Sunday 18 October 2020

Creating A Family Garden You Can Use All Year Round

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During the summer many of us spend lots of time in our gardens, soaking up the sunshine, watching the kids play, enjoy delicious barbeques and relaxing in hammocks. However when the colder weather creeps in our garden seems to become a little abandoned and unused which I think is a huge shame. Our gardens are a large part of our homes and whilst the sun might not always be shining, that doesn't mean you can't make the most of your garden all year round! 

There are so many ways in which we can utilise our garden spaces, offering more usable space in your home as well as making your garden space accessible all year round. Below I am sharing with you a few ways in which you can transform your garden into a space you and your family can use all year round. 

Have a mixture of grass and hard standing areas

Nobody wants a muddy garden or to get soggy feet walking around in it! Having a mixture of grass area's to enjoy in the summer months and hardstanding areas such as patio, gravel, concrete or bark to enjoy during wetter months is a super practical idea. Having a patio area or hardstanding area will allow you to have garden furniture out all year round too without risk of it sinking into soft ground and even a space to enjoy an autumn barbeque with friends if you wanted too. 

If you have a garden that requires you to walk across grassy or muddy areas to access different parts of the garden it could be a good idea to consider having a path put in. This is something companies such as Ridge concrete can help with and will mean you can access your garden without getting muddy feet or damaging the grass areas. 

You can also use a process called scarifying to revive tired looking grass. Whilst the process may sound terrifying it can actually be a vital maintenance technique to remove moss and other dead organic material that may be leaving your lawn looking less than desirable. Whilst it is a "trust the process" technique, grass is very quick to repair itself and in no time at all you will have a much healthier look lawn! 

Outbuildings or a Garden shed

Making use of your garden all year round doesn't just have to be about using it to relax or entertain in it. If you work from home, making the most of your garden space could mean that it can actually provide a space for a home office, work space or man cave that you cannot fit within your main home area. 

Outbuildings and garden sheds have become increasingly popular over recent years, providing space for people to have their own home offices or work spaces away from the madness and stress of their home but still actually within their home grounds. It is a great way for storing important work items from little hands or just to have a place to escape to for some peace and quiet, work calls or any other tasks you may have to carry out for work. 

Alternatively if you don't work from home you could create an outdoor bar, a games room, a large greenhouse, a workshop or even an outdoor kitchen, in fact the possibilities are really endless. Whilst building something like this will of course take up some of your garden space it will actually likely add a more useful space to your home as well as possibly adding value too. Just make sure you check out any permissions you might need for building any new structures. 

Outdoor heating 

It doesn't matter how much you love the great outdoors, relaxing in the garden isn't very relaxing if you are absolutely freezing the whole. Lets face it wrapping up in your winter best just to sit in the garden isn't exactly appealing so having some form of heating available is a great idea. You could use something like a patio heater that is a tall heat source usually run via a gas bottle or electricity. These are good at expelling heat over a larger area such as a patio as the heat usually disperses from the top and so can spread around. 

Another option is an outdoor wood burner. These give a lovely "camp fire" feel to any garden with a real burning fire crackling away it really is a lovely comforting feeling and sound. Wood burners of course pump out lots of heat and are also great for burning up any unwanted dry wood and logs too. My kids love using our wood burner to make smores or toast marshmallows and this can be a great way to end any barbeque with family and friends whilst keeping warm at the same time. 

Create an area that is undercover 

One of the main reasons people may not want to use their gardens during colder, wetter months is because of the rubbish weather. Lets face it nobody wants to be sat outside getting wet or battered by the wind! One way to still be able to enjoy the garden, even in the rain, is by creating an area that is undercover in some way. This could be an awning of some kind, an outbuilding, slanted roof that extends from the house or even a beautiful pergola that can be covered in beautiful evergreen trailing plants. 

When creating an undercover area it is important to ensure all of your plans comply with building restrictions, especially if you are making any big permanent building changes. It is also good to think about the weather and whether your chosen undercover area will be able to withstand heavy rain and winds? Products such as wind sails and large garden umbrellas look great but risk being broken in harsher weather so would be no good for wintertime. Whereas building a steel awning will be a much more solid structure but may require extra permissions to construct. But it’s not just about being covered up, sometimes you need to think about the sides too (such as the window blowing). So if you’re really wanting to focus on enjoying the garden all year round, then you could look into garden rooms as well. Overall, when it comes to enjoying the garden throughout all seasons and nearly all temperatures, you’ll need to think about all the aspects that go into comfort- just like for a house.

Evergreen plants and shrubs 

Adding colour to your garden and super important, lets face it nobody wants to go sit out and enjoy a garden that is boring, dull and full of bare twigs and plants. So using a range of evergreen plants and shrubs such as Conifers, Magnolia Grandiflora, Trachelospermum Jasminoides or even Lavender which will not only look great but offer a lovely fragrance in your garden too. 

You could either plant these directly into the ground or in plant pots dotted around the garden which can be moved around depending on whether they require sun or shade etc. If you are worried about caring for real plants you could always invest in some beautiful artificial plants in pots or even hanging baskets. You can pick up some really realistic artificial flowers and plants now which look so real but will stay beautiful, bright and vibrant all year round, even in the great British weather! 

It is important to think about exactly what you want to use your garden space for both in the summer and winter months as the most important thing is that it is practical for you and your family. If you plan on having things like outdoor heating or summer furniture, think about outdoor storage so you can store these items during the months they won't be in use too. There is no point having a lovely garden space if it is cluttered with things you are not using! 

I would love to hear how you guys make your gardens work for you all year round, or if you think any of the above ideas would help you enjoy your garden space work better. Let me know in the comments below. 


**This is a collaborative post.**


  1. Great ideas. I am looking into outdoor heating as we love sitting outdoors but it is getting bitterly cold now!

  2. We don't tend to use the garden in the winter as it gets quite waterlogged and we have large trees behind it which means it doesn't really get the chance to dry up

  3. We really need to re-do our garden, but I'm not very green fingered haha, maybe next year.

  4. These are some lovely ideas, I do love our garden and I would love something like a patio heater so I can sit out when it gets a bit colder!

  5. Being able to utilise the garden in all weather is so important, we still have some things need doing like lighting, heating as well as getting some hard standing areas. But we are getting there slowly