10 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Outdoor Space

Are you keen to make the most of your garden this summer? Before we know it, all too often autumn arrives, and we never deliver on our promised Fourth of July barbecue. How do we actually use our outdoor space to the best of our ability? From getting the kids interested in gardening to becoming the next grillmaster, read on for tips on upgrading your garden this summer.

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1. Get Into Barbecuing

There’s always a stereotype that only men can make barbecue. But moms can make great burgers too! Check out Kevin Turner’s website for advice on cooking the best barbecue recipes, from brisket tacos to tri-tip steak. There are guides on everything from learning how to grill to injecting real flavor into your meat.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, invite the family for a barbecue. If you’re feeding a lot of people, consider inviting people to a barbecue potluck, where people bring their own sides to accompany your new grill skills. You can also make the most of your outdoor space by investing in a decent outdoor grill or smoker.

2. Build A Covered Decking Area

A covered decking area is ideal for summer nights when you want to enjoy the good weather with friends and family. Make a stylish space with the following essential elements:

  • Outdoor lighting - outdoor lighting can be pretty fairy lights, hanging lanterns or even freestanding statement pieces. If you want to incorporate a heater, consider buying a heat lamp to use your outdoor space well into the winter. You can even make your own lamps using mason jars.

  • Comfy seating - avoid uncomfortable wooden seating and go for more comfy rattan or wicker furniture. Cover chairs or outdoor sofas in colorful throws or blankets to create an element of luxury and comfort. You could even mix up furniture styles to create an eclectic mix of designs in your garden.

  • A private space - you could use trellises or hedging to make your covered decking area a private outdoor space. Create a secret lounge area in your garden that you can use whether you’re drinking a morning coffee or enjoying a family barbecue.

3. Invite Nature In

There are lots of ways you can make a nature-friendly garden over the summer. Let your grass grow long and grow native wildflowers and plants for the local birds, bugs and wildlife to enjoy. You could also put out insect hotels, bird baths and bird or even bat houses that nature can enjoy all year round.

Creating a nature-friendly garden is also a great way to teach your kids about the environment. You could create your own herb, fruit or vegetable garden as a family and visit your various garden wildlife homes regularly to get them interested in protecting the environment while they are young. 

If you’re not sure of the best way to make your garden nature friendly, very often, the best thing to do is simply let it be. So cut back on de-weeding and pruning and see what grows in your garden.

4. Make Your Garden A Gallery

Do you enjoy art? Invest in outdoor art like sculptures, paintings or metalwork to make your garden into your art gallery. You could make a small maze out of hedging or a wildflower garden with frequent stops for sculptures and artwork.

When you invest in outdoor art, remember to purchase weatherproof items. Treated wood, rust-proof metal work and stone are ideal candidates for outdoor art. Purchase things you enjoy, and even consider buying unusual furniture or storage items if you want multipurpose things rather than just art.

5. Make A Summer House Or Office Space

If you work from home or simply want to enjoy a covered space in the summer, why not create your own summer house or office space? You can invest as much or as little into a summer house as possible. You can plumb in, use electrics for your WiFi and add multiple rooms if you have the space, or simply create a cabin-style room where your kids can hang out during the summer months. If you don't have much space, you could click here to get some inspiration for smaller options that still look beautiful and provide space to chill in away from the sun. 

Remember to obtain the necessary planning permissions to create a solid framework for your office space. You will also need to employ professionals, like these plumbers on silverwaterplumbing.com.au/plumber-central-coast/, to ensure that the job is done properly for electrics and plumbing.

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6. Build A Pool

Hiring a professional to build you a pool can cost thousands. Fortunately, there are many ways to enjoy your pool without breaking your budget. An inground pool can be made on a budget by digging a hole and bricking it in. Consider making one from concrete, wood, plastic, or an all-natural one straight out of the ground. 

You’ll just need to ensure that it is waterproof and the water is treated before you use it. As long as you stay on top of your pool maintenance, you should be able to enjoy your pool during the summer months and beyond.

If you’re looking for something more ready-made, why not invest in a blow-up jacuzzi or spa area you can put in your garden? Outdoor hot tubs can create an element of luxury while not necessarily requiring a lot of money to install or maintain.

If you are looking for something different, try spa maintenance and see how well it works.

7. Create Your Own Outdoor Bar

There are many ways you can create an outdoor bar to make the most of your garden space. You could physically create one out of your kitchen if it faces the garden, with a restaurant-like bar opening out into your outdoor area. You could also convert your shed, summer house or office space into a makeshift bar with the right planning. Put it next to your smokehouse for a self-created grill and bar space.

If you are creating a bar on a budget, you could make a portable bar from a plank of wood and some portable bar stools. Buy an ice bucket, and you’re ready to go. Create an outdoor tiki bar to make this makeshift bar idea seem even more rustic.

8. Landscape Your Garden

Landscaping your garden adds the illusion of layers, space or depth. Consider creating different areas in your garden by:

  • Planting different heights of plants - you can create the illusion of depth by mixing flower beds with taller potted plants and even trees. Create some variation in height to create a dynamic outdoor space.

  • Use natural contouring - landscapers can be hired to level or smooth out dramatic height differences in your garden. But why not make the most of the space you have? Consider creating decking with a view and using vibrant flower beds below so you have something to look at.

  • Build flower beds - you can create raised flower beds to create a garden border and a dedicated space for your plants, herbs and shrubs.

  • Use pathways - a simple pathway can delineate spaces in your garden or create a raised pathway out of timber

  • or stone between your flower beds.

  • Cut curved flower beds - curved flower beds can create the illusion of a garden with more space. Put smaller plants on the curve and larger plants at the back to create a sense of grading and shape.

  • Move away from a symmetrical layout - creating curves and different angles with your paths, and decking can give your garden the illusion of more space.

9. Choose Hardy And Perennial Plants

Planting flowers that bloom in the spring or summer is great but can often leave your winter garden looking a bit bleak. Consider investing in hardy or perennial plants that thrive in the colder months, like winter honeysuckle, pansies, or snowdrops. 

Investing in perennial shrubs, like Acanthus or Azalea, will also allow you to enjoy large flowering bushes that come back year after year. Plants with a specific smell, like lavender, can also make your garden especially inviting, especially if guests visit.

10. Make Sustainable Choices

When making the most of your outdoor space, ultimately, making sustainable and eco-friendly choices are the best way to go. Consider making your roof into a green roof, whether it’s a bike shed, bin storage or flat conservatory roof. 

You can also create environmentally friendly gardens by creating compost bins in your garden. It’s a great practice to get your kids into, and also allows you to convert your food waste and plant matter into soil. 

Creating a biodiverse garden can also help plant and animal life thrive. Ensure you have a range of species in your garden, whether that’s on your green roof or your flowerbeds. You’ll enjoy a vibrant garden and plant life that changes seasonally. 

Final Thoughts

The best gardens can be used for multifunctional purposes throughout the year. Creating a covered decking or patio area with heat lamps can help you achieve that goal. A combination of living art, like plants and shrubbery, as well as sculptures and artwork, can give your garden dynamism and interest that keeps you out there for longer.

Most important of all, our garden should be a sustainable, natural, and wildlife-friendly area. Invest in local plant life, make bug- and bat-friendly spaces, and get your kids involved in sustainable practices from the outset.

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