If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you probably look forward to those hazy summer days when it’s possible to sit out and enjoy the evening sun. Then there are those weekends playing with the pets, kids or inviting friends and family to relax in your garden.
Unfortunately, you can’t always guarantee fair weather, even in the height of summer. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your outdoor space and make the most of your garden, come rain or shine.
If you’re keen to spend more time in the outdoors, here are some helpful tips.
Providing shade and shelter.
If you’re subjected to unpredictable weather, it might seem impossible to take full advantage of your garden.
If it’s raining one day and boiling hot the next, you may crave that happy medium. The good news is that there is a myriad of ways you can cater for changeable weather conditions.
If you need shade in the summer and shelter in the winter, why not explore options like pergolas, gazebos or retractable awnings?
You can move from the hot sun to the cool shade on a sweltering afternoon or hide from the rain when a downpour appears from nowhere.
These popular garden fixtures make your outdoor space more versatile, and they’re also great for parties. If you enjoy having relatives or friends over for play dates or barbecues, use different parts of your garden for different purposes.
If you do have children, it’s wise to invest in toys or outdoor structures that provide cover to protect them from sun, heat and rain. Why not buy a Wendy house or create a treehouse?
Another option is to exercise your creative skills and turn an old shed into a rustic cottage, a fairy tale castle or a cool beach hut.
Make your garden more versatile.
If you’ve got children or pets, or you’ve gained a reputation for hosting the best barbecues on the block, you may use your garden for several different purposes. If your outdoor space isn’t quite geared up for multiple roles at the moment, consider ways you could create a child and pet-friendly area, which is also suitable for entertaining, chilling out and enjoying some well-deserved downtime.
One of the best ways to do this is to create distinctive zones in your garden. You don’t need to have a giant garden to do this. You can use structures, such as fencing, gazebos, or outdoor furniture to create borders, or you could use different materials, for example, decking and gravel, to section off areas.
If your kids love playing out, set up a play area where they can use sand and water trays, take on a mini assault course or try and score goals or hoops.
You can then turn your attention to more adult-friendly zones. Use furniture to make an entertaining space with a dining set or go for something a little less formal such as rattan sofa and over-sized bean bags and floor cushions. Add an awning to cater for all conditions, and you’re good to go. Do you love to spend time in the garden kicking back and recharging your batteries? Place deck chairs on your patio with a side table for drinks and a good book, or hang a hammock from a tree in a shady spot.
Add string lights and plant some herbs that are proven to give off soothing odors to help you relax – especially in those early evenings.
Flexing your green fingers.
Changing seasons make it difficult to ensure your garden looks fabulous all year-round.
If you find that your beds look barren in the winter, and there’s nothing really going on until spring, consider investing in some evergreens and creating features that will look great in the cooler months. Rockeries are ideal because they’re very easy to maintain, and shrubs tend to be much hardier than flowers.
Consider adding planters to your garden and using potted trees to add interest.
If you enjoy gardening, and you’re looking for ways to make your outdoor areas more productive, you may also be interested in growing fruit and vegetables.
Set up a patch in a spot that gets plenty of sun, and follow planting instructions carefully.
If you’re a beginner, start with salad greens, peas, beans, and radishes, all of which are simple to grow.
Gardening can be very therapeutic, and it’s an excellent hobby to get the kids involved in. If your children have had a hand in your gardening, they may be more likely to eat the fruits ‘and vegetables’ of their labors.
Add a garden room.
If you have space, adding a garden room is a wonderful way to add value to your home, make your house more versatile, and ensure you can enjoy al fresco living throughout the year.
Add an orangery or a conservatory to bring the outdoors in, or look at options like log cabins and summer houses. Use these versatile spaces as outdoor studies, dens for older kids, playrooms for young children or areas where the whole family can catch up and spend quality time together.
There’s a huge range of options to suit all budgets and garden styles, so it’s worth visiting a garden center and a browsing through home and garden magazines for ideas.
Nothing makes you want to get out into the garden more than the promise of long, sunny days.
Sadly, it’s not always possible to rely on the weather, and this is why it pays to create a versatile space, which provides enjoyment whatever the weather.
If you enjoy entertaining, spending time with the family, having friends over or just chilling in the outdoors, you can create a garden that provides a perfect place for all these activities.
Consider adding structures that offer shade and shelter. Section off different parts of the garden to cater to different members of the family.
Plan the plants and flowers you choose to ensure your garden is attractive all year round.