It’s hard to avoid all the usual garden advice at this time of year –of which the majority will almost certainly be to mulch, feed and water against the summer heat. Sound advice, of course, but not all that much fun when it comes down to the precious time you might prefer to spend outdoors this summer.
So it may not come as too much of a shock to find out there is more to a summer spent in the garden than (what seems like) endless maintenance and, admittedly, a neat collection of well-watered shrubs. The end result, a great looking garden, is always worth the effort you’d have to say, but you, as the owner of this slice of paradise, also need to remember to enjoy the fruits of your labour (or someone else’s).
Summer is all about entertaining and relaxing –or at least it should be. If you already have an entertaining space, often labelled an outdoor ‘room’, then make sure you give it a quick spruce up for all those BBQs and other family gatherings; such as the Christmas and New Years celebrations just around the corner. But if you haven’t got a functional outdoor space, or any area at all, in which to relax outside, a solution may not be all that difficult, or expensive.
Depending on the amount of space in your garden you could go for decking, paving or a lush, green stretch of lawn –or perhaps even all three! An outdoor kitchen can be combined with any and all of these options to create a living space you’ll spend all your time in and never want to be away from.
But maybe your dreams are smaller, and a nice stretch of lawn and a square of decking or paving will suffice for that cosy BBQ with a few friends and family. But no matter what the size, a well-planned outdoor space will almost certainly give you a ‘room’ unlike any other in your home. And you’d be surprised at exactly what you can fit, even into the smallest of gardens!
Aside from hard landscaping structures like paths, decks, retaining walls, paving etc careful plant selection and landscaping can utterly transform any area. Plant choice is vital in the creation of a cohesive and, above all, thriving micro-climate in your backyard. Yes! Even in such relatively small spaces, careful choices, whether it be trees or other components, can often affect the temperatures in and around your house.
Of course, no summer article would be complete without a mention of the hot, hot sun. In planning any outdoor space careful consideration should be placed on shaded areas. Whether it’s an existing tree or a shade structure like a pergola, gazebo or even a large umbrella, shade is a vital escape. Of course, remember the sunscreen when you are out in the sun!
So if your outdoor space is looking old and tired, maybe after a few years of neglect, or you need a complete outdoor ‘room’ created then now is your opportunity. Consider a change of look and feel in your garden to make the most of your weekends and no doubt the busy summer holiday period ahead.
Finally, a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year ahead!