There's not much more delightful than kicking back in your very own garden, lounging comfortably with a nice glass of wine in your hand. But if you haven't experienced that yet due to the climate or the thought that you're garden is too small - you're in luck. Happy days enjoying your garden are on the horizon! Follow the tips below and discover the ways to transform your outdoor living room to spend more time outside, no matter the weather.
Let's adult and first address the issue of sun safety. It's vital to know how long you can safely be out in the sun, and how to protect yourself against sun damage. The current guidelines say that 30 minutes is the maximum amount of time you should be basking in the sun without any shade. Also, please don't forget to liberally use a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, even if it seems cloudy because this is the best way to protect yourself in the long term and safely enjoy the sunny weather.
It is also important to make an effort to cover up or seek shelter and shade if you know you are going to be in the sun for a longer length of time. In particular, treating yourself to a chic sun hat is a great way to keep those rays out of your eyes, as well as off of your shoulders and the back of your neck. Also a long sleeve shirt or cover up made from cooling and wicking cotton or linen is the best protection for when you know you will be out in the sun for a long time.
OK, now you're safely styling, let's talk garden style!
Make the most of natural shade
Of course, it's not enough to be sun sensible, to be genuinely comfortable in your backyard no matter what the weather you will need to have some shady spots in which to spend your time. One way of achieving this is to maximise the shade created by some of the natural features of your garden space.
In particular, high growing trees and shrubs are a great way of creating a natural shade that can enhance the leafy outlook. Of course, you will need to decide whether you can wait for your greenery to grow naturally, or whether you will spend a little extra and invest in fully developed trees that can be planted to create a significant amount of shade instantaneously.
Although, there is also another option here and it's to plant some faster-growing fauna such as bamboo. Such plants grow tall and create shaded barriers in a much quicker time than waiting for traditionally deciduous and evergreen trees to grow.
Create your own shade
Another option when it comes to creating shade in your garden is to make your own. Specifically, patios are a fantastic way of doing this because you can quickly and easily cover a significant area of your outside space, something that makes it much more accessible and usable for a more extended amount of time.
Many people choose to use their patios to create seating, cooking and eating outdoor rooms, and they are a great compliment to a swimming pool too because they provide a quick and easy retreat from the sun's glare. You can even select the style of the patio roofing to match best with your home, making this sort of permanent shelter not just an aesthetic enhancement of your garden and extension of useable living space, but also a very attractive way to add value to your property.
Conservatories and sunrooms
Now, you may think it's a little funny to be talking about conservatories and sunrooms, in the same breath as patios, because they are designed to make things warmer. However, do remember that not everyone gets streaming sunshine in the garden every day of the year, and all-weather garden enjoyment is the goal!
Sunrooms and conservatories are a very safe way of enjoying the weather rain, hail or shine and are fantastic for providing a warm and pleasant space to hang out in no matter what the weather is doing outside. They are often all-glass structures designed as enclosed 'alfresco' rooms providing shade and protection from UVA and UVB rays. They can be installed with screen or sliding doors and windows that convert such rooms into a transitional, trans-seasonal space where you get all the benefits of the fresh air, breeze, warmth and views of being outdoors.
You can even choose to install air conditioning or fans in such a room if you desire, meaning you can sit in a light, clean space and have ultimate control of your temperature. Something that means that no matter what your climate preference, you can be sure to enjoy your garden all year round.
To truly embrace the warm weather in your garden; it's always a great idea to consider a pool of some kind. Happily, there is a vast range of pools that you can enjoy as a way of cooling off that will also suit a variety of budgets, home and garden designs and sizes.
For those folks that are looking for something more permanent, opting for a sunken pool created in concrete or tile is the best choice. They are usually the most expensive type of pools to install and run, however, they are also likely to be the easier to maintain and will last the longest. But it's is also worth bearing in mind that you do not have to install an Olympic sized swimming pool or a landscaped beach style one to add the luxury and enjoyment factor to your yard. In fact, many folks have greater success with what is know as a plunge pool.
A plunge pool will cover a smaller area and is usually a little deeper than other types of pools. The idea is that when it gets unusually hot, you can jump in for a dip that will immediately cool you down without taking over your entire outdoor space.
A dip pool can be above ground as well. In fact, there are a wealth of companies out there that offer wooden, inflatable, and even metal dip pools that can be made to look quite attractive with the right decking and landscaping choices. And for winter, there's always pool heaters to warm things up!
Remember too, that you can combine a pool with some of the other features mentioned above that are good for sun safety such as a sunroom, or a patio roof to create a whole new backyard oasis and living space that can be used in any weather. A great idea is to position the pool half-in and half-out of the shade or shelter, allowing swimmers to choose the level of weather exposure they get.
Some gardeners also choose to beautify the look of their garden with terraces using trellises to grow flowering plants such as Star Jasmine and Evergreen Clematis over them. Something that makes them an attractive feature of the garden space as well as a practical element. The advantages of stepped or spiraling terraces are that you can easily walk around your garden and engage in some gardening while being protected from the rays of the sun.
Loungers, lilos, pods and daybeds
Another effective way of embracing a little sun in your garden is to invest in some comfortable sun loungers. Padded, reclining ones that you can adjust the height of as well are ideally comfortable for just about everyone. Just be sure to pick ones that are lightweight, easily movable (wheels would be great) and durable for any weather. Pop them in the shade if you get to hot but still want to be outdoors, or move into the full sun when there's some in winter - it's a very relaxing way to warm up.
And of course, go for inflatable ones in the pool and perhaps something a little more like your existing furniture for your sunroom. And if you're wanting something a little more snugly, wicker pod chairs or daybeds full of cushions are super inviting to curl up and enjoy the view with a cocktail in summer or a cup a tea and good book when it's cooler.
I hope you take inspiration to embrace the great outdoors at your place - whatever your space and whatever the weather. Extending our living spaces to take in more fresh air, sunlight and the sights and sounds of nature is good for the soul, adding to the feeling of your home been your own personal escape and safe place.
Enjoy, and do share your glorious garden makeover moments with us in the comments below.