06 May 5 ways to enjoy your garden this summer
Are you planning to use your outdoor space to its full potential this year? Here are just 5 ways that you can enjoy your garden this summer.
- Get to know the wildlife in your garden
- Star gazing
- Experiment with themed planting schemes
- Watch a film outdoors
- Cook and eat al fresco
Get to know the wildlife in your garden
You know about the humans that use your garden on a regular basis. And you probably have a very good idea about the pets who play there too. But what about wildlife? Gardens are like mini-ecosystems with dozens of different species who depending on them for food, water and shelter.
Studying the creatures in your garden – and discovering how they interact and depend on each other – is a real eye opener into how human intervention can make or break ecosystems. Trust me, once you start looking, you’ll soon want to know more. Wildlife watching is great for children too – it will keep them happy for hours.
Start by going on a bug hunt. Lift stones and garden ornaments to see what’s underneath them. Have a rummage about in your borders, peeking into the middle of your shrubs, check the underside of the leaves, see what’s crawling on the soil surface…..what devices are creatures using to hide from predators?
Do you have butterflies or bees visiting your flowering plants? Look closely at their size, their shape and their markings. How many different species can you identify?
Next, look carefully in hedges – you might find a birds nest. Be sure not to disturb the birds or their babies though. If you do find baby birds – what are they being fed on? See if you can spot the parents bringing food to the babies – has it been found in your garden?
Wildlife watching costs nothing but your time. If you want to encourage more biodiversity in your garden, we’ve written an article to help you. There’s a link to it at the bottom of this post.
It’s simple, it doesn’t need any equipment and you don’t need to plan it in advance. Simply switch off as many outside lights as you can and stare up at the sky. It never ceases to amaze me how complicated the universe is and I can’t help wondering how many stars and planets there are out there – and how far away they are.
Star gazing is incredibly relaxing. It clears the mind and often helps me to find the solutions to things that have been worrying me. Go on – give it a go.
Experiment with themed planting schemes
When I’m designing planting schemes, I always ask my clients if there is any particular garden style or theme that they particularly like. I have been asked to design coastal gardens, grass gardens, herb gardens, wildflower gardens, ‘hot’ gardens, ‘cool gardens’ and a host of other themed ideas.
Could you create a themed garden in part of your outdoor space? It doesn’t have to be huge – perhaps a succulent garden in a large pot? Or maybe devote one part of the border to plants in your favourite colours.
A great place to seek inspiration is the World Garden at Lullingstone Castle in Kent where each large planting beds is filled with plants from a different part of the world. It’s fascinating to walk from a jungle to a desert, the Mediterranean to the mountains.
Coastal themed planting in a back garden.
This was part of a garden in Braintree, designed by Tapestry Design Studios and built by Holland Landscapes
Watch a film outdoors
Watching a film in your garden is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. You can buy or hire a screen and projector and relax with blankets, cushions, snacks and maybe even a fire pit to warm you.
Even in summer the UK weather can be a little unpredictable, so think about using a pergola or a summerhouse to keep your outdoor cinema more comfortable. Why not plan a garden makeover that includes an outdoor cinema area? It could double up as a dining area and certainly help you enjoy your garden more.
Cooking and eating al fresco
Cooking outdoors is one of my favourite things to do – in fact I even cooked the Christmas ham on the barbecue this year. You don’t need expensive equipment to cook and eat outdoors but having a well designed outdoor kitchen certainly makes it easier to enjoy your garden.
Need any ideas for designing a kitchen or a dining area for your garden? Tapestry Design Studios have helped dozens of people to turn their garden into a really sociable cooking and eating space. Please get in touch if you’d like us to help you too.