Nowadays, there’s a lot of focus on remodelling your house, whether that’s changing your decor or adding an extension. However, we don’t tend to talk as much about revamping our gardens. For some people, that’s because maintaining their garden requires constant input from them, whereas others just don’t know where to start. It’s worth looking into, though. Your front garden is the first thing that visitors to your home notice, whereas your back garden is your own personal space. A nice garden can be a great thing to have, as you can have it completely to your own design, it can be a boon to local wildlife, and it gives you somewhere natural and pleasant to enjoy a summer’s evening. What are you waiting for? Make your garden your own!
Clear your garden
Before you do any redecorating, take a good look at the condition of your garden; when was the last time you cleared it of clutter, debris, and dead leaves? Just as you would clean your house before redecorating, you should also clean your garden before you start planting flowers and bringing in new furniture. This isn’t a fun activity for everyone, especially if your backyard is in a bad state, but don’t throw in the towel just yet. Assign tasks to the whole family, and soon you’ll have a garden just like the ones in the magazines.
Dig out your gardening tools and spend a warmer day mowing the lawn, trimming your shrubs and trees, and digging out the weeds. You’d be surprised how a short trim of the overgrown leaves can make your garden look tidier, and possibly bigger. Cutting back the dead branches on the trees could even let more sunshine into your garden, making your afternoons far more enjoyable.
Surround yourself with colour
Green is in abundance in the garden, but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to keeping the grass and bushes in good condition. You could try to grow flowers that bloom year-round, such as star jasmine, Chrysanthemums, or an evergreen plant like sacred bamboo. You could also just make it easier on yourself and plant a different flowerbed in each corner of the garden for each season. In winter, you could be treated to the sight of holly, roses, or Star of Bethlehem. In the summer, however, you will smell gardenia, lilac, and baby’s breath. It’s a great way to know for certain when the seasons have changed. It might seem like a hassle tending to plants throughout the year, but you need real plants in your garden to fight global warming and reduce stress.
If you don’t have a lot of space for growing a field full of flowers, you can use flower pots to give your garden some color. Pots are a more practical way of decorating your outside space, and the best part is that, as long as you’re strong, you can change the pots around if you get bored with the current presentation. If you’re really lacking in space, however, trying growing your garden up instead of out. Plant some flowers or herbs in a vertical stacked planter and see what a difference it makes to your patio. These are a good idea even if you’re not lacking in space. You could keep the stacked planter near your kitchen to grow herbs for your cooking.
Plant a vegetable garden
A vegetable garden is a sign of a sustainable home. Not only will you be supplied with free vegetables all year, but you will help the environment, and give your children various skills. Planting the seeds and watching them grow teaches your kids about the growth process, the environment, and about the food they eat. They will also be more willing to eat vegetable because they know it came from their garden and they will be proud of their contribution to dinner. A vegetable garden will also be an educational experience for you, because you will learn which vegetables grow best in certain seasons. You can even use the organic waste from your kitchen to make compost, therefore everyone in the family will learn about recycling
You don’t have to plant a large garden to reap the benefits of homegrown vegetables. You can start off with something small, like a pot of tomatoes, some potatoes, or even a little herb garden. You’ll be teaching your child how to cook by showing them which herbs are key ingredients for their favorite meals.
Backyard fire pit
Anyone who loves camping will have fond memories of gathering around a fire, toasting marshmallows, and telling ghost stories. You can recreate that experience in your garden by building a backyard fire pit. These are a great addition to your garden year-round; in the colder evenings they make it possible to spend time outside while keeping warm, and in the summer they’re great for BBQs. If you’re hoping to add some structure to your garden, the fire pit is also a great centrepiece for all your plans. Once you’ve visualised where you want the pit to go, everything else will fall into place.
Nature lovers might like to welcome more wildlife into their gardens. The easiest way to do this is to install a water feature; birds enjoy cooling off in bird baths in the hottest days of summer. However, if you want a little more wildlife, and you have the space for it, why not build a large pond in your backyard. You could even spend time in your large pond/ miniature lake by buying a little rowing boat, or building a waterfront structure out to the middle of the water; check out www.summersetmarine.com for more advice on how to build a sturdy pier in the middle of your pond. Water features are a great way to slowly introduce wildlife into your garden, and they are also good for your plants. The water from the pond can be used to water your flowers, thus conserving water in the long run, and the sludge collected by your pond filter (which is filled with nutrients from fish droppings, excess fish food, and decaying leaves) is a natural fertilizer that can be used to feed your landscape, which means less pesticides in your garden.
During the summer, gardens are meant to be enjoyed by your family, and shown off to your friends and neighbors. The best way to do this is to invite everyone to an elaborate BBQ. While your patio might have served you well over the past few years, a deck is now considered the best place to gather in your garden. Not only is this an excellent DIY project, a deck will add value to your home should you ever decide to sell. Your new deck could has a designated area for a brand new BBQ grill, or even a portable bar. Finally, a deck is typically built to the same level as your doorway from inside the house, so unlike a patio, it won’t be uneven. You can also shield your guests from the worst effects of the sun by installing some patio awning or putting some parasols next to the seating areas.
When the heat of summer gets to be too unbearable, you might be torn between seeking shelter in the shade of your home, or staying outside in the hopes that a breeze will cool you off. After all, you don’t really want to go back inside when the sun is shining. The best compromise is installing a swimming pool in your garden. Not only will it keep you cool during heatwaves, but it will increase the value of your property and make you the envy of your neighborhood. More importantly, a swimming pool is great exercise for the whole family; it’s a low-impact, yet high cardio workout, with maximum benefits for your heart, lungs and circulation. If there is a way you can make use of your pool throughout the year, then you should definitely take advantage of this fun and easy workout.
Garden shed makeover
A garden shed is mostly overlooked as glorified outdoor storage for your gardening tools, but its potential is limitless; think of it as an extra spare room with a different view of the garden. Instead of keeping your tools here, move them to the garage and think about all the fun things you could do with the shed; check out whatshed.co.uk for more tips. Make exercise easier by using it to store gym equipment without cluttering the house; working out in the garden is nicer because you have natural air conditioning and a better view. Get the privacy you’ve always wanted by turning it into a home office. If you’ve long wished for a quiet space to work or read your books, then transform that wooden hut into the office or library of your dreams. Or, you could turn it into a summer house and make it your go-to relaxation zone this summer.