7 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Summer
If you're anything like me, the minute the weather starts changing you have a renewed excitement for the garden!
My neglected small London garden is looking a bit tired but this is a great time to start revamping it ready for Summer. You actually still have plenty of time to create something you're proud of.
With a few small changes you can turn a winter barren space into something delightful to sit in and even somewhere you'd be happy to invite people over for a BBQ!
Here are 7 ways to prepare your garden for Summer!
The first thing I've done is touch up some of the fading paintwork. It seems like quite a big task but it took me a morning to go over any worn areas of fencing and I actually had my children paint a small wall at the back of the garden! They loved it and they could get messy without the usual painful clear up you have when you do this indoors.
It's made such a difference and we've used some Mediterranean colours, from Culprinol such as Willow for the fence and Olive Garden for the dining table. I really like the calming affect of all these pastel colours.
We have a main dining table in the garden but seating doesn't have to be formal anymore. Think of ways in which you might like to use the garden. Can you work in the space if you work from home? Is there a relaxed cosy corner for reading a book? Can you create somewhere for the children to disappear into and have their own den?
There are so many lovely ways to make your garden into an outside room, so start thinking in this way, it's quite liberating!
Try and have some practical options like colourful stacking chairs to bring out if you have more guests. Cute camping ones for children and then a couple of really comfy items that you love and you will ease into all summer with a glass of wine!
3. Spring clean
Probably the most boring of all the garden tasks but it does make a difference! Have a clear out of any items you don't need. Deflated toys and space hoppers! Broken equipment, rotting bulbs from the shed! We all have them!
Then go through the plant pots and borders and remove any dead or very barren looking plants. Just leaving behind the fresh soil will make you feel better afterwards and ready for the fun parts of garden design!
You can be as creative or low maintenance as you'd like with flowers and plants. I love gardening but with two small children I don't have the time to devote to it that I once had. I want my garden to look cheerful, smell good and be easy to look after!
To achieve this:
- Group pots together in clusters. They look prettier and are easier to water.
- Stick to 2-3 colours that go well together. This way any combination of planting will look good. And it will seem as if you've put more thought into it than you actually have!
- Buy small plants from a nursery/garden centre in April/May and then you get instant colour rather than using seeds.
- Geraniums, Petunias, Pansies are easy to look after and come in a variety of colours.
- Use different heights of plants within one pot.
- Sew Night Scented Stock seeds (Literally just thrown into earth with a bit of water!) into any area near seating or doorways. Then when you're having a meal in the evening the beautiful perfume will fill the air.
If you are really adventurous you could attempt to create a living wall! This may sound too much but actually it can be done in an afternoon.
You need a sturdy wall, fence or the side of your shed. Some wooden battens or a trelis to attach to the wall and some hanging planters. These are becoming much more mainstream now and your local nursery can advise which plants would suit the position you are building it in. Find out how to create it yourself here.
Indoor or out, lighting is one of those finishing touches that brings everything together. We often forget about using this outside but it can add fun, romance or just a relaxed atmosphere. It also means you can stay out in the garden for longer on those summer evenings.
There are some great new outdoor lighting offers at Groupon at the moment. So think about using a few different types depending on where you are in the garden. I love using a combination of different lighting such as:
- Lanterns either side of a door way look inviting.
- String lights attached to fencing as people walk out into your garden draws them into the main entertaining space.
- Floor level LED lights create a warm glow without the worry of children hurting themselves.
- White or warm white lights always are very classic but you can go as colourful as you wish!
Don't forget that even the most sheltered gardens need some way of creating cover during the very hot days. Often May sunshine is the most fierce!
You can stick with a traditional parasol or try the popular sail shades which can be attached to poles, fences or even trees.
If you want to create something more permanent, pergolas and awnings are a great option. An awning can be extended or put away depending on when you need it and with pergolas you can grow climbing plants up them such as wisteria and jasmine.
7. Focal point
If you've done all this but still feel you need a bit of wow factor what else can you use in your garden?
- Create a feature wall with different sized rustic mirrors.
- Put one tall mirror on the furthest away wall/fence, surround with an arch to give the impression the garden extends further.
- Buy a firepit or outdoor pizza oven
- Have some water running, a feature as simple as an overflowing beautiful urn will add a lovely calming effect.
- Turn an area that isn't used into a wildflower garden. Throw in poppy seeds, cornflowers and leave it to the bees and butterflies!
I hope this has inspired you to get out in the garden and take action!
What would you love to create in your garden?
**This is a sponsored post however all opinions are 100% my own.**