As another Irish summer (no irony intended! ) draws to a close it’s time to take stock of the space outside your home and consider whether it’s pulling its weight and working for you. With a bit of luck you can continue to enjoy golden late summer afternoons outside for several weeks to come. Calm, dry, sunny weather at this time of year allows you to soak up a little more warmth from the sun before the dark days of winter.
We do often get this kind of weather round about now and I’m sure there are geographical or meteorological reasons why – most of us agree though that as soon as the children start back at school, the weather improves and that does seem to be happening this year too.
If we’re lucky, we can get days of slanting sunlight and lingering warmth right into late October and early November - all the more reason to ensure there is some autumn colour in the garden to ease the transition to the darker, colder season ahead. The thing about our climate is its unpredictability – garden-worthy days can occur any time from February to late autumn so it’s worth making sure that the garden is a comfortable, welcoming place to spend a little time in whenever you get the chance.
This is a really good time of year to consider what’s working and what’s not in your outside space so that if changes need to be made, you have time to plan and budget for them in time for next spring. While summer still lingers, think about what’s fit for purpose and what’s not.
Did you have somewhere comfortable to sit with easy access from the house? Was it the right size to fit everyone easily, and is it in the right place? Could you use more shelter on slightly breezy days? Maybe you were lucky enough to be surrounded by colourful, attractive planting with well-chosen shrubs, flowers and grasses playing their part in a carefully orchestrated year-round display. Or maybe not.
It’s also a good idea to think about whether the space meets the needs of everyone in the family – most would agree that getting children outside in the fresh air is desirable, but with the competition indoors from screens of all sizes, it can be a challenge. If you have a sporty brood and a large country garden it’s a no-brainer, but in a smaller space you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make the garden seem like a good place to be. Think of it as another room in your house – with a little planning and some careful choices, your garden can enhance your home and your lifestyle, and become an asset you can be proud of.
Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.
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