With summer approaching it’s usually the time we suddenly remember there’s an extra bit of living space attached to our home. It might only be a slither of balcony, or maybe a full-blown garden affair, but this is the garden’s time to shine.
If you get out there and find things a little less shiny, we’ve compiled five garden looks for this summer to spruce up your outdoor living area (and a few tips on how to get there).
Container gardening for any space
If you’re new to all this, container gardening is exactly what it sounds like. Growing things in pots, containers, tubs, planters… instead of directly in the ground.
The beauty of putting plants into tubs is the flexibility it allows. You can rearrange things on a whim much more easily than digging them out, which is great if you had to borrow gardening equipment to put them in!
Planter gardening is perfect if there isn’t much space, so it’s perfect for balconies or small yards. If you rent rather than own your home, it can also be a big help. The landlord might not want you making changes to the garden, and it makes sense that you would want to take your efforts with you in a move.
How to do it, and what gardening equipment you might need
It’s possible to grow nearly any plant in any container. What you choose to grow is entirely up to you, be it shrub, flower, herb, fruit, or vegetable. Container gardening doesn’t require a lot of kit because there isn’t a whole lot of groundwork to do.
A decent hand trowel and hand fork will likely be the best bet for moving soil around when you’re getting started with planting things out. For ongoing maintenance you might want to consider buying some secateurs and/or larger garden scissors.
Take the indoors outside with you
It makes sense that spending more time in the garden will drive you to make it feel more like home. In light of that there are now cushions, rugs, sofas and beyond now being made with a weatherproof finish, so we can turn the garden into a second living room.
Indoor soft furnishings, such as cushions, can be treated with waterproofing sprays to protect them if they accidentally get abandoned in a sudden rain shower.
It can also keep the redecorating budget down, if your garden furniture can be doubled up for use indoors over the winter. We’re big fans of anything that can be put to work when it might not normally be in use!
As well as looking good, your garden can also smell, feel and even sound good, too.
Plants for scent
Flowering shrubs such as lilac and mock orange have gorgeous fragrances, and typically have white flowers so work well with any colour scheme. Lavender is a beautifully tactile plant, just give it a quick squeeze to release the scent.
Plants for touching
Some ornamental grasses feel great to run your fingers through, like stipa tenuissima (ponytail grass). Pampas grass produces big feathery plumes which are equally tactile. Silver sage smells great, and has a cottony covering on the leaves.
Plants for sound
If the sound of leaves or other plant-life rustling in the breeze is your thing, bamboo stems make a lovely hollow sound when knocked together. Love-in-a-mist has a pretty blue flower which fades into a big seed head which rattles when shaken.
The garden can be about more than plants, so consider water features which will look great in the light, and sound soothing. Wind chimes can be made or bought in a huge variety of shapes, sounds, and sizes. Wind spinners are a colourful quirky touch, or maybe wind fairy lights around a fence or balcony railing.
If you are looking forward to bringing the garden up to standard for summer living, but don’t want the cost or storage hassle of investing in all the kit, maybe you could hire garden equipment instead?