During the recent spell of hot weather, were you sweating away tending your garden, or were you trying to relax outside but finding it hard to stay cool?
Here are some tips on how to keep cool in your garden when the temperature rises.
Think about building a gazebo or arbour to protect you from the sun
You can build one yourself or buy a ready-made kit if you’re not 100% sure of your DIY skills. There are two types of gazebo that are common in gardens; the permanent type with a pitched roof and open sides, or a portable canvas or plastic tent which can provide welcome shelter from the heat of the sun (or from the rain – it is the UK after all!)
An arbour is a shelter for your garden which usually has a curved or arched roof and built-in seating.
Buy seating with a built-in shade
There are several options for comfortable seating that will keep you cool, from swing seats to hammocks and daybeds.
Plant a tree
This is a great solution for providing you with some shade, but remember there may be issues with neighbours and your local council with regards to the type and size of tree you can plant. There’s also a lot of preparation and aftercare involved.
Install some water features
Some studies have found that just the sound of water can make us feel cooler, so installing water features in your garden like a fountain or pond can give you some welcome relief in the summer and cool your garden.
Have more plants than hard surfaces
Some plants reduce the air temperature around them, so it makes sense that if you want your garden to feel cooler, you should have a higher proportion of plants rather than surfaces that absorb heat. Paler paving stones stay cooler, while artificial lawns and decking can get quite hot. You can swill your decking with water, but don’t waste too much.
Tips for if you’re gardening in hot weather
- Drink cucumber water- cucumbers contain natural electrolytes which can replace fluids lost through sweating. Slice some and put it in a water jug for a refreshing fix while you’re working hard.
- Keep aloe vera plants nearby- these might be a houseplant, but they’re known for cooling the air around them so try taking them outside with you.
- Try to avoid gardening during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm). Get out and do what you need to do earlier or later in the day.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose light clothing to protect yourself from the heat and the sun. Don’t forget to slap on some sunscreen too.
- If it’s really too hot as it has been recently, only do the things that are absolutely necessary like giving your plants a drink. Leave the digging and weeding for another day.