4 ways to spend more time outdoors in the comfort of your garden

The promise of warmer weather means we can look forward to enjoying time in the garden after a winter of being cooped up. And even if we have only a tiny outside space, we can make it appealing with a few simple steps

outside seating is a must for the garden

Make a seating area in your outside space, because if you can sit comfortably, you'll enjoy being outside

Create a seating area
No matter the size of your garden, you should be able to create space to sit down and relax. After all, isn't that what gardens are for, to sit and admire the view? And if you're considering buying a new garden lounge set this summer, you need to consider two things.
    1. How big a seating area can you achieve? 
    2. How many people are you likely to be hosting in the garden?
Obviously if your outside space is tiny you won't be holding huge garden parties..in which case limit yourself to a bistro set for two, ie a table and two fold-up chairs. Bigger gardens lend themselves to larger sofas - you can buy models that will seat up to six people comfortably. 

Attract nature
You can make your garden appealing to birds and insects in several ways. Hang a bird feeder from a tree branch, buy a bird bath, and if you have the space and budget, consider installing a garden pond (dragonflies love ponds). And for our insect friends, buy bee hotels - bricks with tiny holes for insects to take shelter in. And plant bird, butterfly and bee-friendly plants - for example bees love lavender and butterflies adore buddleja.

Reuse household items 
Get creative and upcycle old household items to transform them into beautiful garden sculptures or practical furniture. Why buy a new garden table if you have an old kitchen table that would be suitable for the garden if it's sanded down and given a few coats of fresh weatherproof paint? And if you have metal furniture that is looking tired and a bit rusty, sand it down and paint it with a metal paint that will protect it from the elements and give you a good few years' more use. Upcycling is fun, creative, eco friendly and will save you money. 

Grow your own fruit and vegetables
Contrary to what you may think, you don't need a huge garden to grown your own fruit and veg - you just need some containers filled with peat-free compost and sunshine. To grow tomatoes, just buy a bag of tomato compost and put your plants directly in it - it's amazing how many tomatoes you can grow this way. Lettuces will grow in a large window box, as will herbs. You can find dwarf soft fruit bushes that won't take up much space and strawberries can grow well in vertical planters. Fruit and veg do need some tending and plenty of water but it's very satisying to grow your own food so the effort is well worth it.