With the end of the exam season in sight at last, many of us are looking forward gratefully to spending some well-earned time in the garden. There’s an increasing trend towards taking care of ourselves and making sure that some down-time is factored into our day, and this goes hand in hand with the realisation that connecting with the outdoors, with nature and with the garden is the very best way to do this, when our unstable climate permits. As the summer solstice approaches and evenings seem to last forever, it’s possible to spend at least some time in the garden every day, however busy our schedules are.
Spending time with friends and family over a leisurely lunch or supper is naturally a good way to spend quality time with each other and to recharge our ever busy batteries. Recently I’ve noticed an increasing number of clients looking to make the most of their outdoor space by adding cooking facilities to the garden dining area. This can be anything from a simple outdoor kitchen with prep area, sink and cooking spot, to a barbecue near the seating area, perhaps with herbs for cooking planted nearby in a raised bed for easy access. Pizza ovens are also gaining in popularity, with combined outdoor stoves and ovens now available that allow you to rustle up a quick pizza and then enjoy the heat from the stove throughout the evening, making it more comfortable to stay outdoors enjoying the garden for longer.
It’s never a bad idea to include cover of some sort, especially if you’re investing in more than just a barbecue, as there are so many mild days when you can enjoy cooking and dining outside with shelter from rain and drizzle. This doesn’t have to mean an actual building – a tiled or glass roof with upright supports is often enough, as long as you choose your site carefully to get the maximum benefits. Whatever you decide to do with your outdoor area, anything that encourages you to spend more time in the garden can only be good for your wellbeing, so it’s likely to be an investment you’ll be very glad you made!
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