SUMMER HOLIDAY GARDEN TIPS WITH DAVID DOMONEY

Kids laughing and playing in the garden is one of the most distinctive sounds of summer. The school holidays are now in full swing, and it’s great to hear them enjoying the outdoors and making use of whatever outdoor space you have. Encouraging kids to get out in the garden, whether to play or even do a little gardening themselves, is a great way to ensure they get plenty of fresh air and exercise and don’t spend too much time cooped up inside on computers or watching TV.  

Make sure your garden is kid-friendly by providing outdoor toys and games to play with. You don’t need to invest in extravagant climbing frames or trampolines; a simple hula hoop or frisbee can easily do the trick. Or why not try getting kids their own miniature set of gardening tools and let them help out in the garden with their own little patch to look after? Kids love having responsibility for something, and it’s a great way to help them learn about plants and the outdoors. Just make sure you supervise children when they’re using garden tools. 

Kids can often take an interest in wildlife in the garden, and there are loads of ways you can encourage them in this area. Bird boxes, hedgehog homes and bee hotels are all fun, outdoor DIY projects that the kids can get involved in. These can all easily be made from recycled materials and provide vital habitats for our UK wildlife. Another crafty garden project for the school holidays is making fun containers from an old pair of wellies. Drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the old boots and then get the little ones to help you scoop in compost and choose plants to grow in there. Herbs are a great choice, as they’re really tactile and will also bring lots of fragrance to your garden. Try lemon verbena – they’ll love it as it smells of lemon sherbets – or even some unusual chocolate mint. 

You might worry that letting the kids run riot outdoors will wreak havoc on your garden, but this needn’t be the case. If you fear the worst for your furniture, why not try a new set that comes with weather ready cushions? These are fantastic, durable cushions that can be left out come rain or shine, saving you a job tidying them away all the time. When it rains, the permeable cushions allow water straight through, and then when the sun comes out again they quickly dry out and are ready to use. They’re perfect for busy gardens, especially where accidents and spillages can occur at the table. This also frees up your cushion box or storage area to use as an outdoor toy box. Kids can then easily tidy away their toys after use, keeping your outdoor area looking neat. 

A new furniture set may even encourage older kids to entertain their friends outdoors. Why not try a lounge furniture set? There are not only perfect for summery days and drinks with friends, but teenagers will love them too. A lounge set alongside a projector and white sheet hanging up for the screen creates an ultra-cool outdoor cinema for them to hang out in.