From uninspired plot to multi-zone space that works for the whole family, Lisa Joyce’s Dublin garden merges practical design with eclectic styling, using salvaged and repurposed finds.
Words: Róisín Carabine
Looking for garden inspiration? There are a handful of Irish Instagram accounts you need to follow now to get your garden game on. This is the last in a short series of six different outdoor styles we’ve pulled together to get ideas for your own garden brewing. If you haven’t seen the other parts, check back to the homepage. Otherwise, read on to find out how Lisa Joyce stuck to a budget to create her fab garden.
Designed during the lockdown years, Lisa wanted to create a space she could relax and entertain in; that her five-year-old daughter Sadie could also enjoy. Small and rectangular, her aim was to make it look bigger and work better for the family.
Make it work:
“The previous garden was designed by my late father-in-law and while it suited his needs during retirement, it wasn’t child friendly,” explains Lisa. “The site was uneven and sloped and there was a large patch of sand and gravel where a greenhouse used to sit.” Lisa’s solution: level the land and split the space into distinct zones for entertaining and play using lawn, paving and railway sleepers. “My husband Paul started the digging and we roped in my dad Billy and Paul’s uncle Michael to help,” adds Lisa.
Ideas to steal:
A tight budget and limited access to supplies forced Lisa to think sustainably. She’s reused patio slabs, bricks and curbs, repainted fences and even replanted flowers and plants. “We were lucky to inherit this garden so it was also important to keep some memories of the old space alive,” says Lisa. In a small garden, like this maximising vertical space can be transformative. Here Lisa has used hanging and climbing plants, as well as artwork and lighting to draw the eye upwards.
Good to know:
Creating a family garden is a fine balance between pretty and practical; it has to work for everyone and that can mean having to accommodate a playhouse or trampoline into the mix,” says Lisa. “Aspect is key too, especially when it comes to planting and planning. Our garden is not that sheltered and gets quite a battering from the wind so we have to choose plants carefully.”
Follow Lisa on Instagram (@seoigehome) to see more of her interiors ideas.
Enjoyed Lisa's garden journey? Go back to the beginning and read part one – how interior stylist Sarah Twigg Doyle has transformed her garden into an outdoor living room.