This summer may not yet have hit the heights of last year's heatwave, but there have still been plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the weather. As a tenant, it's likely that it's set out in your tenancy agreement that you're responsible for maintaining the garden or any other outdoor space in your rental property. So, alongside your responsibility to keep the garden in shape, you're presented with an opportunity to create a buzzing BBQ space or a tranquil relaxation spot, all the while enjoying the outdoors and doing something productive.
Whether you're looking to make your garden more functional, keep it in line with the trends or pull it up to scratch on a budget, our tips below will have you covered...
Practical summer garden tips
Plants and shrubs - it's important to think about what you're planting and where. Try to keep a good balance of evergreen and seasonal flowers and shrubs.
A bit of research and planning can go a long way in making sure you have some colour in your garden all year round and that it really peaks in the spring and summer months.
If you have borders keep them tidy, making sure all plants and flowers have enough space to grow. Meanwhile, regular weeding and trimming, although not the most of fun of tasks, will have a huge bearing in making sure your garden looks its best in summer.
The key to watering
If you want your plants to flourish over the next few weeks, watering them properly will be key. During the summer, it's best to water plants in the morning or the evening as, when it's cooler, the impact of evaporation is reduced.
All plants need water but some need more than others, especially those that have recently been bedded in.
If you're going away and have no-one to water your plants, you could think about putting pots in large containers or basins that are partially filled with water to keep plants hydrated in your absence, or if you fancy splashing out, you may want to consider investing in an automatic plant irrigation watering system - these can be mains, battery or even solar powered to ensure your plants thrive whilst you're away.
You must make sure you don't overwater as this can cause more harm than good. Many plants can't store excess water. Therefore, if your plants already appear moist or the soil around them is still damp, it's best not to water them.
Keeping up to date with the latest garden trends
Every year, a number of garden trends emerge from those in the know. In 2019, there has been plenty of buzz around creating garden space where the interior meets exterior. The concept, popular with younger gardeners, is to create an inviting, homely garden space using rugs, shelving and sofas, all in bold colours.
Another popular 2019 trend is garden zoning. This means cordoning off areas of your outdoor space for different moods and purposes. You could have a relaxation zone, a storage zone and a social zone - the options are endless.
Trendy gardeners, meanwhile, are also increasingly trying to give back to nature. This could mean using more natural ways to weed, encouraging plants which attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies or supporting other wildlife like hedgehogs and birds with your garden design.
Something else on the up this year is the use of wood in gardens. This could be anything from boxing plants or vertical planting to building a log wall or upcycling shelving and seating for a vintage look. There's plenty of ways to incorporate this theme into your garden. If you're not planning to stay long term, wooden troughs make a great alternative to pots and you can take them with you if you move. Wood is ever flexible allowing you to go for a natural look or if you prefer, a bright colour theme with a rainbow of suitable outdoor paints available.
How to improve your garden space on a budget
Improving your garden can be hugely beneficial, but it can sometimes end up being expensive. That said, there are plenty of ways you can make sure your summer garden is on point without spending a fortune. Here are our quick tips:
Grow your own - rather than buying expensive plants and flowers that are already on their way, it can be much cheaper to buy seeds and grow your plants from scratch. You could even attempt growing your own fruit and veg which will help you to make savings on your food shop.
Benefit from upcycling - not only is reusing and re-purposing old furniture trendy, it's also cost-effective and environmentally-friendly. As well as being fun and productive, upcycling also gives you the opportunity to make your garden more unique and interesting. Use charity shops - buying gardening equipment such as spades, shears and lawnmowers first-hand can be expensive, so it's always worth visiting the charity shop first as it's likely you'll uncover some quality equipment at bargain prices.
Take composting seriously - much like with plants, if you look to create your own compost from food and garden waste instead of buying it, you can save a lot of money. It's great for the environment and what you produce will do wonders for your flowerbeds.
Utilise lighting and paint - adding some strategic fairy lights or repainting an area of the garden can have a significant positive effect without being too much work or breaking the bank. You'll find plenty of inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest to get you started.
Recruit your friends - if you've got a big job to do such as clearing away debris, relaying decking (with your landlord's permission) or repainting the fence, why not ask your friends and family to help, rather than hiring a gardener? It'll be much cheaper and is a great way to have fun and catch up while getting an important job done at the same time.
So there we have it. Summer may be well underway but there is still time to get the most out of your outdoor space over the coming weeks.