Social Gardening

1. For all the family

One of the best things about gardening is that it is an activity that you can enjoy on your own or equally with friends and family.

It is very companionable to be pottering about in the garden, chatting about what should go where, how far to trim certain plants back or pondering over the identity of a bug (is it friend or foe?) or weed. It’s great fun showing children how to sow seed and nurture young plants. Of course the garden is also very important as somewhere for children to play, enjoy the fresh air and let off steam so a lawn is always going to be a popular feature for a family garden.

 

2. For bugs and beasties too

These days gardens are an increasingly important habitat for birds and insects. Whether it is encouraging hedgehogs and frogs (which are such a help in the control of slugs) or planting flowers such as Buddleia that are nectar rich for butterflies or have berries for the birds like Cotoneaster or Sorbus.

 

3. For entertaining

There are lots of really great suites of garden furniture to fit the bill. The trend is towards low maintenance and who can argue with that. After all spare time is precious. Resin weave is the most popular type at the moment. It can be left outside all year round. Until now you have had to take in the cushions every night to protect them from the rain but new on the market are some cushions that are weatherproof and dry really quickly. Metal furniture is also popular for its durability and low maintenance.

Cooking outside has evolved so far from the early charcoal BBQs. These days many BBQs are larger than the average kitchen cooker and gas models have all the controllability if their interior counterparts. Chimneas, fire pits and outdoor ovens are also becoming more a feature of our outdoor entertaining lifestyle.

 

4. For growing and experimenting

Never underestimate the magical taste of fruit or vegetables you have grown yourself. Or the fact that growing your own can become addictive. Of course in some years things don’t always go according to plan, perhaps the weather isn’t on our side or the slug population explodes; but it is always worth trying again and figuring out what works for you in your garden or allotment.

Gardening really is for everyone old or young it can be done well with the minimum of expense or with the very latest gadgets