Gardening: Expert gives advice on caring for plants in a heatwave
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With the summer here and lockdown rules lifting, seeing friends and family in our gardens is the perfect way to socialise. Many of us may be planning barbecues, arranging picnics or just wanting to spend a day in the garden – however, the weather may not always cooperate. With the ever-changing weather in the UK, blind & awnings experts, Luxaflex has given their top tips for how to equip your garden to ensure you’re ready come rain or shine.
Hedge your bets
Plan your planting so you can enjoy more peace and comfort in the garden, even if the weather turns blustery.
Small hedges around your seating or dining area can create a natural windbreak, or you could train scented climbing plants such as jasmine or honeysuckle along fences and railings for a similar sheltering effect.
Enjoy every minute in the garden by keeping lawn toys or gardening tools in easy reach.
Using easy-access outdoor cupboards and storage means things can be brought out or packed away at a moment’s notice if the weather takes a turn.
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Get fired up
Invest in a fire pit or chiminea to enjoy your garden or patio even when the temperature drops.
There are models to suit all budgets and spaces, even ‘flat pack’ fire pit options that slot together (and apart) for easy storage when not in use.
Protect your plants
Cloches, canes and cold frames can all extend the growing season by protecting your plants from weather extremes like wind and frost.
Ask for advice at a garden centre close to home and benefit from specialist local knowledge of the area’s prevailing weather and ground conditions.
Versatility come rain or shine
Choose garden coverings that have multiple benefits, like awnings which keep the sun off and provide cover from unexpected summer showers.
Awnings are perfect for protecting delicate plant beds or extending kitchen areas to create that perfect alfresco dining experience.
You have the option to include lighting within the arms of your awning to entertain throughout the day and night, and there are even smart options with automatic opening and wind sensors.
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Colour me happy
If you opt for sails, umbrellas or awnings for sun protection – choose a hue that suits you and your style.
Go for understated grey for subtle style, or pick vibrant stripes in a colour to make you smile. There are bespoke options to suit all gardens and outdoor spaces.
Get the most out of your furniture
Position your garden furniture where you can create shade with an awning, otherwise, it may not be usable on the summer’s hottest days.
Plus, the shade of the awning will protect against fading.
Choose your outdoor furniture carefully – consider if it will stay out year-round, or does it need to be easy to stack, fold or store?
If you opt for cushions, can they be removed and washed? Are they waterproof enough to withstand a sudden rain shower?
You say pagoda I say pergola
There are subtle differences between pergolas, pagodas, gazebos and arbours, but whichever you choose, it can provide a plant-covered haven for you to shelter under and soak up nature at its finest.
Growing such a natural ‘canopy’ provides dappled shade when it’s sunny, and also deflects the majority of the rain on showery days.
If you want to guarantee you can enjoy the view of the outdoors whatever the weather, you might look to invest in bi-fold doors which blur the boundary between home and garden.
Or build a simple summer house to sit in and enjoy a peaceful cup of tea come rain or shine.
You can also invest in large parasols to deflect any rain and the intensity of the sun.
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