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10 things to do in your garden during Coronavirus crisis

 In Garden Design, Landscaping

Your garden could become your best asset in these difficult times. Here are my top ten boredom busting activities to keep you and your family occupied during the coronavirus crisis.

At the time of writing, UK residents are being told to follow social distancing guidelines. We are to stay home, not meet friends and relatives face to face and only to go out to buy food and medicine if we really need to. It’s at times like this when having a garden is a real bonus. Here are just a few ways that you can reap the benefits of your outdoor space.

A word of warning

Before we start, I just want to stress that, before going into your garden it’s important you check government guidelines regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. Then use your own judgement to decide how to proceed. I strongly urge you to heed the advice.  If you are being told to stay indoors, or if you being in your garden puts you in close proximity to other people, then these activities will need to be temporarily put on hold.

10 things to do in your garden whilst in isolation

  1. Catch up on spring lawn care: Feed and aerate your lawn and start a regular mowing regime
  2. Clean patios and decks
  3. Exercise
  4. Try some brain training with your dog
  5. Use the garden as an education centre for bored children
  6. Cook a meal
  7. Grow your own fruit and veg
  8. Read a book
  9. Work from home
  10. Do something creative

Turn your garden into a gym

There are all kinds of exercise that adapt well to the outdoors. Why not try something different? Yoga and Pilates can be done comfortably on the lawn as can Tai Chi.

Children might enjoy doing some circuit training with you. So many garden features can be included in your workout. Stairs and low retaining walls are great for step-ups and modified press ups. Use the lawn for star jumps, run up and down the path, if you’re lucky enough to have any tins of beans in the house, use them as weights.

If you have a pergola in your garden, bring your treadmill or exercise bike out of doors and have your own mini-gym.

Brain training for your dog

If you are unable to keep up with your dog’s normal exercise regime, I have some good news for you. Mental activity is just as good at wearing your dog out as physical activity. For some dogs it’s even better!

beagle dog training in garden

  • Scatter feeding: forget the bowl and spread your dog’s dinner out on the lawn and/or patio. Your pet will spend ages using his nose to find every last morsel. This is a particularly good activity for dogs who tend to “bolt” their dinner.
  • More advanced scentwork: Hide treats in the garden and send Fido to find them. This one can start simply and become more complex as your dog hone’s his abilities
  • Catch up on some training: Here’s the ideal opportunity to work on basic – and more complex commands.
  • Circuit training: Devise a circuit training sequence for you and your dog. Station 1 could be “sit”, station 2 “down”, station 3 “stay” leading to station 4 “recall” etc etc etc
  • For more dog activities, check out Dogversity. Online dog training with support from a fabulous trainer. Click here to go to Dogversity .  The trick training and scentwork modules look awesome.

Things to do in the garden with children

Activities will of course depend on the ages and interests of the children but your garden can easily be turned into an outdoor school.

lone child hunting for treasure in garden

Treasure hunting

Instead of hiding treasure for the children to find, why not challenge their brains and get them exploring nature?

For toddlers – find me something green/red/blue

For primary school aged children, you could ask them to find and identify bugs. If you have a magnifying glass they’ll be fascinated by their finds

Older children – identify plant species, dissect flowers, use practical skills to build a bird feeder or bug hotel.

Creativity

Children from 8 months to 98 years old – get creative! Gather things for a collage, make dyes from natural materials, grow food, paint a mural, make a pebble mosaic…the choice is endless!

Maths

Plant some seeds and measure the plants as they grow – make a graph. For more complicated maths, grow lots of seeds and start looking at statistics.

Work out the area of different parts of the garden or the volume of your planters. How many pavers would you need to make a new patio? Painting the shed? How many pots of paint will you need ? How many grams of lawn feed to treat the lawn? There are lots of ways to use maths in the garden – trust me – I’m a garden designer, I do it every day

Outdoor cooking

Every garden should have some kind of outdoor kitchen. From a disposable barbecue to a pizza oven. Food cooked outdoors tastes so much better and there couldn’t be a better time to try out new flavours and new cooking techniques.

Outdoor cooking is definitely one of my favourite things to do. I’m going to have to write a whole other blog on this one – watch this space

cooking meat and vegetables on barbecue

Create a vegetable garden

You don’t need much space to grow a few salad vegetables or herbs. If you don’t already have productive garden set up, start with a couple of grow bags. When you get a taste for growing your own, you can upgrade to some raised beds, a fruit cage or even a greenhouse. I’d love to help you design your allotment garden so please get in touch with your ideas.

Working from home

I rather think that office workers all over the UK will start to actually enjoy working from home. It’s less stressful, there’s no commute, no office politics to contend with and no need to dress up to the nines. Working from home is better for the environment too – just think how much pollution is created by people travelling to and from the office every day.

If you’re working at home, you need a dedicated space. Somewhere for your laptop and a few files. Ideally somewhere that you won’t be disturbed. And for your mental wellbeing, a separate office means that you can close the door at the end of the day and not spend your evenings staring at your workspace.

A garden office is perfect! Work can be kept separate from home life and you can chat on the phone or face time workmates without a cheeky toddler disrupting the conversation.

How could you make more of your garden?

Share your ideas on our Facebook page – I’d love to see how great your gardens are!

Thinking of adding some new or better features to your garden? Here are my garden design tips.

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Daniel Richards of SilverBirch Gardensbeautiful garden