Every gardener knows that for a flourishing summertime garden, you need to start planning and preparing the year before. That’s why gardening projects in 2017 will come into full bloom next summer.
But what garden projects could you undertake? And why is the tail end of summer the best time to do it? We found out with thanks to Rattan Direct.
#1 Update the Garden Furniture
Why now? Late summer deals mean you can pick up great quality items for use next summer but at a great price.
Enjoying an afternoon in the garden, either reading the latest novel or admiring your gardening prowess is the ideal way to relax. However, gone are the days when the only option was a striped deck chair or dining table set.
From day bed to sun loungers, the range of rattan garden furniture has increased considerably, giving you ample choice when it comes to creating a superb relaxation spot or an al fresco dining area.
#2 Create an Outdoor Kitchen
Why now? The building work involved means it needs to happen during good weather. It will overwinter well allowing you the look forward to spring and summer in the garden the following year.
Budget: mid-range +
This is one step up from BBQing in the garden – the garden kitchen is a ‘fitted’ kitchen, just like you would expect to have in a home.
Lower end budgets will still get a lot for their money with built-in cupboards and worktops, along with a fixed BBQ. Why not add a pizza oven to enjoy in the summer?
For shade, add a pergola with pretty, scented climbing plants to spread their aroma whilst you cook and eat outdoors.
We’ve seen some exciting examples, of outdoor kitchens also been plumbed in too, with a sink and drainage making it a fully working kitchen for the outdoors. In the UK, we have always shied away from creating outside rooms, so look to Mediterranean countries for inspiration as cooking is usually done outside for the majority of the year.
#3 Add a Pond
Why now? Adding a pond to your garden now means it has a chance to get established before the main insect breeding season in spring. It also means that when you add fish, the environment is not hostile to their survival.
Budget: dependent on the size of the project
Gardeners the world over will tell you that nature is both your enemy and your friend. To get the most help from other nature, you need to create the best environment that you can in your garden.
That means offering an attractive place for good bugs and insects, along with garden birds to enjoy – and keep bad bugs away! A pond is a great idea because where there is water, there is bound to be slug and insect eating frogs. Damsel flies and dragon flies are also welcome garden visitors.
You can create your own unique pond with plenty of digging, pond liner and stones or you can choose a rigid pond liner for extra stability. Add a water fall to oxygenate the water for the fish as well as adding a relaxing sound to the garden.
#4 Create a Meadow
Why now? Spreading wild seeds in a part of your garden now will mean an attractive meadow for the buzzing bees in spring and summer.
We tend to think of gardens as being manicured and ordered but our favouring of some plants over others have meant the bees, an important crop pollinator, are struggling to find the sweet pollen they need.
Creating a meadow is simple and easy. Choose a spot in the garden. Dig over the soil, adding plenty of organic matter. Either roll out seeded mats or liberally scatter seed across the surface, covering with a thin layer of compost. Protect over winter with a layer of mulch and enjoy the dancing meadow of native wild plants from spring to late summer. Allow plants to go to see and scatter their seeds for the following year.
#5 Create an Outdoor Chandelier
Why now? As the summer drawers to a close, introducing solar lights means you can enjoy the evening for longer, huddle around the fire pit. But this idea takes solar lights to a new level. Just one of many craft ideas for the garden.
Budget: the cost of solar light, around £5 or less
If you have trees you need to prune, then this homemade chandelier will reuse the smaller, more malleable offcuts.
Create a circle, square or any shape you like by intertwining the small branches of the tree or shrub together. You may want to use small cable ties or twine to hold it in place. Once you have your band of twigs, wrap solar fairy lights around the shape. Use twine to create a hanging strap and fix to your pergola, allowing the homemade solar light chandelier to adorn the seating area in your garden.
Pack away when winter comes but enjoy the sparkling lights in spring once again.
Note: This is a collaborative post with Rattan Direct who stock a wide range of rattan garden furniture and other accessories, all ideal for any garden, no matter the shape or size.