Does the winter weather seem to have dragged on for longer this year, or am I deluding myself in wishing for warmer weather?  Admittedly we’ve been lucky and seen only 1 smattering of snow, which a few hours later was gone.  Phew.  But now, the weather’s looking warmer and sunnier.  I’ve seen blue skies and there’s been a (largely) dry and sunny weekend, if not as warm as I’d have liked.

So it’s time to get out in the garden and start thinking about what we’re going to do with it.  Ok, so I probably think this every year, but I do have plans to have N’s delayed birthday party in the garden so I would like to get things nice and neat for then.  Once the weather’s nicer, I start thinking about the possibilities for making better use of the garden.  Last year, we grew tomatoes, so I’m looking for another challenge this year.  We need to update the play equipment and think about dates to have friends over.

5 top tips for getting your garden summer ready

Here are my top tips on getting a garden summer ready this year:

1. Cut the grass

Well it’s a no brainer really.  Ours was like a jungle, and luckily I don’t have to cut it myself.  The father-in-law has a ride on lawn mower, so either he cuts it, or this weekend one of the older nephews came and cut the grass.  N loves it because he gets to ride on it too, although I’m hoping that him telling us that ‘I was allowed to drive it myself’ was a bit of an over-exaggeration.

2. Book in barbecue dates

gas barbecueAfter a few years of having lots of family barbecues, we seem to have had a shortage the last 2 years.  But I’m looking forward to getting out the new gas barbecue we were sent to review, to try it out.  After seeing the in-laws gas barbecue in action, and seeing how quick and easy it is to use and clean, I’m thinking there’s going to be no excuse for us not having lots over the summer.  I think I’ll be able to use it myself…who says a man has to be in charge of the barbecue?!

We usually cook steak off the farm, either some marinated chicken breasts (cooked initially in the age before grilling on the barbecue) or chicken and veg kebabs, and burgers.  Plus lots of salad on the side.

For once, we’ll have to invite friends over for barbecues instead of having invites elsewhere.  Barbecued food has to rate highly alongside picnics.

outdoor eating

3. Grow some vegetables (or fruit)

I’m not a gardener at all, but with N I feel like I should make an effort.  We just have a paddock lawn, with a bit of garden at the side of the house for some geraniums and rose bushes (and the wild chives which seem to take over a bit more each year), and a wall where I’ve got some easy grow flowers that crop up every year (my kind of gardening).  Last year we grew tomatoes and they were delicious.  This year I need to buy a big tub to grow some more…I’m determined to get N to try some raw tomatoes which are almost the only food he won’t eat.  I still need to chuck out last year’s gro bags and decayed plants in readiness for this year.

I have bought some strawberry seeds, and we’ve planted them in a tub to get them started inside.  Hopefully they’ll grow nicely because we love having strawberries for a pudding (especially if we’re having more BBQs and meals outside).  I’d like to try other veg but it’s finding the room to get them started inside.

4. Build outdoor toys

For N’s birthday (and Christmas, and last year’s birthday) present, I bought N a wooden climbing frame.  I was really excited about it, it was delivered in January, and has sat in the garden waiting for dry and warmer weather so we I can build it.  This Sunday was the day.  I borrowed a drill off my brother, got out the pliers, screwdrivers and more, and set everything out.  3 hours later, I’ve built a ladder and 4 uprights, and have given up.

Dunster house wooden climbing frame in progress

For the expensive cost, I was astounded that not only has the wood not been pre-drilled, but it’s not even had any marks to show where to drill.  Given the OH won’t give up 10 hours of his time to build it, it looks like I’ll be paying a carpenter or handy man to come and build it.  So disappointing, when I wanted it done for Easter weekend.

I also need to buy a new net/foam for our trampoline.  It’s definitely time to decide on what outdoor toys you need, or repair old ones in readiness for the children playing out post school or at weekends.

5. Decide on a garden theme

And a garden table and chairs.  My OH’s really picky, so I’m only allowed to buy good quality wood.  But I’ve been faffing for years, so I think I’ll just have to go out and buy a set, treat it, and then I can trawl the shops looking for the garden nick nacks which pretty up a meal.

We don’t have any trees in our garden, but I’d love to hang strings of bright tea light lanterns along the fence. Although I’m also quite partial to maritime themes so I might have to have stripy cushions for my outdoor seating.  But seeing these amazing upcycled dragonflies makes me think of a little wildflower border with something like this on the fence behind.

I definitely need to get organised and planning some summer parties, to make the most of catching up with friends and getting out in the garden.

What are you planning for your garden this year?  Do you have a lot of BBQs?

 

10 Comments

  1. Ahh this is so lovely and makes me want the sunshine so I can get out and clean up the garden. We just redid ours last summer so hoping things are growing bigger this year. Lovely post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

    • I don’t think this weekend will be the one to get out in. I wanted to get the climbing frame finished this weekend (thankfully my brother said he’d come and help), but it’s way too windy, cold, and rainy. Hope you get your garden growing well this year.

  2. Janine Dolan

    We normally have 1BBQ a year. The weather is not really good enough in Ireland to have many BBQ. I have flowered my front porch at least already. Planning to do more with the back because I haven’t touched the garden one bit last year apart from cutting the grass. #sharewithme

    • I know what you mean about BBQs. We have ok weather, but just planning them is so reliant on the weather.

  3. Those dragonflies are gorgeous, and you’re right a freshly cut lawn does make the garden feel smarter even if you’ve done little else. Runner beans are always good to grow with kids as the seeds are so large, or how about some rainbow chard as it’s always lovely to see which colour is coming up next? #sharethejoy

    • Would never have thought about beans. The father in law grows some, so I might just encourage N to help him instead.

  4. Those dragonflies are amazing! I can’t wait to get out into the garden again, we got to do a little cleaning up today, Spring is coming!

    • It’s lovely when the weather gets brighter, and we can all get back into it. It feels so much healthier!

  5. We’ve already cut the grass, are planning barbecues and have just planted some new fruit plants. I cannot wait for summer! x

    • Our grass has been a bit churned up by the mower. Seems to be a bit of a problem with it, so the grass probably looked better longer. But at least it’ll grow quickly.
      Fruit plants sounds good. I fancy pepper, but we’re exposed where we are, so the plastic ‘greenhouses’ would just blow away, and I don’t really want a proper greenhouse – so would need to keep them indoors at first. We only have so much room. So nice to have your own home grown salad and fruit though

%d bloggers like this: