Get set for summer

With summer fast approaching we’re keen to hear that decent weather is on its way. So it’s not surprising that we’re easily seduced by the media claims of a possible heat wave, despite The Met Office saying otherwise.


We know that weather is unpredictable as a rule, but the optimist in us all is hoping for blistering temperatures and long, lazy days of sunshine this summer. Whether it’s a pipedream or reality, we know it’s best to be prepared in order to make the most of those fleeting sun-filled days. So here are some top tips to ensure your garden is heat wave, or at least, summer-ready.


Create a shaded area

Apparently only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, so whether it’s scorching hot or just a little bit sunny, make sure you have a shaded area in your garden to enjoy the sunshine responsibly.


Utilise the shade provided by the canopy of a tree, garden umbrella or pergola for dining and relaxing. If your pergola is lacking in plant coverage, use bamboo fencing to create shade that still allows plenty of light.


Embrace alfresco dining

There’s nothing more reminiscent of our sun-kissed holidays abroad than dining alfresco. You may not be blessed with views of the Tuscan countryside or the ocean from your garden, but you can still recreate the enjoyment of eating outside.


If it’s hot and sunny, then lashings of ginger beer or homemade lemonade are required to keep our fluid levels up. And when it’s time to dine, chilled wine or beer is most definitely on the menu. How about this nifty idea to ensure your drink of choice is at its optimum temperature and within easy reach at all times?


Just replace the middle plank of your wooden table with a metal trough. Fill with ice and as many bottles as required. Shouldn’t all tables come like this as standard?

Carla Aston


Create some privacy

If the sun is out your neighbours probably will be too. That’s not a problem if you enjoy chatting over the garden fence or sharing the odd BBQ, but if you’d rather not share your wobbly bits with them, then a little privacy is required.


How about this great idea using repurposed doors to create a foldable screen? It can also be used to provide much needed shade too.


Maximise the warm evenings

When the weather’s good, warm evenings ensure we can hang out in the garden after the sun goes down.  Create a relaxing area with cushions and lighting that can be used during the day and when night falls.


Keep it toasty

When the temperature drops there’s nothing more appealing and comforting than your very own fire pit. It’s also a good excuse for toasting marshmallows.


If you fancy making your own from an old washing machine drum, take a look at this step-by-step guide from



Stay cool

And finally, should the heat wave come and you happen to have a spare bath lying around, it’s perfect for a cool, refreshing alfresco soak.

House to Home