Top Tips to Enjoy Your Garden All Year Round

outdoor space wine

A garden is a luxury that not all homes have. If you have a garden space, you can take advantage of it as an extension of your living space. With the right planning and adjustments, not only can you enjoy it during the warm summer months, but all year round. Summer doesn’t have to be the end of your time in the garden, and instead, you can use the space whenever you wish. Here are some top tips to help you extend the good times in your garden throughout the year. 

#1 Add colors 

Brightening your garden is a great incentive to use it more. You can do this by planting flowers around your garden that thrive in different seasons. There are also plants that are low maintenance and last all year round, such as Cercis canadensis, Amelanchier lamarckii, viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum, Hydrangea quercifolia and much more. You can also add more points of interest in your garden with ornaments, water features, or hanging bunting and fairy lights. These small touches will make a huge difference to the way your garden feels, and instantly make it more appealing and inviting to spend time in. 

 

#2 Create an area to spend time in

In the summer months, it doesn’t matter where you spend time in your garden, as it is usually sunny and dry. The weather can be unpredictable, and the winter months can bring a lot of cold and wet weather. Unfortunately, this does not make the garden a very welcoming place to spend time. As a solution, you should set up a dedicated area in your garden that can be used, regardless of the weather. You can hire a deck builder to create a nice flooring, put up a gazebo to protect you from the sun and rain and upcycle some furniture to create a nice seating area. Just make sure you weatherproof your furniture or invest in covers, so they can stay intact. You can then add any finishing touches that you wish to make it your own, cozy place to hang out, for example, pillows, blankets, throws, candles, etc. When you set up an area to spend time in, you are much more likely to use it. 

 

#3 Add some heat

One of the big deterrents from spending time in the garden during the winter is the cold. You can change this by adding a heat source to your outdoor seating area to keep you nice and warm and create an inviting space with a sense of coziness that you can enjoy. Some of the most popular heat sources are infrared heaters, firepits or outdoor fireplaces. These come in a variety of options to suit different budgets and sizes of gardens. Make sure you keep the area safe and do not store anything flammable nearby. 

Your garden is a great space that can be utilized all year round with the right knowledge and equipment. You should consider using the garden all year round in your plans when you are designing your garden.

10 Steps To Design The Backyard Of Your Dreams

dirt

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space you’ll want to make the most of it. The key to creating a beautiful backyard is about planning your design, and learning a few new skills. To design the backyard of your dreams these ten steps are just what you need.

1 . Make a plan

If you’re looking to redesign your space the first step is to create a plan. Drawing up a design plan can help you to figure out various elements, including:

  • Which style are you looking to create? For example, minimal and neat, or quirky and wild?
  • Which color schemes would you like to focus on? There are lots of ways to create a color scheme, whether it’s planting flowers or using accessories.
  • Are you looking to make any adjustments to your lawn? For instance, creating a shaped lawn.
  • How will you separate your backyard into different areas? or get rid of landscape debris
  • Set yourself a budget 

    When you’re designing a backyard it’s a good idea to create a budget first. Laying out a budget can help you to figure out what you need to buy, and split your spending into categories. A budget can stop you from overspending and even make savings on the supplies you need. If you’re looking to improve your yard without spending too much money you should check out affordable backyard design ideas.

    If you’re keen to get creative you might try making a few garden decor objects yourself? Alternatively you could also try buying a few second-hand items to help you save money.

     

    1. Hiring a professional gardener

     

    When you’re improving your outdoor space you’ll need to decide if you’d like to hire a professional gardener, or whether you’d like to do the work yourself. The decision will probably depend on how complex your backyard design is, and how strong your gardening skills are.

    If you’re keen to design a shaped lawn you’ll probably need to hire a landscape gardener to do this for you. If you’re laying down decking or paving you might be able to do this yourself, (however it’s important to level the ground first).

    1. Purchase gardening tools

     

    If you’re keen to improve your garden space what you’ll need are the right gardening tools. Basic gardening tools for beginners include pruning shears, gardening gloves, a hand trowel, a garden fork, loppers and a spade.

    Having the right gardening tools will help you to improve your gardening skills, and boost your confidence as a gardener. Once you start having fun with gardening, you’ll create the perfect space to relax and unwind.

     

    1. Create a vegetable garden

     

    Making your own vegetable garden has so many different benefits. When you create a vegetable garden you can grow yummy food, live sustainably and improve the look of your backyard. Getting started doesn’t have to be difficult; there are lots of vegetable garden tutorials that you can check out online.

    If you’d like a little more guidance try using apps like Gardroid, Vegetable Tree or Garden Answers, all of these have plenty of cool features and tips, to help you become a gardening pro.

    1. Attract wildlife 

     

    Creating a stunning garden space is about embracing the natural world, designing a space that’s thriving with life. If you want to make your backyard beautiful you’ll want to attract lots of wildlife. One of the best ways to do that is to choose the right plants and flowers. To fill your yard with butterflies, try planting flowers like sedum, lavender, buddleja or hebe. To attract bumble bees, plant sage, toadflax or snapdragon.

    If you want to bring frogs into your backyard you’ll want to add a pond and ensure that you avoid using pesticides. Frogs tend to avoid sunlight, as it can make them dehydrated, so it’s a good idea to build shady spots. Remember, while you’ll want to attract wildlife you’ll also want to keep pests away from your home. Chrysanthemums are the perfect flower to ward off pests, (so make sure that you plant plenty of these)!

     

    1. Create an outdoor living room 

     

    Every garden needs a relaxation space, creating a backyard oasis is all about designing a peaceful place. Over the last few years outdoor living rooms have become incredibly popular. Homeowners are purchasing plush garden sofas and rugs, which are very similar to indoor furniture. There are so many accessories you can use to enhance an outdoor living space. Try using cushions, throws, tablecloths, wall hangings or mirrors. Hang fairy lights or paint your fences in bright colors. 

    Designing an outdoor living room is all about finding your style. Many people design their outdoor space as a continuation of their indoor space. This means focusing on a similar style, color scheme and aesthetic. Of course there are no set rules, if you want to create a whole new look for your backyard, go right ahead.

     

    1. Try the permaculture approach 

     

    Wild gardens are back on trend, it’s all about letting your garden get a little ‘unkempt’, and creating a natural look. Permaculture gardening means improving the health of your garden with natural and sustainable practices. Permaculture gardening follows several different principles, a few of which include:

    1 . Learn from nature and take an ethical approach to gardening.

    1. Catch energy from the earth and use it, (for example growing your own food with help from the rain and sun).
    2. Ensure that you do not produce any waste.
    3. Any dead plants should be utilized as mulch to enrich the soil.
    4. Focus on plant diversity

     

    1. Smart garden features

     

    Looking to improve your garden with tech? There are many ways that you can create a smart garden. For example, you might consider investing in a robotic lawnmower, these do a great job of mowing the lawn, and can save you plenty of time! Other options include smart sprinkler systems, smart garden lights, or smart water features. If you’re a tech-nerd who wants to create a cool garden, these upgrades are certainly for you. As technology advances there are so many new ways to improve and enhance your outdoor space.

     

    1. Find inspiration 

     

    When you’re designing a new garden it’s a fab idea to collect plenty of sources of inspiration. Here are some great podcasts to make a start:

    1 . Roots & All: If you’re keen to make the most of your garden Roots & All has got plenty of tips. Here you can learn how to create a green garden, minimizing waste and saving resources. The podcast discusses plenty of different topics including , ‘Creating A Wild Garden’, and ‘New Nordic Gardens’.

    1. Gardening With The RHS: Throughout this podcast you’ll get plenty of seasonal advice, practical tips and inspiration. You’ll hear about scientific research, techniques and horticultural advice. There are lots of topics covered on the show including lawn care, flowers, vegetable growing, and gardening with children. 

     

    1. The Plotting Shed: This podcast is packed with plenty of awesome advice about gardening. If you want to design a gorgeous garden, but you’re not sure how this is the show you need. The plotting shed aims to make gardening fun and interesting, you’ll learn plenty of new things and boost your confidence in no time.

     

    Using these ten steps you’ll create the garden of your dreams. Designing the perfect garden can be a gradual process, and you may well need to hire professional gardeners. Creating your design is all about finding inspiration, and planning your key elements.

How To Make Your Garden More Appealing To Future Buyers

gardening tips and tricks

Your garden is important to maintain for the future sale of your home. The exterior matters just as much as the interior. Thus, it is important to make your garden look as good as possible when buyers come to look around. If you lack gardening skills or knowledge and want some help to boost the curb appeal of your garden, here are some tips.

Clean it up 

Cleaning the garden is more than just a quick sweep of the fallen leaves. If you really want to impress future buyers then you can benefit from cleaning the patio, wooden features, and other areas that can be cleaned. 

For instance, Pressure Washing your patio can make it look as good as new. Instead of steering buyers away because your patio looks old and looks like it will be expensive to replace, you can show them the true potential of the home and show them that the garden is well maintained, which will keep their costs down.

Tidy up

Ensuring to organize your family home goes for more than the cupboards. Organising your garden and making it neat and tidy will look good to the buyers. 

As much as cleaning helps, tidying does too. If your garden is clean but messy, it will not be appealing to your buyers. Make sure to tidy up the grass, the flowers, and any other mess before people come to look at your property. 

Refresh the lawn

Refreshing the lawn frequently will ensure that your home is always ready for buyers. Some people book last-minute viewings and you will want to make sure that your place is always ready. 

Refreshing and trimming the lawn when it grows is more than enough to make your garden look well cared for and maintained. 

Or, add artificial grass

If you lack gardening skills or time to care for the grass, then you might want to consider artificial grass. This requires no maintenance and can be appealing for future buyers who also want to enjoy easy garden maintenance. 

After laying it down, you won’t need to do anything to it. It will keep its vibrancy and not need trimming.

Plant flowers

If your garden lacks color, then it might not show off its full potential. Adding colour and vibrancy will enhance its appeal and look well cared for. 

Planting flowers that are long-lasting will be great for the buyers as they can maintain them and enjoy their beauty after they move in. Ensure to hand over your tips so that they can enjoy the garden in the same way that you have.

Add a fun feature

A garden with a fun feature can be the unique selling point of the house. You might want to add a fountain, a treehouse, or a play area to make the garden more inviting and interesting. 

Ensure that it doesn’t take over the entire garden as the buyers might want lawn space or an area to add their own plants. You won’t want it to detract from its appeal. 

Utilise storage space

Storage space is ideal for the garden as well as the interior. New buyers might want a space to store garden tools, bikes, or sun loungers. 

Adding storage space makes the garden more functional and practical. It will also ensure that you can keep the garden tidy.

Make sure your garden walls and fences are in good condition

Your garden walls and fences should always be in good condition for your own safety and to increase the appeal to future buyers. 

If your walls and fences are in bad condition, not only will the future buyers assume that the house is unsafe, but it will result in them having to pay for a new wall or fence. It can be expensive to replace a wall or fence. Thus, maintaining it will keep your costs down as well as the future buyers, which will make your home more appealing. 

Add outdoor furniture

Although adding outdoor furniture can be costly, it could be a selling point for your home. You may want to take it with you or leave it behind for the new buyers. Either way, adding outdoor furniture will show off your gardens full potential. 

Without these features, your garden may not be appealing or inviting. You will want your garden to be as welcoming as possible to help the buyers feel at home. 

Grow your own produce

Growing your own produce is a bit of fun when you are living in the home. Plus, it will be very appealing for your future buyers. 

When you grow your own produce you can enjoy a fun hobby, live more sustainably, and save money. Most future buyers are looking at living more sustainably and reducing the cost of living, which a vegetable patch can help them achieve.

Ensure to enhance the shelter

Although people spend time in the garden to be outside, sometimes the weather can hinder that. Thus, if your garden has a shelter, it will be usable in all weather conditions. No matter if it is raining or hot, you and your future buyers will be able to use the shelter and spend time in the garden at any time of day or year. 

A shelter could be a shed, large umbrella, or marquee. Whatever shelter you have, ensure to show it off to the buyers so that they know they can enjoy the garden in any weather. 

Add a patio

If your garden lacks a patio, you might want to consider adding one. These are ideal for social spaces and again, make the garden more accessible no matter the weather. 

Patios are a great way to add value to the home and can enhance the welcoming feel of a garden. If your garden is all grass, it can be a lot of maintenance for the future buyer and may not be ideal for rainy seasons. Even a small patio area can be enough to make your garden more inviting and appealing to buyers. 

Getting Rid of Unwanted Wildlife in the Garden and Yard

For most homeowners the sight of small animals and birds in their garden is a delight, it helps you to feel at one with nature and that you’re doing your bit to help the environment.

But, there are plenty of wild animals that can cause issues in your garden. The most common problems arise from animals digging, this damages plants and even the foundations of structures. If you like growing vegetables you’ll find that some animals are attracted to your garden simply to eat them.

That’s the biggest issue, your garden is full of water and food for animals, making it an attractive place to stay.  That’s why you need to adopt the right approach to getting rid of problem wildlife.

Step 1 – Professional Help

If you have a problem with wildlife you should call the local exterminators. They can help to eradicate the issue or simply assist you in preventing wildlife from getting into your garden.

Their specialist knowledge of your area will help identify the issue and give you the best suggestions to eliminate the problem.

It’s definitely time to find out more about their services.

Step 2 – Fencing

Fencing your garden is a great way to keep many animals out, although this won’t work for all of them. Cats and rodents are very good at finding a way over, or even through a fence. Animals that bury through the earth can simply go under the fences. 

You can bury fencing to help prevent this from happening but even above ground fences will help to keep some animals out.

Step 3 – Eliminate Food Sources

Bird feeders and waste food are the two biggest attractions for wildlife, they represent a free meal. Hang your birdfeeders where only birds can reach them and ensure all waste, garden or household, is inside a sealed bin. 

The tighter the lid the less likely it is that this waste will attract wildlife.

Step 4 – Be Vigilant

Night cameras are a great way to spot what animals are doing when you’re not present. But, even if you don’t want to invest in these you’ll find that simply being vigilant will allow you to identify an issue earlier and take steps to deal with it.

Step 5 – Planting

Once you know what wildlife you’re dealing with you’ll be able to confirm which plants they are not keen on. There are plenty of herbs that are effective at keeping most animals away. Plant these around the perimeter of your garden and in key areas to reduce the attraction of your garden to animals.

Again, the professionals can help advise you which plants work best.

Step 6 – Repellent

There are a variety of repellant sprays on the market which can be used along the perimeter of your garden. You’ll need to know which animals you’re dealing with in order to ensure you’re using the right repellant.  Use the right one and the wildlife won’t be interested in coming into your garden, there are much easier targets around. 

Summer Activities Made Easy

 

Summer is here and the kids are playing, swimming, hitting the ball field and completely enjoying the glory that is summer. This year, as they head out to play I am thinking of ways to keep them safe from the dangers of bug bites and fueled for the day.

summer

I was so glad to find that I could protect everyone, from the biggest to the smallest without introducing any harsh chemicals to the mix. Parakito is an essential oil blend that you can wear without irritating your skin or the earth, while keeping the pesky bugs at bay.

I was a little skeptical about how effective Parakito might be, as it seems like with or without a bug spray, I usually get bit, and two of my kids are equally appealing to bugs, but I had such great results with the fast, effective and long lasting gel roll on formula. Retailing at under $20, this is a must have for summer adventures with the kids.

Getting your kids to eat your vegetables has never been easier or sneakier than it is with these tasty organic shakes from Sneakz. The days of begging, pleading and fighting about vegetables are a thing of the past for my family.

I am all about picking my battles, and on those days when we are busy, or maybe I am a little too weary, I can pull out a yummy shake pouch and take the experience from ick to incredible, without the kids even knowing I pulled a fast one on them.

Sneakz are packed with protein and half a serving of vegetables to help fill kids with something wholesome to fuel their adventures, antics and imaginations. Sneakz are completely natural and organic, as well as gluten and GMO free, busy parents like me can feel comfortable giving their children a refreshing Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla shake. These are great for on the go or an afterschool snack.

If Sneakz doesn’t work let them grow their own flowers and vegetables. Green Toys & Sesame Street Abby’s Garden Planting Activity Set allows them to grow a herb, flower, and vegetable. With Abby’s Garden Planting Activity Set, kids can watch nature at work while growing their very own garden. The instructions are easy to follow and fun for the kids. Plus who knows if they grow their own garden they may be more willing to eat their veggies.

Look for them at Walmart, Albertsons or Publix, or order from amazon for a tasty treat that is good for the kids and is perfect for on the go nutrition.