fabulous British summer is upon us. With the kids on their holidays you
may find yourself in the garden, wondering what to do. So why
not use the holidays and short attention spans to your advantage by
having fun, whilst making your garden more interesting? There are so
many ways you can do this, and mostly for FREE, or at a very low cost.
1. Wild bird nesting materials:
Why not gather materials for the birds in your garden? It will attract more birds as well as making life easier for the birds that already nest in your garden. Two birds with one stone, some might say.Suitable Materials:
Be sure to use materials that are suitable for the birds. Don’t use plastics or grass/plants that have been treated with pesticides. If you’re using strings, wools or yarns, be sure to cut them into small pieces so that the birds don’t get caught in loops - no more than three inches long should do the trick. Place the materials together in a preferably sheltered place for the birds to gather from.
• Twigs and sticks.
• Dead leaves.
• Grass clippings and dead grass.
• Yarn, wool, string, cotton etc.
• Dog or cat grooming hair, and human hair.
• Feathers, both their own and other birds’.
• Lawn moss, lichen and moss from roofs.
• Pine needles.
• Straw and other plant stems.
• Cotton wool.
2. Shed some light on your garden:
There are some really good glow-in-the-dark paints available these days. You can use these to create a fun or even romantic space in your garden. Why not paint your planters with it and place them so that the sun will hit them throughout the day? You could even paint your garden path so that it’s illuminated in the darkness. This idea is being trialled in Cambridge, where the council have painted many pathways with the paint to light the way at night. A bright idea, methinks.
3. Become a Bee hotelier:
easy to create a space for arguably the most important creature in the
world. Simply fill cans or tins with bamboo shoots and reeds, creating
great spaces for bees to dwell. You can also use old bits of wood/logs,
drill holes in them or even use those bricks with holes in. Basically
use anything with holes in that can be easily mounted in a way for the
bees to utilise. You’ll be running a 'Bee & Bee' in no time!
4. Rustic Seating:
Now I know we’re not all master craftsmen who can create magnificent sculptures from scraps of wood. However, it is easy to create rustic, natural and elegant seating areas from things around your garden. The best thing to use is tree stumps, often left to rot away where they were ‘slayed’. You could create a functional table or even a dozen seats to go with an existing table with little to no skill involved. It’s a great addition to a natural-looking garden, and can be an exciting outdoor fairy palace for the kids.
5. Plant a Tree:
It’s an amazing thing to do and to watch grow, and it sounds pretty straightforward too. There are some things to consider though. Trees that grow to be over 10ft tend to take a lot longer to grow. Choose a tree from 4-6ft and it will flourish before your eyes. First things first, if it’s a bare-rooted tree, keep those roots damp and plant straight away. Decide wisely where to place your tree - it’s going to be around longer than you. Dig a hole, plant the tree, cover any bare roots with soil, water generously and mulch to stop weeds. Remember to water your tree in the dry season in the first year.
Remember the sports and activities you used to do in the summer as a child? I certainly do. There are so many things we did that our children have never experienced. Why not introduce them to the way we used to entertain ourselves? My favourite activities were as follows, in no particular order:
• Jumping through the lawn sprinkler
• Playing catch with water balloons
• Daisy chains
• Making dens
• Game of Croquet, anyone?