Super-charge your summer garden

Summer has been making a few appearances lately, so it's time to get our gardens ready for the good weather ahead. Whether you’re looking to impress the neighbours with a garden party, cook the perfect barbecue or just make your outdoor space more user-friendly, we’ve scoured the top trends of 2017 for super-charging your garden. 

Import some hygge

Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates as 'cosy', and it’s taken the interior design world by storm. This summer, you can take it outside, too. Try out some flaming fire pits, snug blankets and sectioned-off seating areas for private al fresco dining or stolen moments at garden parties. 

Get smart

Smart technology is changing the way we live. From climate control to ambient sound systems, cutting-edge homes are finding new ways to create the perfect space. It doesn’t stop at your back door, though. Automated sprinklers and moisture detectors ensure your garden stays lush and perky in dry spells. Equally, 'hyperlocal weather sensors' like the Netatmo help you choose the perfect day to be outside. 

Roll out a Big Green Egg

If you want something a bit more exciting than a run-of-the-mill BBQ in 2017, it might be time to 'go green'. The Big Green Egg is a US invention that’s heating up the world of al fresco cooking. It’s a versatile ceramic outdoor cooker that combines ancient Chinese tradition with an American love of the grill to deliver the perfect barbecue. It'll cook almost anything. And it looks like a big egg.

Grow your own grub

Every outdoor meal needs a good garnish, so why not grow it yourself? With movements across the country looking to reduce food waste, home farming is becoming increasingly popular. Join the fun and plant yourself some hardy perennial herbs for a quick and easy start.

Mind the bugs

There's (almost) nothing more annoying than being bitten by pesky insects when you're trying to enjoy a glass of Pimms on the terrace. So here are some ideas to make these unwelcome guests buzz off. Table-top candles scented with citronella, eucalyptus or peppermint are great bug deterrents, and brands like Neudorff and Sipcam are producing ever more eco-friendly pesticides so you can clean up with a conscience.