5 ways to use your garden this spring
Gardens should never be all work and no play. While we wait for summer to arrive, here are 5 ways to use your garden this spring.
- Outdoor Cooking
- Dog Training
- Watching the Wildlife
- Star Gazing
- Learn an New Skill
Trust me, you don’t need to wait for the heat of summer to enjoy cooking out of doors. If you’re lucky enough to have a sheltered patio – you may even be able to eat outside too.
A well designed outdoor kitchen allows you to cook outside in any kind of weather. You will need some sort of shelter from the wind and rain (and from summer sun!), a source of heat, and a preparation area.
A simple barbecue with a lid can be used to cook almost anything, from a delicious sunday roast (yes – even the potatoes!) to pizza, grilled fish or scrummy sausages.
If you fancy outdoor cooked food, but don’t want to stand over the grill, it’s worth investing in a technology to help. This meat thermometer connects to an app that will tell you when dinner is cooked. Take a look here.
Take your cooking skills to the next level by having an outdoor kitchen professionally designed and built. It will become the ultimate entertaining space for you, your family and your friends.
If Fido has been getting a bit complacent with his recall or his loose lead walking. Or if boredom is leading to behavioural hiccups, a little bit of al fresco dog training could be just what he needs.
There are all sorts of different ways to use your garden to enrich your dog’s life. The simplest of all is scatter feeding. Instead of presenting your dog’s dinner in a bowl, sprinkle it on the lawn (dry food only!) Your pet will spend ages sniffing out the food and tiring his brain out at the same time.
You could also try agility training – to get both of you fit, brush up on general obedience and/or stretch your dog’s brain with some scentwork. You never know, you could have a potential sniffer dog living under your roof right now.
For dog training ideas, take a look at Dogversity. It’s a series of online dog training tutorials run by dog behaviourist Zoe Willingham. Choose the behaviours that you want to focus on and get full support via Facebook and Zoom.
A summerhouse like this one will encourage you to use your garden for all kinds of activities
Watching the wildlife
Your garden could be supporting more wildlife than you think. One of the most fascinating ways to use your garden in spring is to get to know just who is sharing your garden with you.
Go on a bug hunt. Children will love this exercise. Take a magnifying glass and do your best to get up close to the mini beasts that will start to show themselves in spring. Look under logs, behind the shed, in upturned flower pots and in the corner of the shed. What can you find in your pond or water feature? Who is nesting in your hedge?
Once you have identified your garden creatures, you can go on a mission to increase the biodiversity in your plot. Build a log pile, make a bug hotel and perhaps put up some nesting boxes.
The more wildlife that visits your garden the more you’ll have to watch and enjoy. Plus, knowing that you are helping to protect our planet is a pretty good feeling.
Don’t feel that you can only use your garden in daylight hours. Stargazing is one of the most relaxing activities I know and it doesn’t need lots of expensive equipment. If you haven’t got a telescope (I haven’t) you can pick out lots of constellations with the naked eye.
Wait for a clear night, wrap up warm and find yourself a comfy spot to sit outside and see what you can see. Why not light the fire pit and toast some marshmallows while you enjoy the evening air? When I’m designing gardens, I often include a seating area where my clients can enjoy the night sky at any time of year.
Learn a new skill
Your garden could be a source of inspiration for a myriad of new skills. How about painting or photography? Vegetable growing? Beekeeping? Flower pressing? Carpentry? or wood carving? I’m told that learning new things helps people feel younger and can delay the onset of dementia and other nasties. So use your garden to create something amazing, enhance your life, expand your horizons and boost your wellbeing.
How will you use your garden this spring? I’d love it if you could Please share some of your ideas on our Facebook Page.
If you need any help with garden design or landscaping to make your outdoor space even better, Please get in touch with me.