Summer is getting tantalizingly close, which means it’s time to start your preparations for those warmer months. While it’s all well and good giving the interior of your home a spring clean, one of the areas that you really need to look at is your outdoor space. There’s nothing better in the summer than relaxing in the garden, and with a little care and attention, you could make your summer all the more relaxing by getting those troublesome issues out of the way before the relaxation can really begin. Gardens have so much potential, but they also need a little TLC after the bitter winter, so before you stock up on insect repellent and sunscreen, here are the best places to start when it comes to preparing your exterior for maximum enjoyment.
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is give everything a cursory once-over. This isn’t anything back-breaking, as it’s more about giving yourself a clean run for those more challenging tasks. However, for maximum effect, buy or rent a power washer and give your decking a once over. You can also use the time to go over your paths, which will give you a good start when it comes to trimming the grass. Once your paths are clean, use your lawnmower to trim around and define them. Check out the state of your fences, and if they need it, give them a fresh splash of paint or varnish. Before you know it, your garden should already be looking significantly better. These smaller jobs will make everything feel fresher, but more importantly, they also give you a better idea of the space and shape that you have to play with when it comes to those bigger transformations.
Get the food ready!
Summer isn’t all about the barbecue, but it’s never a bad idea to prepare for a few. Don’t waste time on the day of the barbecue itself! Instead, use the time before summer really kicks in, and give your barbecue set a thorough scrub and clean. You might even want to invest in a new one if your current set is a little outdated or over-used. Once your barbecue is set, have a look at where you’ll be eating. Is your garden furniture up to scratch, or does it too need a refreshing paint job? It may be time to treat yourself to some new and unique garden furniture, so buy according to the garden aesthetic that you’ve always dreamed of. Give some consideration to the area around the tables and chairs as well, and it might be worth considering installing some decking if you want the best look for the summer months. The best thing about decking is that it can add value to a home, so not only will it improve your summer, it might even be an investment.
Build extra space
All too often there are parts of our outdoor space that go unused, or even worse, become the family dumping ground for broken furniture, old toys, and other assorted nonsense. There are obviously a number of ways that you can make far better use of that space. Often, the best way to give your garden a better look is to give yourself somewhere to store that accumulated assortment of untidy garden fixtures, and that’s where having a shed or some garage buildings comes in. Available in a variety of styles, you could even opt for something like a carport and garage combined if you have the space, giving you room to store away those things that need clearing from the garden as well as keeping your car out of the way. Use your imagination and that currently unused garden space could end up being the most important part of your garden plans.
You may have been considering the possibility of building a vegetable garden, but realized that the work and space involved is just too intimidating. If that’s the case but you’ve still got that itch to grow, then it might be time to consider herbs. Considerably easier to tend to than fruit or vegetables, herbs can be planted in very small spaces, and can be placed into those little tucked away edges of your garden with very little time or energy. Growing your own herb garden is not just a practical solution to getting the most out of your garden space, it’s also immensely satisfying, and can even help to reduce your kitchen costs. Experiment with different types of herbs, and choose some of the more exotic options to give your meals a little variety. You can even use your excess herbs as gifts, saving you even more money!
Just because the sun will (hopefully) be out, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give some thought to your outdoor lighting. When the sun goes down but the party carries on, you’re going to want some illumination, and people very often underestimate just how much the right lighting can alter the look and feel of a space. You’ll need to look at the size of your garden in order to work out the number of lights that you’ll need, and there are a massive variety of lighting types and styles that you can check out. If you already have features in your garden, like ponds or statues, then use your lighting plans to draw attention to them, and consider a spotlight for the larger areas like terraced decking where everyone can relax. Have some lighting on any steps, and make a decision over wall-mounted lights or hanging lights, and you may even end up preferring your garden when the sun goes down.
It’s sometimes difficult to find the motivation to commit to big jobs in the springtime, but if you’re planning to get the most enjoyment possible over summer, then now’s the time to start planning your garden. Dream big, and look at the craziest ideas, just to give yourself some kind of notion about what is possible. Use those ideas to give yourself a kick-start, and use your creativity to make the most of your outdoor space.