4 tips to get the most out of your garden throughout summer
There’s no denying that summer is just around the corner. In fact, some might say it’s already here. Last weekend was the hottest November weekend for four years, with temperatures soaring to 39 degrees in some parts of Perth.
We need to prepare ourselves for the sweltering season of red-hot seatbelt buckles, melting ice cream, sandy car boots and slip slop slap. And that preparation includes ensuring our gardens don’t bake and shrivel in the heat.
But summer is the time of year when Western Australians want to ?enjoy? their gardens, not sweat under the sun’s blazing rays trying to maintain it. Who wants to mow the lawn in the middle of a scorching midsummer’s day? Not when you could be swinging in a hammock under the shade of a tree with a cool cocktail in your hand, right?
So here’s four super-simple tips on how to keep your private patch of garden green and serene, healthy and clean over the next few months:
- Do mow your lawn regularly (depending on the type of grass you have) but never too short, and only do it early in the morning or just before dusk. It’s always better to do the ‘hard work’ (mowing, weeding) at the cooler times of day. Bonus tip: don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat, a good slathering of sunscreen and a flask of iced water, because your garden isn’t the only thing that needs looking after in this weather.
- Give it consistent and careful watering, especially after several consecutive days of intense heat, and in any areas of lawn and bedding plants that are not protected by shade. And do remember to be water wise! Conserving water is crucial in Western Australia, and most local councils have specific restrictions in place about the use of hoses and sprinklers.
- Be realistic, and work with what you’ve got. We might dream of owning a vast expanse of glossy emerald-green lawn, big enough for a dog to exercise in, with a trampoline for the kids, a capacious man-cave or pretty timber summer house, a lovely crystal-clear pool and dozens of fruitful citrus trees… But in the real world, most of us have to settle for something a little less extravagant. Make the most of the garden you’ve got, and find practical and innovative ways to maximise the space to create a welcoming, lush sanctuary that sparks joy and contentment.
- Enjoy it! Your garden should be a natural outdoor space to have fun and relax in, a place to chill out with friends and family, so if you don’t have much time (or energy), you can transform even a tiny garden with just a few simple tasks and additions. A choice assortment of flowering shrubs and potted plants can create a stunning symphony of greenery punctuated with vibrant pops of colour in one sunny corner. A herb garden or vegetable patch are also attractive (and tasty) garden features that do not require much maintenance or expense. Some fresh mulch (or low cost alternatives such as homegrown compost), a simple rockery or water feature, and a sharply-edged lawn will always help make a garden go from drab to fab.