Living and Lifestyle

Friday, 05 August 2016

Getting Your Garden Ready for Summer

Summer usually means warmer weather, clearer skies and a chance to sit outside more and enjoy the sun. Having an inviting and colourful place to sit and relax with a book or to entertain friends is high on the agenda for many which is why it’s important to get your outdoor spaces in order. Whether you simply need to cut the grass or your garden requires a more in depth makeover, we’ve created a list of essential tips that will get you out of your house and into the sunshine. 


1. Clean your patio or deck area

Over the winter months, decks and patio areas can often be neglected allowing slime, algae and moss to form. This is not only unattractive to look at but can also be a big health risk if you slip over on your way to the garden table. Clean up those paving slabs or wooden deck with a power washer which will remove dirt with ease and precision. You don’t need to invest in a power washer as they are readily available and cheap to hire from suppliers like Jewson and HSS, or hardware and gardening stores like Homebase. Alternatively, use a wire brush broom and soapy water to wash your deck or patio down and then allow it to dry out in the sunshine.


2. Tidy up the flowerbeds

Summer garden

Sometimes a garden can look overgrown and messy if the flowerbeds are bursting with dead plants, weeds and oversized bushes. Give them a real makeover by pulling out any unwanted plants, trimming any overgrown ones and finally planting some flowers for a summery burst of colour. If you are prepared, plant summer bulbs in the late spring and enjoy watching them bloom in July and early August.


3. Repaint or varnish any outdoor furniture

Garden furniture can begin to look tired and weather-beaten after a few years of use but there’s no need to replace it just yet. Give your wooden furniture a new lease of life by gently sanding it down and then repainting it with specially designed exterior paint. You could also try smartening up tables, chairs and benches with some varnish to make them ready for visiting guests.  


4. Create a wildlife sanctuary

Attracting wildlife to your garden is a great way of adding vibrancy to your outdoor space as well as being a natural way of getting rid of any unwanted pests. Attract birds to eat pesky bugs by attaching birdfeeders to trees or installing a pretty birdbath in as a garden feature. For some colour in your garden, purchase more fish for your pond like Koi, Goldfish or Shubunkins. You can also make your garden attractive to predators animals like hedgehogs that will help eradicate unwanted pests without the need to use harmful sprays and traps.


5. Fix any fences or gates

Having a gate that’s always squeaking or a fence that’s peeling away is a definite way to discourage you from sitting out in your garden. Get your children or grandchildren to come round for a weekend to help fix any hinges, and repaint fences, gates, sheds or summerhouses to smarten up the garden. A lick of paint really can do wonders in uplifting a drab area.


6. Create a compost bin

Environmentally friendly and a good way to save money, a compost bin allows you to create your very own nutritious soil for new plants to grow in. Choose an area of your garden away from the house to place either a readymade compost bin or one you have created yourself out of spare bits of wood or wooden pallets purchased from a garden centre or hardware store. Fill up the bin with any grass trimmings, vegetable peal and other garden waste, and at the end of the summer you’ll be able to use the compost when sowing seeds for the autumn.


7. Cut the grass and trim any hedges

Long flowing grass rarely looks good in a garden and can lead to unwanted pests and weeds. Cutting it regularly can give your garden an instant uplift, as can trimming any hedges or large bushes. If they have become too overgrown to manage yourself, get a friend or family member to help out with the cutting and then make sure you stay on top of it the rest of the year.   


8. Add decorations

Injecting some personality into your outdoor living space will make it more attractive to spend time in and make it stand out when friends and family come round. Add decorations such as solar lights, lanterns and bright waterproof soft furnishings to finish off your perfect garden. 


Whether your garden just needs some colour adding to it or is in need of a complete overhaul, sorting it out at the beginning of the summer is the best way to ensure you make the most out of the warm weather and long balmy evenings. 

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