If you're looking for something to keep you occupied in isolation, why not give your garden a bit of a spruce up? These ideas won't break the bank, either
If you've been trying to stay busy during self-isolation, by now your house is probably looking the best it has in years. You might have reorganised all your cupboards, repainted the living room, and finally got round to hanging all those pictures, but all of a sudden you're thinking, 'What next?'
The good news is, with the weather beginning to feel a little more spring-like, now is a great time to turn your attention to your outdoor space. Not only are there plenty of jobs to keep you busy, but you'll also be much more likely to spend time in it afterwards, not an insignificant reward when we're confined to our own homes.
We've rounded up a few ideas to inspire your space, whether you have a large garden or a few pots on a balcony, all for under €50.
Your outdoor space can be enjoyed well into the evening with some simple lighting. We love these solar-powered ones from Ikea, as you won't have to fuss around with wires, and they can easily be taken in and out as you need them.
The lantern style is also great for creating a relaxed vibe, which is definitely something we crave at the moment. Solvinden oval solar-powered pendant lamp, €9.75, Ikea.
There are so many ways to make your outdoor space more welcoming for wildlife. Something as simple as installing a bird feeder or bee box like this one from Designist, €40, is a great start, and you'll soon see lots of little visitors start to appear regularly.
This bird feeder is perfect for feeding smaller birds. Fill it with nuts and seeds in the warmer months when they have little ones to feed or with fat balls during winter. Handmade from willow, it costs €35 from Irish Design Shop.
To encourage more insects and pollinators, you can plant some flowers that they really love, such as lavender, buddleja, foxgloves and dahlias. This Dahlia, 'Fascination' is available to order online as tubers from Gardens4U, €4.50. For a larger project, you could even dig a pond, which will support a huge range of creatures from tiny bugs up to larger mammals. The Wildlife Trust has a guide on how to do so here.
Although we can't make a trip to the garden centre at the moment, large supermarkets such as Tesco and Lidl are starting to get spring-flowering plants in stock, so why not pick up a few during your next food shop? Whether potted in a window box or in a bed beside your garden path, they're such an easy way to make your garden feel bright and cheerful, and they're usually under €10.
As well as this, plenty of nurseries and garden centres are still delivering, so do check if your local one is if you'd like to buy some larger plants and shrubs.
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Never have seeds sold as well as during the last few weeks. This crisis is really making people think about growing their own food, even to a limited extent. Our three shops remain open, with many precautions in place. A lot of customers are phoning in their orders or placing them online, or even ordering from their cars: so it’s quite possible to make 100% contactless purchases. We’re also still delivering bulk orders of compost, topsoil, rollout grass and gravel. The message: life goes on.
For less instant gratification, why not buy some packets of seeds and get growing? You can plan for some summer flowers or vegetables you can harvest in the coming months, and of course, seeds can easily be ordered online. This range from Howbert & Mays is €2.95 each, and includes fruit and vegetables as well as flowers.
It's important, however, to do a little research before you buy. Be realistic about the conditions in your garden— if a plant needs sun for most of the day and you only get a few hours, it won't survive. Check too if your seeds will need to be planted indoors first and moved outside later, or whether you can go straight into the ground.
Now that the weather is warm enough to sit outside, you'll need somewhere to sit and enjoy your space. Whether you prefer deckchairs for sun lounging or more upright chairs for eating outside, this side table is a perfect accompaniment for resting a book, a morning coffee, or a cold drink on a warm day. It also folds flat for storage when it's not in use. Metal outdoor table, €34 , The Blue Door.
Whether you have a large garden or a little balcony, nice pots will really make a difference to how it looks. These terrazzo cube planters, from €39.95 from The Outdoor Scene, are modern and will look smart in any space.
Featured image: Ikea
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