For most of us, there’s a big chunk of the year where we simply don’t use the garden. When it’s cold, wet and dark outside, it’s usually more preferable to be wrapped up in the warm than digging around in snow, rain and sleet. Which is fine, none of us can control the weather and we just simply have to switch up what we can do around it. However what it does mean is that when the warmer months arrive, we really should be making the most of our outdoor space. It’s essentially an extra ‘room’ we can use on our property, and when it’s only really nice to use for half of the year then why not use that time wisely? If you start getting organised now, by the time the sunshine comes back for the year you’ll be ready to go. Here are some of the ways you can make the best of your garden.
Entertain Family and Friends
We all lead such busy lives, and juggling work, running a house and looking after kids often means there’s no time for anything else. Socialising usually takes a back seat and it means that we don’t get to see loved ones as much as we’d want. However in the summer, getting everyone round for a barbeque or afternoon tea in the garden is sure to be a hit. It’s something that kids and adults alike will enjoy, is the perfect place to mingle and socialise and generally enjoy your back garden. A brick barbeque is a good feature in the garden, you can buy kits to make these and is a good project for a keen DIYer. Otherwise there are lots of great models you can choose from, make sure you go for a size that suits the number of people you will be entertaining for. Too big is overkill, too small and it will take forever to get everyone’s food cooked. You could experiment with different seasons, marinades and recipes if you enjoy cooking, some nice sides such as homemade rolls, slaw and various salads will always go down well with grilled meat and veg. Give the garden a tidy too, jet wash paths which can get mossy and slippery over the winter. Prune back bushes, and mow grass once we get a dry enough day. Once the weather warms up you can invite everyone over and enjoy good food, drinks and company.
Teach Children New Skills
We know as parents that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. It’s up to us to be teaching them other important skills, and at home we can work on them on things like baking, cooking, crafts and gardening which are all fun while allowing them to learn new skills. Gardening keeps you fit and teaches you the importance of nurturing and patience. It shows them that if they carefully water and tend to a plant, it will grow and produce flowers or fruit. You can buy greenhouses of all sizes so it’s an ideal hobby regardless of your budget or the size of your garden, they can grow crops alongside you and you can teach them about different plants, insects, pests, soil conditions and much more. If you grow edible plants you can use these in cooking too , children are far more inclined to try healthy foods that they’ve had input in growing or cooking. You could kick a ball around with kids, have a water fight or make up games. There are lessons to be learned in all of these kinds of things- even if it’s just learning to be a gracious loser!
There are few better places to relax than in a gorgeous garden on a sunny weekend or evening. You could sit out with a glass of wine and read a book, put your feet up and just unwind. Add some pretty flowers to pots and to your borders to make your surroundings as pleasing as possible. A water feature could be another great addition, not only is the trickle of water relaxing but it can also help to drown out any distant noise and traffic while you’re sat outside. If you want a little more privacy in the garden, how about adding a pergola, you can add screens of bamboo and grow roses around it- ideal if your garden is a little overlooked. Either way, you sit on the sofa to relax for most of the year so when it’s warm, take advantage of the garden!
Take Up a New Hobby
There are lots of great hobbies you can take up and enjoy in the garden. An obvious one is growing plants, whether you use the greenhouse or plant things like fruit trees, a herb garden or decorative plants. Weeding, digging and tending to your crops is great exercise without having to go and sweat in the gym! Another option would be things like upcycling, because for lots of projects you need a ventilated space for glue, sprays, paint and everything else, this is something that’s ideal to so on a sunny day. Put down a sheet or get yourself a surface to work on, and get to work with your craft or upcycling projects. Yoga, pilates and tai chi are also examples, these kinds of practices are a great way to start or end your day, can help you to stretch your body and tap into a calm frame of mind. If you don’t have much space indoors then the garden is ideal. More energetic practices could also be done too if that’s your thing, get a skipping rope and practice boxer skip which is an incredible form of cardio You could follow an exercise video from your laptop, get a trampette and bounce your way to fitness or lift some weights. Who needs a gym when you can use your garden on a nice day?
Do you use your garden to its full potential? What’s your favourite way to use your outside space?