With many people having more time on their hands than ever before, is it time to spruce up your garden? If you fancy making the most of your outdoor space for Summer 2020, here are some garden design ideas to inspire.
1. A veggie patch
A rise in the number of people following a plant-based diet has led to increased numbers who wish to grow their own. Add to that climbing food prices and recent supermarket shortages, and it’s easy to see why some folk want a piece of the good life.
You don’t necessarily need a lot of space to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, but the ideal area will get lots of sunlight. If you have the room, a greenhouse help provide year-round crops of fresh fruit and vegetables. If space is strictly limited, vegetables that climb upwards make the best use of space; examples include broad, French and runner beans, peas, and squashes. Herbs, salad leaves, soft fruits and tomatoes, meanwhile, can grow well in containers or gro-bags.
2. A room with a view
Gardens are increasingly becoming used as home extensions, with furnishings such as rugs, sofas, and cushions present on our patios as well as within our indoor lounges. Such areas are rapidly growing in popularity as somewhere to relax more with family and friends.
Often this “fifth room” is multi-purpose, used alternately as a quiet zone, an entertaining area and a kids’ play space, and they are frequently styled with as much care as a home interior would be.
3. The wider environment
A key trend for this coming summer and beyond is gardening with climate change in mind. As the UK sees more extreme weather, gardens will have to adapt in order to cope with events and conditions such as flooding, storms and a rise in temperature. The best way to approach this is to plant the right plants to suit each individual garden – bearing in mind potential droughts, or the need to drain excess water. People also like to minimise the requirement for frequent watering, as this helps their pocket as well as the planet. Gardening with minimal water is known as xeriscaping.
Bear wildlife in mind too; kids in particular love to feed birds and animals, spot interesting insects or identify unusual butterflies, so you may wish to include a bird table, house or bath, a bug hotel or flowers that are known to attract pollinators.
Creating dedicated zones within a garden is also popular at present. The idea is to have separate areas for each outdoor activity. Practical ideas include storage solutions like outdoor boxes, which can be placed in spaces currently unused – like a gap by the side of a shed or garage.
For those with children, a safe zone for outdoor play may keep them happily occupied throughout the warmer months. Slides, sand pits and swings are perennially popular, as are outdoor games such as Swingball or an oversized Jenga. A relaxation space is also a must-have, featuring cosy outdoor furnishings such as hammocks, recliners and padded chairs. If you entertain often, a dedicated entertaining area is a bonus; for easy access, place this close to your kitchen or the barbecue.