17 Apr How to make the most of your garden during lockdown
Bored? wishing you could get out more? In this article we’re looking at ways of going out whilst staying safely at home. Here are some ideas for making the most of your garden during lockdown.
I’m writing this just as the Government is about to announce that the UK is to spend a further 3 weeks in lockdown. Spending more time at home with the family has certainly made me re-think the way I use my own garden and I’m planning on making the most of my outdoor space long into the future.
Here are some of the ideas I’ve been working on……
Stay active and get fit
My poor body has gone from landscaping 5 or 6 days a week to being almost inactive for 23 hours a day. At first it felt good. My aching back relaxed, all of the bumps and bruises healed and I felt quite holiday-esqe. However, I’m not a natural born couch potato and I don’t want my children to be either. So we’re making the most of our one walk a day and supplementing it with some exercise in the garden.
What’s possible in a small space?
- Weight lifting
- Circuit training
- A kickabout with a soft football (Oliver and I)
- Dance (not for me personally, but some people have really nailed it!)
- The everpopular swingball
Why not head online for inspiration?
If you’re not fancying some exercise in the garden, have a think about what’s stopping you? Overlooked by neighbours? Unsuitable surfaces? Too hot/cold/windy? Could you change your garden to overcome those barriers?
Soothe your mind
Feeling claustrophobic? You don’t need a huge space to be able to just breathe for a while. Dress comfortably, take a chair outside and just sit and listen to the birds. Maybe read a book, watch a video on your smartphone or use the opportunity to Facetime a friend.
With two pre-schoolers in the house, Kirsty and I are using “me” time outdoors as a survival mechanism. Somehow being out of doors is far more relaxing than hiding away in the office.
Can you use plants, water, ornaments and/or wind chimes to improve your outdoor escape zone? Some local garden centres are still open for online orders – it’s worth investigating.
Exercise your dog without leaving your garden during lockdown
If your pooch is struggling with the change of routine, your garden can be a real asset. Likewise if you are struggling to cope with unwanted behaviours from man’s best friend. Dogs need physical exercise, but not nearly as much as they need mental stimulation.
Lockdown is the ideal opportunity to investigate ways of enjoying life with your four legged friend.
Stowmarket based dog trainer Zoe Willingham has adapted her business to offer lockdown activities and challenges to really help pets settle in these strange times.
Take a look at her blogpost or better still, give her a call to chat about what’s on offer.
Gardens offer a wealth of homeschooling and entertainment opportunities for children. Aside from the obvious games and gardening activity you could try.
Katie from Tapestry Design Studios explores ideas in this article – she’s also set a challenge for your young people.
Grow your own food
I couldn’t write a blog about making the most of your garden without mentioning food. For me, growing a few herbs and veggies is one of the most luxurious things anyone can do. Nothing, and I mean, nothing tastes better than food plucked from the garden and eaten almost immediately. You can almost taste the vitamins and antioxidents. Both of which are rather important when immune systems may encounter COVID-19 at any moment.
If you’re a first time veg grower, don’t go mad. There’s no need to dig up the lawn and turn your back yard into an allotment. You can grow salad crops, courgettes, sweetcorn and more in amongst the other plants in your borders. Or you can grow food in containers.
If you don’t have any plant pots, get imaginative and recycle the things that have been lurking in the cupboard or the shed for years. A splash of paint can make the most mundane objects look quirky and exciting. Just remember to ensure there are drainage holes in the bottom.
Who needs posh pots? These old wellies make fabulous planters for a herb garden
Eating al fresco
Guess what? – I’ve saved my favourite outdoor activity til last. Cooking and eating outdoors. My garden has a little barbecue area and it’s one of my favourite places in the whole world.
Take a look at my blog-before-last which is full of ideas for cooking and eating outside.
Rethink and remodel your garden during lockdown
Are you using your garden to its full potential? If not, why not? What’s holding you back?
I’m setting you some homework. I want you to start jotting down notes – doesn’t matter where, or how – you can use your smartphone to record a voice memo, your tablet to write a list or just stick with good old paper and pencil.
I want you to write 3 lists.
- Things you don’t like about your garden
- Things that you want in your garden
- Ways to turn items in list 1 into the items in list 2
When the designers at Tapestry Design Studios working with clients who want a new garden, they often write notes like this
|Things I don’t like||Solutions||Things I want for my garden|
|Nosy neighbours||Trees? Boundary Screening? Create intimate areas? Pergola?||More privacy|
|Muddy lawn||Artificial grass? Hard landscaping for high traffic areas? Change layout?||Less mess|
|Boring||Patio? Pergolas? Outdoor kitchen? Colourful planting?||Entertainment zone|
|Too small||Clever design to trick the eye into believing the space is bigger. Use vertical. Multi-purpose features.||More space|
There is nothing in a garden that cannot be made better with some clever design ideas. Want to know more? Our partners at Tapestry Design Studios are busy designing gardens whilst keeping to social distancing rules and will be happy to work with you to remodel your garden. Find out more here.