether they’re doing the job or whether they could be improved.

For inspiration, West Yorkshire homebuilder Harron Homes has teamed up with one of its customers and Instagram blogger Carla Courtney to provide other homeowners with some top tips on how to transform a new home’s outdoor space.

The 32-year-old healthcare professional and Instagrammer said, “With the beautiful weather we’ve been having and the fact that nobody can really go anywhere during lockdown, we’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden.

“My toddler, Tommy, likes playing outside and my husband and I have enjoyed sitting out and enjoying the sunshine.”

“There are a few ways I’ve modified my garden to make sure it works for us as a family. We got a gardener in to do some bits while I’ve done some of it myself. I’m really pleased with how it’s come together. These are my tips for young families looking to make their garden work for them.”

  1. Getting artificial grass laid has been the best thing I’ve done in the garden. It’s absolutely ideal for parents of young children - it’s clean, it’s usually dry and it’s soft so you can walk on it barefoot. We had it installed two years ago around Tommy’s first birthday; just as he was starting to walk. I was worried about how it would look and wasn’t sure I’d like it, but I definitely prefer it to grass. It’s so low maintenance, too, so it’s perfect for busy families.

  2. I had a pergola installed which I love. I’ve put my patio furniture under there because it’s where you get the last sun of the day. We’ve been spending a lot of time there while the weather has been nice - we’ve both got full on jobs as well as a young child, so it’s nice to have somewhere to chill out on an evening. This year, I put solar powered lights along the top of it, which are lovely at night.

  3. I decided to extend the patio all the way across. We wanted to be able to have distinct dining and lounging areas with two different furniture sets. We have friends and family over a fair bit in the summer time and have BBQs in the garden, so we wanted a big social area where everyone could relax and enjoy themselves. The big patio is also great for Tommy - he can have all his things on there in the summer like his paddling pool, his football net, without making a mess of the garden.

Kelly Booth, Sales Director at Harron Homes Yorkshire added, “A new home is the ultimate blank canvas inside and out and it’s great to see how our customers are personalising their homes and especially making the most of their outdoor space during this challenging time.

“With a little bit of thought the garden can really become that extra room giving families even more space to share quality time together.”