Gardens really do spring to life in the warmer months, and there is a lot to be done to maintain them. Even if you only have a small space to work with, there are a myriad of things
that you need to do in order to keep them neat, under control and, in some instances, safe as well. So what exactly does your garden need this summer in terms of style and maintenance?
A Lick Of Paint
Think of all of the things that are sitting in your garden looking a bit worse for wear. Fence panels are usually the worst culprit for this. Over time, their painted treatment can get weather worn and start to fade. This, in turn, is not good new for the wood that it is covering; it leaves it open to the elements and therefore it is more susceptible to rot. It’s the same for picket fences and all other wooden features and furniture that you have sitting around. We tend to forget just how harsh the outdoors can be (probably because we’re not the ones having to endure it!), and the effect that this has on the things around us. Make sure that you properly wash/sand down everything that needs repainting to get rid of any growths (from algae and any other plants that may have attached themselves to it) and grime, and once dry carefully paint over everything that needs doing. Using creosote
or another wood preserver is a great thing to do to help protect your fences and furniture for years to come.
Repairs Getting Done ASAP
Every garden will need some repair work doing to it each year. Even if it’s just preventative repair work in order to stop something untoward happening. Check your fences, gates and any chicken wire/netting that you have to prevent animals getting in or out of your garden for holes and bits which won’t stand up to the job for the next year. Doing a visual check often isn’t enough in this case; you need to dig in and really find out if the materials are sturdy enough by pressing against them and ensuring that they’re not going to break with a simple push.
Pruning and Weeding
The joy of every garden – not. Pruning back shrubs, trees and plants that have gotten a bit unruly over the winter months
is something that should be done as soon as the weather starts to improve. If you can start your pruning even earlier in the year, then do so – as soon as the sun starts to get higher and the days start getting longer, this is the chance for plants to go wild. It’s better that you start to tame them before it’s totally unmanageable. Keeping on top of them is the best thing to do in this instance. The same goes for any weeding that needs doing especially on paths and in between paving slabs. When you spend the time tidying up your garden in this way, you can see where potential new plants can go. If you are aiming for a cottage-style garden, this can be great fun; you simply bunch together a lot of flowering plants for a quintessentially English countryside look. It’s simple enough to do, and can cause a big impact on the whole look and feel of your garden. It’s brilliant for visiting wildlife like butterflies, bees and birds, too.
Does your garden have any lighting on it? If not, why not?! It’s not just for practicality – it makes it look super pretty, too. Think fairy lights, stringed bulbs, even solar-powered lamps which can dangle in the wind. It helps you to stay out in the garden for longer, especially during the summer months. Why cut a night short just because you don’t have the visibility? Get the visibility sorted and you’re onto a winner. There are so many sites that have garden lights available, but you’re better off buying in the winter to get a really good deal on them. The summer deals come from the online stores that are selling off their Christmas stock
– so make sure that you look for outdoor Christmas decorations which would suit your garden. Don’t worry, they don’t have to have Santa or Rudolph on them – there are lots of plain lights for you to pick from!
Mowing (More Than You’d Think!)
Grass grows. And grows and grows. Again, just like all of the other things that you are pruning back and weeding, this is something that needs regular maintenance to avoid getting completely out of control. If you haven’t got the equipment to keep on top of your garden on a regular basis (i.e. have to ask somebody to borrow theirs, such as a family member or neighbour), take a look at Mowers Online
and other online gardening stores to see what’s on offer. It won’t necessarily break the bank if you go for a mower to suit your budget, and will save you a lot of stress in the long run. The more humid it is over the summer, the more likely it is for your grass to grow more quickly. In some cases this can be a blessing, especially if you’re wanting to regrow your garden, but for the majority of people it just means more work – sorry in advance.
If you don’t have any garden furniture, of do but it’s seen better days, why not invest in some … or even better, make your own? If you have access to pallets (or know somebody who does – asking around online can really help), these can be put together in almost no time to make amazing furniture for just a fraction of the price that commercial garden furniture sells for. There are guides online
for how to do it, and you don’t need a building degree to figure it out. The great thing about making your own furniture is that you can design just how big you want it, paint it whatever colour you like and decorate it with cushions, throws and fabrics that are personal to you rather than the store you’ve bought it from. If you’ve got kids, it can be a great summer activity to get them involved with. There’s nothing quite like sitting back and relaxing on something that you’ve all helped to put together.
Ornamentation and Decoration
There are so many decorations that you can take inside into your garden that it’s a wonder garden centres around the globe can fit them all in. From decorative plant pots to dangling wind chimes, this really is subjective to your own personal tastes – and can be as amazing as your imagination lets it be. You could even try your hand at making your own
with bits and pieces that you have lying around your house. There are themes that you can stick to just like in any room that you’ve got in your house; Mediterranean, country garden, hippy … the world is your oyster. If you’ve got children, turning your garden into a fairy kingdom can be a really fun thing to do. Nailing steps around trees, putting in fairy doors and building your own little fairy ponds can be great not just for the creative side of things, but also for attracting wildlife into your garden. With wildlife in mind, remember that bird and bat boxes and feeders can be amazing decorations to hang up!
Friends and Family
What is a space without friends and family to enjoy it? Once you’ve got your garden up to scratch, make it a place to enjoy. You wouldn’t just decorate a room to close the door on it and leave it until next year, so why do the same with your garden? Utilise what you’ve got. Think about all the things that you can use this space for. Barbeques can be held outside, and if you’ve got the space for it then you can sit and dine outside too – perfect for making the most of the good weather. If the nights start to get a bit chilly, see if there are any chimineas on sale around you to fire up for a bit of warmth. It can be a great thing to sit around a fire and chat all night, and there are so many memories to be made.