The South West London Gardener

How to Make the Most of Your Garden in the Summer


With summer finally here, there’s never been a better time to get in the garden and enjoy the Great British weather.

Summer is the UK’s favourite season, and there are plenty of reasons why, but a major factor is the fact the sun is shining, flowers are in full bloom, and we can really make the most of our gardens.

But before you pack away your woolly jumpers and get outside, here are seven top tips on how to keep your garden looking and feeling great this summer.

The Best Time of the Year to Be Outside

The lockdown of 2020 was responsible for a surge in UK gardeners.

A whopping three million new gardeners emerged during that time, and most of them have stuck around.

Spending time in a garden, basking in the sun and listening to the wildlife, is a joy, and when your garden is cared for and prepared in the best way possible, there’s really nothing better.

But summer doesn’t come without its issues for the garden.

With temperatures above 30 degrees and long periods without rain, a garden must be well cared for to make it through this season.

That’s why these tips contain a mixture of ways to keep your garden healthy and things you can do to really make sure you are maximising your garden’s potential.

Let’s take a look.

1. Look After Your Lawn

We’re a nation of lawn-lovers.

Take a wander through your village or town on a sunny day and you’re sure to hear the distant buzzing of many a mower getting to work.

This is because when a lawn is well cared for it looks great.

Luscious green and weed-free, a nice lawn can make a huge difference to a garden.

So, how do you look after your lawn?

Well, you must keep it well hydrated, and this is especially important on the hotter days of the year.

You must also prepare your lawn by using a fork and aerating it. This will stop it becoming too compact and leading to drainage issues.

And of course, don’t forget about the dreaded weeds. Keeping your grass regularly mowed is a good way of slowing down weeds, and it’s a good idea to perform a regular check and pull any up that are starting to sprout.

And finally, keep it well mowed. Grass can grow more than an inch a week in the right conditions, so staying on top of your mowing (at least once a week) is vital.

Stick to these tips and your garden will massively benefit from a lovely green lawn that you will be proud to show off throughout summer.

2. Keep Things Tidy

So, you’ve got your lawn looking great, now to declutter.

Summer is the season in which people spend the most time in their garden. Looking after plants, growing food, or simply reading a book with a cold drink, if you don’t tidy up after yourself things can begin to get messy.

Try and add some garden storage areas in which tools and other items can be neatly kept. This will make a huge difference to the look of your garden.

Not everyone has a big enough garden to have a shed, but simply providing some wall space where things can be hung up or building a small container out of railway sleepers can provide somewhere to keep your things, and also be visually pleasing.

The second aspect of keeping a garden tidy is cutting back your plants when it is needed.

If plants are dead, or if they are getting a bit too wild, it is a good idea to do a bit of pruning. It is good for the look of your garden and for your plants as the more space they can get the more sunlight and room to grow they will receive.

Of course, if you are tidying up your plants, there are great ways to remove of your green waste that will keep your garden clean and help the environment in the process. Read more about our green waste disposal tips here.

3. Choose your summer garden plants wisely

Summer is a great time for flowers as many are in full bloom and can leave your garden bursting with colour.

Some of the best flowers to grow at this time of year are the iconic sunflower, which are great for attracting wildlife and also look stunning with their bright yellow leaves.

Other plants that can add a splash of colour to a summer garden are peonies, whose big blooms are reminiscent of roses, lavender which can add a calming scent to your outside area, and the beautiful red leaves of poppies.

The key is to choose your plants, and where you’re going to plant them, wisely.

Don’t overcrowd them or else they will not grow to their full potential.

Always make sure they are planted somewhere they will receive a good amount of sunlight.

It is also wise to work out a design before planting.

Do you want to stick to a strict colour scheme, or are you happy going for a more varied approach?

Whatever plants you choose, summer is a great time to spend time with your flowers and really enjoy caring for them and watching them blossom.

It’s also a great time to get the kids involved as well!

So, don those gardening gloves, whack on some sun cream, and embrace your summer plants.

4. Build a Garden Summer House

One of the great things about summer is being able to relax in the warmth and calm of your own garden.

But it’s not always as comfy as being inside.

You rarely have the sofas and cushions that keep you cosy inside in your garden.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t.

If you build a summer house or a pergola, then you can bring the inside outdoors and create a comfortable place to enjoy some fresh air.

Whether you want a fully functional summer house that can be used as an office such as in this garden in East Sheen, or you’re looking for a pergola like this one in Wimbledon to add a spot where you enjoy a bit of shade and a spot of privacy, there are tons of options to build your ideal garden area.

When building and designing your structure, make sure you place it in the perfect spot. Avoid the middle of your garden as this can make it feel cramped and try and add it somewhere that benefits from a lot of sunlight.

If you need help or advice on this, it’s always a good idea to talk to the professionals.

Once it’s in, decorate!

A garden summer house or other structure will look great when painted and adorned with flowers, so unleash your creative side and make your structure a focal point of your garden.

5. Grow your own Food

There are not many things better for promoting a healthy lifestyle then growing your own food in your garden.

It provides healthy, nutritious food, and the act of tending for your food and helping it grow is great exercise.

It’s also a sustainable act that is great for the environment and can save you plenty of money when compared with buying all of the food from the shop.

What’s not to love?

Summer is the perfect time for growing your own herbs and vegetables.

It’s lovely to be outside in the sun and the warmth, and it is the ideal environment to promote healthy growth.

Of course, there is always the question of where to grow?

Well, it is always a good choice to find a location that gets a lot of sunlight. Make sure you have enough room for the seeds to grow, and if you have trouble bending down to look after your plants, why not try and build a raised planting bed to alleviate the pressure on your back.

It gets you outside, saves you money, and creates tasty food, and this makes creating a herb and vegetable patch a great choice for your garden this summer.

6. Make it Party Perfect

What’s better than having guests over and enjoying a garden party in the summer?

If this sounds like your perfect day, then you have to make sure your garden is ready.

If you’re eating outside, having a space where you can place a table and chairs is a must, so why not create an area of your garden where you can do this, such as this patio we built in Putney.

Give yourself a garden you can be proud of and keep the party going throughout the night with garden lighting or even a firepit to add a bit of warmth when the long summer day draws to a close.

When it comes to garden furniture, there are plenty of options of sustainable materials that can be used to make stunning tables and chairs.

If you love hosting then this has to play a big part in your summer garden design, so focus on where the best places to socialise with friends will be.

Do you have enough space to invite all of your friends?

Where can you sit and relax that gets the most sun?

Do you want to split your garden into zones and really make the most of the space?

It isn’t easy turning your garden into a great hosting space, but it’s certainly not impossible. And of course, if you can follow some of the previous tips on keeping your lawn trim and your garden tidy, your garden is sure to be the envy of your guests from the moment they arrive.

7. Add Some Colour

Summer is a season of colour.

Bright blue skies, luscious green lawns, and the reds and oranges of a summer night’s sunset are all something that makes summer the special season it is.

The more colour you can bring into your garden, the more perfect it will be throughout these warm and bright months.

And there are many sources of colour in a garden.

Firstly, the reds, purples, pinks, oranges, blues and greens of your plants that will be in full bloom are sure to add dashes of natural colour throughout your garden.

Against a backdrop of green, there aren’t many sights as striking as the bright yellow of a sunflower, or the deep red of a poppy, so embrace your colourful side and liven up your garden with some of these flowers.

But that’s not the only way of adding colour.

Why not paint the fence?

You can paint it a bright blue to blend in with the summer sky or paint it a bright colour such as orange to really make your garden eye-catching.

Painting your fence is a great idea to add colour and can also make your garden seem bigger than its actual size.

If you have planters, or a pergola, why not paint the wood?

These things are a blank canvas on which you can create any design you wish, so let your creative side run wild.

The Southwest London Gardener

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we have a growing team of professionals who can transform your garden this summer, and turn it into the perfect space for socialising, relaxing, or simply catching some rays.

From garden design, to soft landscaping and hard landscaping, we are here to help.

So, get in touch today for a free quote or just a simple chat about the project on your mind.

And if you’re a green-fingered gardening enthusiast who is looking for a change in career, there are plenty of reasons to join our team.

Visit our careers page for more information on available roles and how to apply.

Enjoy the summer!