There is something so therapeutic about gardening – spending time in nature, letting your thoughts dance while your hands are busy is the best medicine of all. Another great feeling is being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor when spending quality time in your garden. Especially during summertime, which is, of course, the season of choice to make your garden an integral part of your home.
Move your morning routine outside
Gently waking up with birdsong, rays of sunshine and the sweet fragrance of the patterns of flowers laid down in your garden…there really isn’t a more perfect way to start the day. Spending time in the morning in your garden can really help set you up for the day, offering the grounding that you need to get into a relaxed and positive headspace. Studies have shown that waking up surrounded by nature helps to restore mental energy. Instead of staying indoors during the summertime, move your morning routine outside and enjoy your yoga practice, breakfast or any morning errands surrounded by your mini-wilderness.
Turn your garden into a place of relaxation
When the weather is warm, you can transform your garden into a relaxing living space. Instead of spending your days or nights at a desk or lazing on the couch, bring your laptop or book outside. A set of outdoor table and chairs can easily become your new desk (as well as being the perfect alfresco dinner table), and if you want to go the whole hog and turn your garden into a mini-retreat, installing a hammock or a sun lounger is an easy way to bring some comfort outside. If you have room, you could even set up a swimming pool or hot tub – the ultimate summer indulgence! Dusk is an especially beautiful time to relax outdoors, as you’ll discover new colors, spaces, and shapes throughout your garden. Also consider kids swing sets or a sandbox for the yard for some additional fun.
Light up your grill
What’s a summer night without a good ol’ BBQ? If you don’t have a grill already, or the one you currently have has seen better days, don’t panic! You can buy all types of grills these days, from the traditional wood varieties to those super convenient ones that are easy to clean. When choosing your grill, think of the type of recipes and meats that you want to cook; a wood grill adds a smokey flavor to food, whilst a gas grill offers more flexibility so you can mix up meats and veggies.
It goes without saying that a summer BBQ is the best time to try out some new recipes. Forget about the traditional ribs and surprise your guests with exotic flavors instead. For instance, give a full Brazilian BBQ, with Brazilian picanha meat, caipirinha drink, and Samba music a try. Or you could go for a Greek-style BBQ with kokoretsi lamb, vegetable kebabs, and ouzo drink. With a bit of research and some kitchen creativity, you’ll find endless possibilities to prepare some tasty summer BBQ meals.
Re-discover the flavor of fruits & veggies
Spring and summer are the best seasons to put your green hands to work, planting a vegetable or fruit garden during these seasons will provide you with some delicious and super-fresh results. There are so many benefits to growing your own produce: as well as being more cost-effective than purchasing fruit and veg from the store, homegrown produce always looks, tastes and cooks so much better. Growing your own fruit and veg will also give you a new appreciation of these basic, but healthy foods, and we’re sure you’ll be itching to share your crops with friends and family during those summer dinners.
Spice up your summer drinks
The long, sunny days of summer often lead to late-night parties, and this is when your garden can do double-duty. As well as being the ideal venue for dancing under the stars, you can freshen up party drinks with some carefully selected herbs from your garden. You’re probably already growing herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro, which can all add some incredible flavors to fruit drinks and cocktails. Even if you aren’t, these herbs are so easy to grow and are great to start with if you’re just getting started developing a herb garden.
Some of our favorite combinations that work as both alcoholic (just add vodka, rum or gin) and non-alcoholic drinks are strawberry and basil, lime and mint, and mango and cilantro. Since summer is all about experimenting and trying new culinary adventures, try mixing and matching the veggies and herbs from your garden to see what other delicious combinations you can discover.
Whatever the size of your garden, during the summer it becomes just as much a part of your home as your house or apartment. Make the most of your outdoor space: take the time to furnish it, grown and enjoy your own fresh produce and simply relax in the soothing sounds of nature.