November 14, 2018
Enjoying your garden in the summer is obvious: the balmy days, long evenings, cool drinks, hot BBQs and garden games such as cricket and rounders with friends and family. But, with the right design, you can continue to enjoy your garden through the autumn and winter. Here are the Dewlands Garden Design tips for extending the use of your garden into the cooler months.
We design outdoor living spaces for homeowners in Kent, Sussex and Surrey. The following are all ideas that we have incorporated into some of our garden designs across the South East that we know have encouraged our customers to use their gardens for more months of the year than they ever did before.
There’s no getting away from it, autumn and winter are generally cooler, wetter and windier than the summer, so creating some shelter is essential if you want to get year-round enjoyment from your garden. Bear this in mind when you are designing your seating areas; enjoying your favourite view with a glass of mulled wine can be as delightful as watching it during the heady days of summer, but you will want protection from the wind and passing showers, and you will want to be able to keep seats dry. A gazebo (either open or with one or more sides closed off) can be a perfect solution for enjoying your favourite spot in your garden long after the clocks have gone back.
Outdoor heaters are an ideal solution for making your garden more enjoyable in the autumn and winter, but do some research to minimise the impact on the environment. A firepit or fireplace that burns sustainably sourced, well-seasoned timber is a good option – and will also mean you can toast marshmallows and roast chestnuts. Bio ethanol heaters or outdoor fireplaces are another environmentally friendly solution. If you get your electricity from renewable sources, then you might also justify infrared lamps – there are both freestanding and table-top versions available.
Apart from generating your own heat through gardening, you could also keep warm in the garden with an outside gym. You could design a permanent outdoor exercise area, with fixtures such as pull up bars, or you could create a flexible outside fitness area, using portable suspension-training equipment, such as that deigned by TRX Training that’s easy to set up, take down and carry, so you can even take it on holiday with you! Hook it over a robust tree in your garden or a sturdy beam of your gazebo, and you will not only tone up, you will also get to enjoy the fresh air and save on gym bills!
If going outside means having to scrape off muddy boots every time you come back inside, you probably won’t do it, so when you design your garden think about how you are going to move between the different outdoor living areas that you create. Paths, steps stones or even a gravel track will all help keep your shoes clean even when there’s been a fair amount of rain, making more of your garden both inviting and accessible year-round.
If you have a big garden, you can incorporate a wider range of ideas into your garden to make it as exciting to explore in the autumn and winter as the summer – and not all of them need to be manicured. In fact, some of the most fun outdoor winter spaces benefit from a touch of the wild. Campfires with seating, bonfire areas (perfect for bonfire night, New Year’s Eve and more), tree houses and dens all offer toasty sanctuaries when your breath hangs in the air, inviting you to wrap up warm and head outside.
With careful design and planning, a garden room can be a room for all seasons. You will want to fling open or fold back the doors in the summer, but consider installing utilities and heating so you can continue to enjoy it as a cosy den in the cooler months, with maybe some thick rugs and warm blankets as seasonal accessories as well. Whether it’s a garden office, a kids’ play room, a teenagers’ den or a retreat for you to sit and unwind, with careful forethought and design it can be as enticing in the winter as the summer, giving you an extra room all the year round.
A garden is not just for summer! With careful planning and clever design, you can continue to enjoy your garden long throughout the winter.