The great British barbecue

Brits love a good barbecue, even if it’s pouring down with rain. The mere hint of sun or bank holiday and we’re in the shed, dragging out the BBQ. Whether you’re feeding the five thousand or just fancy a family meal alfresco, help your BBQ go with a bang with our top five tips.
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Get your garden ready to party

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.

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Four top tips to prepare your garden for the summer

~ by Irene Jones

Attire

Correct clothing is one of the most important aspects of preparing to spend some time in the garden. Remember that if we have a good summer, temperatures should climb so you will want to be adequately protected while not sweating. Finding the correct balance between gardening safely and not getting too hot during the summer can be tough but we plan to make this a little easier for you. Lets start at the bottom and work our way up. On the feet we recommend not getting bogged down by wearing full sized wellies which may limit your movement. Instead of full sized wellies, try these excellent and supportive short ankle wellies. I always find that jeans work best for me as they are durable and strong enough to keep scratches from your legs, however, in the summer these might not be appropriate so go for something a little lighter. With regards to the upper body, a thin long sleeved t-shirt works well. Remember to grab some lightweight gardening gloves and a nice summer hat to complete your attire.

Storage

Efficiency while gardening is a must and there is nothing more important than storage. If your shed looks like the image below then you might struggle. Try to work tidily and put things away once you have finished with them and you could end up with a much better shed. The cleaner your shed is, the easier it is to work efficiently. In an ideal world it would be nice to achieve the second image below.

Poor shed storage

Good shed storage

Plan

Preparation is the key. Plan which flowers you would like to plant and where, once this is decided then go and buy the seeds in advance of starting the work. I always find that a drawing helps, I’m not great at drawing by any means but it can help to get your ideas on-to paper and it can be useful to come back to once complete. Ensure all your tools are in working order, if not then make sure you go out and buy the correct tools early – there is nothing more frustrating than starting a project and then realising that you don’t have the correct tools to finish; causing a trip to the shops. Take a look at your calendar, see if you have anything booked and prepare your first gardening day around your plans. I once completely forgot that I had a wedding to attend and realised after I had got changed into my gardening gear and had the lawnmower out ready to start – call it old age!

Bio

Irene JonesIrene Jones is an avid gardener in her spare time, during the day she reviews and critiques garden & outdoor equipment for a British manufacturer of industrial supplies.

She has 40 years experience in landscape gardens and has enjoyed being employed to look after some huge landscape projects for many public gardens in the UK. Nowadays she enjoys walking in gardens with her grandchildren more than working on them but the passion still has deep roots. If you would like to get in touch with Irene, you can find her on Google+.