It’s nearly the end of the summer and aside from rainwater your garden hasn’t seen much TLC. This guide is for the lazy gardener in all of us. The one who wants a garden rich with flora and fauna, for entertaining with minimal effort or just some personal space away from the rest of the family but can’t be bothered with too much effort.
1. Just plant bee-and bird friendly
To ensure a great harvest make sure your garden is attractive to pollinators. The secret? Provide plants that will feed late developing bees and adult worker bees. Plant bee-friendly pollinators in your porch planters. According to the British Beekeepers Association;
“Whether your garden be a balcony, allotment, window box, hanging basket, pots and tubs or a swathe of green open space we can all provide honey bees and other insect pollinators with a banquet of pollen and nectar throughout the year”
Check out their handy guide to the best Pollen and nectar rich plants by season. They advise “plant flowers are rich in nectar and/or pollen, both of which are important to the colony’s development”. The Organic Herbs blog shares this great visual guide to the ideal flowers and herbs.
2. Upcycle for a She-Cave/ Man-cave
If you’re short on indoor space all year round plan plan on creating a sanctuary in the garden that you can escape to. You can turn any old shed into the perfect haven or office space with a little bit of TLC. Use some fence paint to inject a new lease of life into an old has-been and try the ‘in colour’ for this season, charcoal grey.
Interior design blogger Love Chic Living has some simple advice:
“Paint the interior walls in a light colour, stain the floor or add a lightly colour rug, hang a mirror and keep the furniture and accessories as light as you can. All these tricks will help make the space feel bigger”
If you’re not DIY friendly there are some great ready-made summerhouses you can just drop in or we’re loving the latest architectural smart office sphere to make working from home that bit more special!
3. Splashes of Bold colour
Having strong colours is very ‘on trend’ for 2016, so if you want a garden Monty Don would be proud of, trying sectioning your beds into colour blocks rather than mixing it all up.
According to gardening experts at the Middle Sized Garden
“strong brights, such as orange and purple, were big at Chelsea this year, but you could also see pretty pastels too. A very strong direction and one that is easy to do. You could paint furniture, pots or benches you already have”.
With small spaces invest in some clever storage and paint in bold colours. Ideas like this garden chest, with a removable front for storing garden furniture, can be painted to fit with any theme.
4. Impress with homegrown veg
Growing food is all the rage at the moment, being self sufficient and living ‘the good life’ is growing in popularity. This doesn’t mean you have to fuel your car with manure and attempt to learn how to milk a goat. If you want to get into growing your own, then heed the advice of self sufficiency experts Go Self Sufficient and get a greenhouse.
“With a large plot and a greenhouse or polytunnel there is not much you can’t grow. Seeds can be tricked into thinking it is spring and germinated in heated propagators and tropical fruits can be raised in greenhouses that mimic the conditions they grow in naturally”.
Don’t think you can’t join the pack if you only have a balcony, as this table top greenhouse can be used anywhere.
5. Tech out
Most green-fingered types love a garden gadget or two. Go SMART by connecting your garden so you can manage it on the go. Here are a few of the top picks:
Security - The Netatmo Welcome Home camera is a must have gadget for this year whether it’s general security, keeping an eye on late arriving teenagers or capturing night time visitors to your garden. It’s facial recognition technology alerts you to friend or foe directly to your smartphone and you can personalize alerts. Coolest feature? You can be anywhere in the world!
Trimming – for a handy multi-tool to trim hedges and shrubs there’s no better than the Bosch Isio, it’s lithium-ion battery allows one hour of work with a single charge.
Heating – Prepare for those colder evenings of entertaining with a Smart heater from Bromic Tungsten – compatible with switch, dimmer or smart control systems which can be installed on each element for total heating control.
Watering – set up your holiday watering with a Smart Valve that will regularly water your plants for as long as your reservoir of water lasts. When the water has been used up the Smart Valve Kit will automatically refill your tray without the need for power, computers or electronics!
Got some Green-fingered tricks of your own? Share them in the Comments below.