How to turn your garden into an extra room this summer

If you are lucky enough to have a garden then this is the time to tidy it up, sort it out and make the most of it.

During the summer months your garden can work as an extra room, suitable for living, dining, playing and hosting. If you have a family, it is lovely to let the kids play outside after school and start to foster their interest in the great outdoors.

Outdoor furniture

Having a permanent space to sit outside will encourage you and your family to have lunch and dinner in the garden. If you don’t have anywhere to store furniture during winter, go for traditional metal that will last longer. Council refuse sites, salvage yards and second and forums can be great places to pick up some good outdoor furniture cheaply.

Cooking area

If you like to cook outside, don’t scrimp on an outdoor cooking area. Look at brick built barbecues or pizza ovens that make a real statement and are the perfect excuse for regular garden parties. They may take up some space, but will encourage the whole family outside regularly. They also make a statement which will help you to plan the rest of the garden.

Space for toys

Outdoor toys are reasonably priced, but often bulky. Invest in a storage box that will fit them in that is easy for your children to access (and clear up after themselves). Having some fun things to play with will help to drag children away from screens and outside instead.

Kitchen garden

You don’t have to be particularly green-fingered or have much space to have a kitchen garden. Herbs work well in pots, as do strawberries. Look carefully at the instructions on seeds, you can buy lettuce and veg that grows fast and you can pick a few leaves every time you want some. Radishes are also fabulous for kids to grow.

Competitive plants

Nothing will encourage you and your family to start gardening more than some competitive spirit. Club together with school parents, work colleagues or friends for a sun flower competition, or a big veg contest.

Plan for different occasions

Plan your garden for different occasions. Have a shady nook for a lazy afternoon reading, an open space for the kids to play and a space for alfresco dining. There are endless blogs, vlogs and books that will help you with plant choices and talk to friends and family, as many may have some that they can share.