With more than half the British population planning to stay in the UK this summer, gardens and summer houses everywhere will be playing host to barbecues, paddling pools and good old fashioned family fun for everyone. To make the most of your summer, there are a few essentials which can be done upfront, so you can get on with having a good time. From cleaning the BBQ so it’s ready at a moment’s notice, to setting up the garden so it takes care of itself, a little work now can make for a much more relaxing summer all round.
If June’s record-breaking hot weather encouraged your plants (and weeds) to flourish, there are a few things you can do to quickly take back control of your garden. Cut back any plants or trees that are getting too close to the edges of your log cabin, shed or summer house; around 1-2 feet is the advised clearance. You will also need to support and train any enthusiastic climbers such as clematis or honeysuckle. Since they can become quite heavy, use strong twine or string to tie effective and robust knots that will keep them under control. It’s also a good opportunity to use lawn feed to remove any brown patches and get your grass looking lush and green again.
All creatures great and small
In this hot weather, spare a thought for the small creatures such as birds, bees and hedgehogs in your garden. A bird feeding station and a small dish of water can go a long way to help. If, on the other hand, you want to provide a less friendly welcome to plant-eating slugs and snails, coffee grounds and crushed eggshells are a natural way to ward them off, since they don’t enjoy the rough texture.
Finally, beat the Back-to-School September blues by getting ahead of the game with your brushwork. Now’s a good time to repaint your fence, summerhouse or cabin with weatherproof staining, as it will dry quickly and be protected for the autumn weather. It’s also worth clearing your gutters of any leaves (a long-handled brush is ideal) so that the autumn leaf-drop doesn’t cause any problems.
As the summer holidays begin, don’t miss out with an unruly garden. A little effort now will free up your summer and leave you feeling rested when September rolls around. The wait is over for the Great British Summer; enjoy.
By Karoline Gore ([email protected])