Many of us spend a great deal of time and money travelling in order to view wildlife. Visits to animal parks or zoos and bird watching trips can take a toll on your wallet. Whale watching or bear viewing in Alaska really stretches the finances! If you appreciate wildlife then perhaps it is time that it came to visit you! Continue reading How to Create the Perfect Garden for Wildlife
As the weather warms up many of us will look to give our gardens a refresh and restyle. For those that have kids it might also be time to buy some outdoor toys, the type that will keep them entertained and out in the fresh air.
But what do you go for? There are a variety of different kinds of outdoor toys to pick from and the choice really does depend on the age and interests of your little one as well as the space that you have to spare.
What child doesn’t love the fun that only a slide and swing can bring?
As much fun as it is, there is a good chance that a trip to the beach isn’t on the cards for every day of the summer. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to build a sandcastle or two. There are a variety of sand pits available to buy for your garden, meaning that you can bring the beach to your home.
Many of them are also combined with paddling pools so that you can really have a splashing good time and all from the comfort of your own home.
Slides and Swings
Mean frequent trips to your local park, if you decide to buy your very own playground equipment then you won’t have to go any further than your own backyard.
They come in a variety of sizes ideal for toddlers right up to older children although you should always check that the equipment will fit within your garden space before you buy.
Trampolines have become one of the most popular outdoor toys. They are not only great fun but they are also suitable for all ages (even the biggest kids) meaning that they can grow with your child.
It is important to remember that trampolines, especially the larger ones, can be bulky and take up space in your garden; therefore, if you are going to purchase one, be aware that it will limit the room that you have in the rest of the garden.
If you don’t mind a bit of rough and tumble, then Nerf is the ideal outdoor toy for your family. Suitable for both girls and boys these kid friendly foam disc and bullet blasters are great fun and are not only ideal for your own garden but can be packed away to take on that summer camping holiday too.
When it comes to outside games you don’t always have to opt for the big and bold. Instead you can pick up one of the huge varieties of ball games that are available. Swingball, football or simply just a bat and ball; they are a great way to come together and interact as a family. They will keep you all fit too!
Playhouses and tents
Children love having their own space and this is just as true in the garden as it is for the home. If you have the room to spare, then a playhouse or tent is sure to become one of your child’s favourite places to play.
Whether you go for a simple tent or perhaps a large double storey playhouse; these are great additions to your home.
Who knows how long the summer will last? Get out there and enjoy it as best you can! Whether you are playing with balls or water, there is so much fun to be had in the great outdoors
BBQ Party – Weather Dependent…
If you are lucky enough to have a garden as part of your home then you will probably be enjoying this extra space in the warmer months. There is nothing better than getting the BBQ out and relaxing outside while catching some brief sunshine. The garden is an extension of your house and offers extra space for entertaining without the worry of guests being squished on the sofa together or dotted around a room on a random collection of chairs. However with the typical British weather, our plans for a perfect afternoon in the garden can often be dampened and our ‘summer’ seasons often feel over before they have really begun.
No one really wants to struggle through a BBQ in bad weather and about the only time we really persevere is in the winter months on occasions such as Bonfire Night – when a warm burger goes down quite well in the cold!
Top Timber Solution!
Now what if you could extend those BBQ months and have more opportunity to use your outdoor space year round for entertaining or simply relaxing? Sounds good right? Some people might try gazebos to offer some protection from the elements and others might even covert a shed as a hide out, but there is something else that I have come across that offers a more permanent and perfectly suited solution for outdoor dining that looks fantastic too.
Having travelled to Finland a few years ago I discovered the Finnish BBQ hut (may also be known as a grillikota). It was after an exhilarating but rather cold husky sledging trip (well it was around -20 degrees Celsius!) that I was taken to a beautiful timber hut in the snowy woods with an adorable front door and a smoking chimney. As soon as I opened the door the warmth inside enveloped me – it was coming from a crackling fire in the centre and I gratefully started to thaw out. Accepting a wooden cup of warm beverage I collapsed onto the fur covered seats that ran around the fire. It was one of those moments where you felt completely cosy and secure, and I could have quite happily stayed there for the rest of the day!
The more I thought about it, the more the idea of having my very own timber BBQ hut in my British garden made sense. They offer an additional room to the home, which can be used for entertaining or as a kids den, or even a space for adults to escape to read a good book, without the need for potentially expensive, messy and disruptive building work that comes with an extension. They look fabulous, almost like something from a fairy tale and make a great talking point with visitors (pretty sure none of my neighbours have one!). The BBQ huts can be used all year round offering a double glazed shelter and warmth if the weather turns and are perfect for dining as they have a BBQ grill in the middle and chimney to keep the hut clear of smoke.
As I sat there with a husky pup on my lap, I could just imagine my friends faces when I invited them over for a Christmas BBQ hut party or spending time in one for a romantic evening meal. I realise that my next steps when I got home would be to clear up my garden (it is a bit over run and under loved) and add a BBQ hut to my wish list!
I can still remember the moment that I became fascinated by the beauty of wrought iron. Like most children I hadn’t been much excited by architectural features, especially metalwork, but all that changed when my parents took me to Salzburg in Austria. Before the trip it had been the city’s connection to The Sound of Music that had filled me with anticipation but it was a street in the centre of town that was to make a lasting impression. Continue reading The Beauty of Wrought Iron
My father has always been an enthusiastic gardener. A series have properties have been completely transformed under his dedicated care with perfect lawns, beautiful shrubs and an array of pretty flowers. I am sure that his work has added much value to several homes and given him a lot of pleasure in the process but even I was shocked when he moved into his current property a few years ago. Continue reading The Beauty of a Garden Pond