Four Ways to Upgrade Your Outdoor Spaces
Summer is upon us and with the longer days and warmer temperatures we are flocking outside, shaking off the torpor of winter and yearning for sunlight and adventure! If not adventure, then at least leisurely barbecues, splashy paddling pools and children running about and having fun. Here are four ways to upgrade your outdoor spaces to make the most of summer.
Light It Up
Install outdoor lights in your garden. While long days are a feature of summer, the longest days are only with us for three or four months. Having good outdoor lighting means that you can linger in the garden for as long as you like – long after the sun has gone down – on those wonderfully relaxed barbecue days that are just so lovely that one wishes they could last forever!
Having those outdoor lights installed means that you can also enjoy winter afternoons in the garden, especially the rare snowy days when night falls as soon as the school run is over!
Build on It!
The idea of building on an outdoor space is counterintuitive, but it really depends on what you are building! Install a small shed to keep all your garden furniture safe and dry yet handy for when it is needed. Build your children a treehouse or Wendy house in which to spend time in the fresh air without the risk of sunburn; or build a summer house for you and your guests to sit in and enjoy the best of both worlds: the civilisation of furniture and electrical outlets alongside the pleasures of warm sunshine and fresh air! Even a gazebo can make an enormous difference to a garden, making it more inviting, friendly to all ages and generally a home outside the home where you can all relax and enjoy something a bit different to the usual run of things.
Install a Firepit
There is something deeply attractive to humans of all ages in a fire, especially a fire outside. As soon as a fireplace is chosen and the first flames begin to warm the air and throw out that welcoming red light, people will automatically gather about this focal point. This is probably because of some primitive instinct telling us that close to the fire is warmth, good food and, often, safety in numbers, while away from the fire lies untold dangers – but whatever the reason, setting a firepit in your garden is a great way to add to its welcome and charm. Choose the place for your firepit well, and lay down a thick bed of gravel for it to rest on. Not only will this make sure that your firepit is level and stable, but the gravel will good-temperedly absorb ash and heat from the fire. The stored heat will be reflected back, keeping you warm, even as you wait for the fire to die down. As an added bonus, the gravel bed will prevent sparks from singing your plants and the lawn. If you want to get a firepit in the UK, you can get it from Forest Fuel’s website.
It is tempting to make a small garden as open as possible: stripping back hedges, trimming trees, and planting a smooth flat lawn throughout, perhaps edged with flower beds. In fact, this can have two effects: firstly, it can make the garden look even smaller, claustrophobic even, and secondly, it can make the garden very boring – a plain expanse of blah! Instead, create small hidden areas, lay down winding paths leading between these, add cunning features like ponds or fountains with a small bench or seat. This way, your garden needs active exploration to see it all, and that automatically makes it feel bigger and more mysterious. The site, in fact, of an adventure!