Outdoor spaces really do come into their own during the good weather and despite the British weather being at its temperamental best this year, 67% of us will use our garden for entertaining guests during the summer months. If your garden is shouting out for some TLC before your summer guests arrive, read our top five tips to get your garden ready to party.
1. Make a plan
First things first: decide what functional requirements you want the outdoor space to have. Do you want an area for eating, an area for relaxing, or somewhere you can use to work from home? Once you’ve worked this out, draw a quick sketch of your vision for each area or make a concise wish list of things you need. Visualising what you want to achieve will help you to identify the things that may not work, or help to set an affordable budget (we’d better cross out that jacuzzi then).
2. Tidy up
Start with mowing and edging the lawn – it’s amazing how trimming back the grass can give the whole garden a lift. If you’re going to use a moss killer, treat the grass a few weeks before you plan on having a party, once treated the moss will turn black – not a good look when entertaining.
If you have wooden garden furniture, now’s the time to give it a fresh drop of oil. Also, set one of the family members to work on cleaning the BBQ a week before you intend to use it.
To finish off, plant some climbers such as clematis or honeysuckle. Climbing plants are ideal to hide unsightly spots and add interest in the higher spaces of the garden such as fences and walls.
3. Add some colour
If you’ve no room in the garden for borders or don’t have the time and budget to spend on landscaping, add some patio planters filled with bedding plants to add instant colour and depth to an o
therwise plain space. Pots look great along walkways or arrange into groups on patios and decking. You can also place pots outside garden sheds or by the back door to add a dash of colour to a plain outside wall. Try to source frost-resistant pots to avoid cracks in spring.
You can add more blocks of colour by updating garden furniture with new cushions and seat pads – we love this little number in red gingham. Once summer is over, make sure to bring soft furnishings inside and store them for the following year.
Nothing spoils an afternoon in the garden like insect bites. The mix of warm, wet and damp conditions supplied by the great British weather means more mosquitoes and midges on the prowl. Citronella oil is renowned for its insect-repelling quality and using candles infused with the oil is a neat and tidy way to keep the bugs at bay. Using candles instead of oil will also give a lovely soft glow to the garden in the evening too.
5. Extra creature comforts
Make sure the seating areas in your garden can still get a WiFi signal, it’s not unusual for guests to ask “can I have your WiFi code?” as soon as they walk in the door. Consider this when planning your entertaining areas as not only will it keep your guests happy, but you may need the internet to provide party music or video streaming. Having WiFi outdoors is always handy for outdoor working spaces.
Make sure you look the part when cooking up a barbecue. Using the correct tools and protective equipment may not be the first thing on your mind when looking forward to a family barbecue, but you’ll appreciate this tip when you’ve spent an hour cleaning lighter fluid out of your best shirt or have dropped twenty sausages with a serving spoon. Our BBQ apron and tool kit will ensure you’re at your ‘grilliant’ best.
Got your own outdoor living tips? Let us know in the comments below, or share a photo with us on Facebook.