Ultimate outdoor updates for a summer of family fun

Apparently, over the course of a lifetime, Brits spend an average of £30,000 looking after their gardens. That seems quite a lot of money for a few plant pots, replacing your lawn mower every few years and perhaps putting up some decking or a shed! Something we’re not splashing out on however is a traditional garden gnome. Asda reports we’ve fallen out of love with the whimsical creatures. So much so, 94% of us wouldn’t give a gnome a home in our back garden. Our outdoor areas are now a place for activity, for gathering with friends and family and cooking up a storm. But are there any updates you’d like to make to yours to spruce it up a bit?

Perhaps there’s a little corner of your garden that’s looking a little unloved right now? If you could transform it into absolutely anything ready for summer, what would you prioritise? Would you like to create an area for entertaining or maybe an outdoor cooking area that Jamie Oliver would be proud of? Could you create a play area where the kids could blow off steam on sunny days? This post aims to fuel your daydreams and help you plan subtle and significant updates for a summer of family fun…

Patio party area

Would you like to spend your summer evenings sipping fizz under the stars? The patio party area is the perfect partner for entertaining, but where to start? Easy access is a must, so if you haven’t already, consider adding patio or bi-fold doors so that the entertaining area is only ever a few steps away. These external ones from Vufold will help you channel the look of the Med in the Midlands!  Whether you invest in decking or plump for a patio, a table and comfortable chairs will ensure you and your guests have somewhere to sit and chat. Since we can’t always rely on a starlit sky and balmy summer evenings here in the UK, fairy lights and an outdoor heater may also be on your to-purchase list. This post by Lights4fun has some great tips for summer garden lighting.

Kids play zone

Given free rein, what would your little ones add to your garden? Would a trampoline be at the top of their lists? Believe it or not, despite being a common sight in UK gardens, trampolines are a common cause of accidents, not least because they can be picked up and carried away in strong wind. If you want to hang on to your garden fitness equipment and avoid mishaps, check out this guide from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. If your kids aren’t quite at the age where they’re ready to bounce high, perhaps a sandpit might be more appropriate? Sandpits can bring all the fun of the beach inland, just be sure to keep yours covered so that the neighbourhood’s cats don’t get to it and give toys a regular clean.

garden play

Photo Credit: tamara.craiu via Compfight cc

Outdoor kitchen

Are you counting down the days to the start of barbecue season? If your culinary calling is in the great outdoors, you may dream of adding an array of gadgets to help you cook up all kinds of goodies for guests. With American barbecue flavours in huge demand here in the UK, sales of smokers have rocketed alongside purchases of outdoor pizza ovens. These items can be fairly expensive, though if you’re feeling brave there are a fair amount of DIY videos out there to guide you in building your own for a far lower price.

Fans of Jimmy and Jamie’s Friday Night Feast may have already caught this episode, which shows you how to create your own pizza oven from plant pots. If you’re a fan of a Friday night takeaway, there’s also a how to guide for creating your own outdoor tandoor oven. With a bit of elbow grease and some surprisingly affordable everyday materials, you could find yourself with an entire outdoor kitchen. Forget Restaurant in Our Living Room, you could set up a restaurant on your patio! If you’re planning on holding an outdoor feast, it needn’t be formal. If you don’t have a table and chairs big enough to seat all, why not hold a picnic style gathering?

So, which would be the ultimate addition to your outdoor space? Would you struggle to choose between the options above or are you lucky enough to have your garden just the way you want it already?

  • *This is a collaborative post*

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