Wise buys to help you enjoy summer in the garden

Wise buys to help you enjoy summer in the garden

It’s traditional to spend the great british summer in the garden, no matter what the weather is. In this blog we’re looking at gadgets to help you make the most of your summer in the garden.

Summer in the garden means outdoor eating

Tapestry Design Studios recently blogged about outdoor eating areas  and our first gadget has been inspired by that blog.

gadget for summer in the gardenSummer in the garden should always involve the barbeque.  You can’t beat that mouthwatering moment when the smell of smouldering charcoal permeates the air.

Unfortunately barbeques don’t always go hand in hand with food safety.  Undercooked food can cause a nasty tummy upset. (So can too much beer, but that’s another subject altogether). This gadget from Weber measures the temperature of your food as it is cooking and then sends a message to your smartphone when its cooked. Ideal for those of us who want to multitask by simultaneously cooking burgers AND watching the world cup.

Riverside Garden Centre in Hertford (not far from the border with Essex) often have great deals on the Weber i-grill when you buy online.

See the Weber i-grill here

Outdoor entertainment

inflatable movie screenWhat could be nicer after a belly full of barbeque food than sitting down to watch a movie?

Hire an outdoor cinema system for an evening or why not nip over to e-bay and buy yourself an inflatable movie screen that you can use time and time again. Perfect for children’s parties!

If you’re a big movie fan, and enjoy watching films out of doors,  there’s no reason why a skilled landscape gardener couldn’t help you create an outdoor cinema. I’m imagining a deck or a paved surface with some sort of canopy to stop the sun bouncing off the screen. A nice comfortable seating area with perhaps a heater for chilly nights and some beautifully scented plants so that you get all the benefits of summer in the garden. You could even build in some storage for your pic n mix.


How to stay warm in an English garden

firebowl warms summer in the garden
Summer nights can get a little chilly in the UK so if you want to be entertaining outdoors a lot, it’s worth investing in some kind of outdoor heating. Some garden heaters are quite unattractive and rather unkind to the environment. I like my firepit but dream of an outdoor fireplace or a pizza oven.

The Telegraph recently published a review of patio heaters – they even thought to include information about environmental impact and running costs. Read the review here

What about lighting?

lightingLighting is something that most of our garden makeover customers ask us to install for them. Somehow built-in lighting is so much more elegant than solar lights pushed into the ground as an afterthought.

When lights are recessed into a deck or a patio they are incredible discreet during the daytime but super-effective as the sun begins to sink. Use spotlights to highlight key features and don’t forget to illuminate paths and steps for safety’s sake.

The lighting installed in the edges of this decking illuminate the pond beautifully in the evening. If you like gadgets as much as I like gadgets you could have your garden lighting connected to a smartphone app which allows you to switch lights on and off, dim them and change the colours.

We also used recessed lighting for a large family garden in Tiptree. Read more here



Starry Starry Nights

bubble tentIf you want to do something different why not spend the night in a bubble tent? You don’t need to pack all of your worldly goods into the car and drive to a campsite – you can buy an inflatable, transparent tent for your own garden. Use it all year round if you want to – might be nice sit in to watch the snow fall (with a hot water bottle and a duvet of course)

I would love one of these, it’s like sleeping under the stars without any risk of getting rained on or eaten by midges. Plus (and don’t tell the manufacturers) it looks as though it might have potential as a temporary greenhouse.

Photo courtesy of http://www.outdoor-tent.com/inflatable-tent/



Water wise gardening

watering garden in the summerSo far this year we’ve not been subjected to hosepipe bans or restrictions on using water in the garden. That’s not to say we should go mad with the watering can, water is a precious resource and Essex and Suffolk are of course among the driest counties of the UK. So it’s worth installing a water-efficient irrigation system.

An irrigation system also frees up your time to go on holiday without begging the neighbours to water your plants while you’re away.

Claber are a well-established maker of irrigation systems and we landscapers love them.  The systems can be customised to suit your planting plan – indoors or outdoors and they can be programmed to run on a timer. Perfect for vegetable gardens, greenhouses, raised beds and planters. Avoid over-watering outdoor plants by incorporating a rain sensor. Genius!

Not sure how to install an irrigation system? Ask a landscaper.


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