We love to dine al fresco, but there’s more to your summer garden than a high-maintenance extension to your dining room. Make the most of that outdoor space with some seasonal activities that will truly make the sunshine special
TRADITIONAL OUTDOOR GAMES
Wooden, rustic and far more attractive than swing ball, Mölkky is a Finnish garden game suitable for all ages, and combines chance and skill. Players must knock over pins to try and score exactly 50 points, with some quirky rules that make for a lot more fun than traditional bowling games.
GARDEN EXERCISE IN THE MORNING
You don’t need expensive equipment to boost your fitness, as simple stretches and activities that get you moving in the morning are enough for a happiness-boosting dose of endorphins. Try some yoga poses in the garden to get you started – there’s nothing like fresh air to make the most of breathing exercises!
CREATE A G&T HAVEN
Why not make that ice-cold gin and tonic even better with garnishes from your own garden? Lemons might be a struggle, but it’s perfectly possible to grow your own cucumbers for a refreshing addition to your cocktail, along with mint to really pep it up. The star-like flowers of borage can be frozen into ice cubes, and practically glow when popped in the glass. Perfect!
BUILD A WILDLIFE HOTEL
With pollinating insects facing a steep decline, help bolster their numbers by building a bug hotel. For the frame, recycle anything that you can find – the scruffier, the better, as nooks and crannies are perfect for all kinds of bugs. Be sure to include bamboo canes for solitary bees, and if creepy-crawlies aren’t your thing, fill with teasels, wool and straw, which will instead attract nest-building bird species to your garden.
MAKE ART WITH PRESSED FLOWERS
Botanical art is all the rage, and making your own pressed flower frame is as easy as picking your favourite flowers from the garden, and placing them in a book. Be patient, and after just a couple of weeks, they’ll be pressed enough to frame.
(Try to find flowers with a range of shapes and textures for an impactful display.) Once dried, place them between the sheets of glass in a metal-rimmed frame for a classic ‘herbarium’.