Most of us endeavour to spend as much time outside as possible when the sky is blue, and we can feel the warmth of the summer sun on our skin. The good news is that you don’t have to bid a fond farewell to the garden when skies become grey and temperatures fall. There are many ways you can make your garden more versatile and get more enjoyment out of your outdoor space whatever the weather. If you’re keen to spend more time in your yard, here are some bright ideas to create a glorious garden you can use all year round.
Even the most pleasant seeming summer’s day can present challenges for the garden dweller. The weather can change in an instant even if the forecast is pleasant, and you never quite know what’s around the corner. The appearance of dark skies and clouds may send some running inside for cover, but if you’d rather stay dry without being cooped up, there are options you can consider. A little rain doesn’t need to put pay to your plans for an al fresco gathering or an afternoon of chilling out with a good book. By weatherproofing your garden, you can enjoy the fresh air come rain or shine. Consider the possibility of adding a structure like a gazebo, a summer house or a garden room or simply add an awning to the side or the back of the house. By doing this, you can take cover and stay dry if you feel drops of rain.
Light and shade
Many of us love nothing more than basking in the sunshine, but occasionally, the mercury rises too high, and it’s too hot to sit outside. If you enjoy spending time in the garden, but you’re not a sun-worshipper, or it’s a very hot day and the sun is simply too strong, creating shady patches can provide a solution. You can either do this by using natural features, such as tree canopies or by adding an awning. If you have trees in the garden, you could place a bench underneath or hang a hammock to create a perfect shady spot to chill out when you’re hot and bothered. If you don’t, fitting a retractable awning is an excellent alternative.
Year-round al fresco entertaining
Do you enjoy hosting parties or inviting friends and family round for food or drinks? If you love to entertain outdoors, you don’t have to run the risk of the weather ruining your plans if you create a covered entertaining space. If you have an outdoor area, which has a retractable or a permanent roof, this will enable you to organise gatherings without keeping an eye on the forecast. You could create a garden room, which can act as part of the house as well as the garden, or you could fit a retractable roof over a terrace or decked area. This is a great option if you have a pool or an outdoor kitchen area. You could scatter loungers and deck chairs or modern rattan sofas around the pool to soak up the sun and enjoy a drink after a swim, or you could serve guests a delicious barbeque at a table in the outdoor kitchen area. To maximise enjoyment, you could create a bespoke bar and add a sound system. When you’ve got a roof, you can continue to entertain regardless of whether it’s sunny or drizzly.
Keeping warm in wintry weather
We tend to spend more time outside when it’s warm, but if you could guarantee that you wouldn’t be cold, would you like to spend more time outdoors during the autumn and winter months? If you crave fresh air, but you don’t want to freeze when you take a step outside, there are solutions. You could invest in patio heaters or a fire pit, or you could look into installing a free-standing wood heater. With the promise of warmth when you need it, you can enjoy a glass of wine in the garden on a chilly evening, you can curl up with a good book, or you can simply lie back and snuggle up with your favourite chilled out playlist. If you’re interested in learning more and looking at some heaters, click here to find out more. There’s something magical and romantic about being outdoors when the sun is setting, and there’s a chill in the clear night sky, and investing in heating solutions will enable you to enjoy your garden throughout the year rather than just when the sun is shining and it’s nice and warm
Let there be light
It may be light until bedtime in the summer months, but during the winter, you may find that the sun has disappeared before you even get home from work and have chance to get some fresh air out in the garden. If you love to step outside and take a few moments to relax and unwind after work, you don’t have to make this a seasonal trend. You can use outdoor lighting to illuminate different areas of the garden and enable you to spend as much time outside in the evenings as you like. There are many different types of lighting you can use in the garden, and you can select styles based on the design of your outdoor space. Popular examples include uplighters for beds, strings of oversized bulbs with exposed lights and fairy lights for a romantic, secret garden vibe and free-standing lanterns for modern spaces. Lighting is not just useful for practical purposes. It can also help to create a mood and set the tone.
Creating a versatile space
If you’re eager to make the most of your garden, it pays to create a versatile space, which caters for every member of the family. Even if you don’t have a huge garden, you can still make it work for everyone. If you have children, you can section off parts of the garden to make areas that are geared towards playing and having fun whatever the weather. Put up some goal posts, create a mini obstacle course or add a climbing frame for outdoor play and place a sunken sandpit under an awning for wet weather. You can also use a gazebo or a wendy house to create an indoor area for role play or relaxing with a story. With the kids sorted, you can focus on the adult-friendly areas. Design patches based on your interests and how you’d like to spend your time. Section off a chill-out area with bean bags or floor cushions and outdoor lamps or hone your horticultural skills with a vegetable patch and flowerbeds.
Embracing the art of accessorising
Accessorising can enable you to alter the look of your garden, but it can also have practical benefits. If you’ve got an outdoor entertaining area, for example, you can swap cotton cushions, hanging buckets full of flowers and brightly coloured jugs and cocktail glasses in the summer for faux fur rugs, lanterns and ceramic mugs in the winter. You don’t have to spend a fortune or overhaul the entire design of your garden to keep up with seasonal trends if you embrace the art of accessorising.
Choosing the right plants
Most of us endure periods when the garden looks bare and bleak. In the spring and summer, flower beds burst into bloom, and suddenly, there’s colour and vibrancy everywhere. The trouble is that this splendid show doesn’t last for long. If you’re keen to keep your garden looking great all year-round, it’s worth paying attention to what you plant. It’s always good to inject colour with bulbs and seeds that spring into action in the warmer weather, but keep your keep your beds and planters looking the part throughout the cooler months by selecting evergreen plants and shrubs that can withstand the elements. Even if there is a lack of colour when the flowers start to wane, the garden will still look fresh with plenty of greenery on show. If you have space available and you’re looking to create a feature that will turn heads at all times, a rockery is a fantastic idea.
Do you enjoy being in the garden? Do you wish you could spend more time outdoors? For many of us, our enjoyment of the garden is dependent on the weather. If it’s sunny, we’re out like a shot, but if there’s rain on the way, we can be cooped up indoors for days on end. If you’re keen to make more of your outdoor space, it is possible to find solutions that will enable you to enjoy your garden all year-round, regardless of the weather. You can use retractable roofs and awnings to provide shelter on grey days, you can take advantage of shady spots on a scorching day, or you can enjoy entertaining throughout the year with a versatile, functional al fresco dining area. Hopefully, this guide will give you some ideas about making your garden more versatile, and you’ll be able to spend as much time outside as you like, come rain or shine.