10 tips for an inviting garden

Comfy furniture and a shade sail help define the ultimate outdoor living space. Photo: SUPPLIED.
Comfy furniture and a shade sail help define the ultimate outdoor living space. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Entertaining and using your garden all-year round can be an achievable option if some handy tips are implemented to keep it in tip-top shape.

With the traditional summer months almost over, it’s time to rejuvenate, revive and refresh your garden so it continues to flourish long after the hot weather. Keep up the watering as there’s still plenty of hot days to come and remember to add a splash of colour with potted plants or bright and bold furnishing accessories. If you create a space and garden that you want to be in then the chances are maintaining it will become less of an effort.

In talking gardening, furnishings and decor the national team at Bunnings Warehouse share their top tips to keeping a garden green and in use day in and day out.

Starting with the basics is top of the list, says national garden care buyer David Hardie. With a defined space of lawn, plantings and perhaps some paths or hard surface areas, the garden will start to come to life, he says. From this it is easier to keep the garden healthy and lush throughout summer:

1. Mow weekly: Grass grows much faster in summer so mow the lawn regularly to keep it looking neat and tidy. Mowing the lawn once a week will keep it healthy and remove weeds before they have a chance to reproduce.

2. Nurture plants: Pay extra attention to plants in hot, dry weather by using mulch and fertiliser to help the soil retain nutrients and moisture.

3. Keep weeds at bay: Weeds are the bane of every gardener’s existence and they become particularly aggressive in summer. To combat weeds, use extra mulch on the soil during the warmer months and mow the lawn regularly to stop them from spreading.

4. Water regularly: Regularly water your garden to prevent it from drying out over the summer months, taking into consideration state water regulations. Have a watering can readily available to top up potted plants and flowers that look thirsty and in need of a little extra care.

5. Consider a scentscape: Enjoy the fresh scent of herbs by planting seeds to grow herbs such as thyme, sage and tarragon that will withstand the warm weather without requiring a great deal of maintenance.

6. Save water: Save money and recycle water by using a rain tank to collect water to use on your garden during dryer periods.

Add your own personality to the garden, says national garden decor buyer Matt Hoffmann. Do this through colour scheming, by adding bright pots or flowers in your favourite shades, and adding the right furniture and lighting for your needs. You can change colours and plantings when the season changes.

7. Pot your plants: Update your outdoor area by adding some extra greenery with potted plants. Choose pots with colourful designs or get creative with a DIY project and paint terracotta pots to brighten up the space.

8. Keep it bright at night: Get the most from your garden both day and night with outdoor lighting. Solar lighting can be used to line pathways and table-top lanterns will provide mood lighting for entertaining guests at night.

With the garden defined it’s time to furnish the space, says national furniture buyer Ben Shanley. If you want to use the space year-round then make sure you have a plenty of shade. A permanent structure could the way to go to handle winter rains and strong breezes. Choose versatile and hardy furnishings that will encourage you to relax and spend time in your garden:

9. Entertain outdoors: Add a lounge and alfresco table setting to your outdoor space to comfortably seat guests and make the most of the long, balmy nights. Select furniture that is water resistant and UV-stabilised to protect against corrosion.

10. Create shade: Stay sun smart and provide sufficient shade for guests by investing in a pergola or shade sail that will provide protection from sun and rain all year round. If you require a less permanent option, choose a portable umbrella that can be moved around as needed and taken down when not required.