Gardening Ideas - The Packrat Wifey

Interesting Additions To Any Garden

If you feel that you could probably be making better use of your garden, you are not alone. In many homes, the garden often becomes the one place that gets overlooked for too long. Perhaps you have recently come to realise that you are doing this with your own garden. If so, you should start to think about what you might be able to do in order to give your garden a little something extra. The good news here is that this is relatively easy to do, as long as you know where to start. In this post, we are going to look at a few of the more fancy and interesting additions you can make to your garden in order to give it a new lease on life.

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Hot Tub

Let’s say you want your garden to be more than just a garden, but a space for fun as well. If so, there are many things you can do. One of the most common and more enjoyable is to have a hot tub installed, and this is something that a lot of people turn to when they want to have something a little extra in their garden. If you do decide on this, you should make sure that you are able to look after it properly, otherwise you might find that it can cause a number of problems in the long run. A hot tub needs a certain amount of care and attention, including iONRx hot tub treatment and much more besides. If you do this, it will last a long time, and always be a beautiful part of your garden space.

Rock Garden

Although it is now something of a classic garden idea, having a rock garden is also still one of the best. The beauty of this is that it can have a way of making the whole garden seem considerably more modern, and it is also quite easy to install yourself, even if you don’t consider yourself to be all that adept at gardening. All it takes is to take a few rocks and use your imagination, and you will want to go out of your way and find a few good plants to put in there as well. If you get this right, you will be surprised at just what a profound difference it can make to your garden on the whole. It’s worth trying if you want your outdoor space to look much more interesting in no time at all.

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Seating

It might be a fairly simple thing, but having some seating in the garden can do a lot in terms of making it more interesting as a space. There is a lot to be said for the kind of seats you choose, of course, and it is worth taking your time so that you will end up with seating you are happy with. But as long as you do that, there is no reason you won’t be able to improve your garden hugely, and all with just the simple process of putting some seating there.

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Ideas For Encouraging Your Kids To Spend More Time Outside

There are lots of improvements adults can make to their gardens to encourage their kids to spend more time outside. Now is the best time to create your plan because you have a few months to get the backyard ready for the summertime. There are some suggestions below that you might like to consider, and you can always conduct some extra research online if you need some inspiration. When all’s said and done, most kids spend too much time sat in front of the television these days. With that in mind, you need to work hard to turn that situation around.

[Photo courtesy of Jesper Sørensen/flickr.com]

Create a fun play area

When it comes to creating a play area in the garden for your kids, the possibilities are endless. You could purchase swings, slides, and lots of other equipment to make the outdoor space seem exciting to the little ones. Of course, you might have to employ the services of an affordable tree arborist if you don’t have enough space at the moment. Once you remove all those unwanted trees; you can start turning your backyard into a thrilling activity hub where your loved ones can spend time with their friends. Again, if you need some extra inspiration; just look through Google images.

Start growing fruit and vegetables

Most children find mother nature fascinating, and so you could spark their imagination by growing some fruits and vegetables in your garden. Your kids will love learning about the plants and caring for them as they grow. The best thing about that idea is that, in a few month’s time; you can sit down at the dinner table and enjoy some organic produce. Put your kids in charge of watering the plants and ensure they take an active role if you want the best results. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire them to take up an agriculture hobby or something similar? Stranger things have happened!

[Photo courtesy of Ricardo’s Photography/flickr.com]

Bring wildlife into your garden

There are lots of steps you can take if you want to bring some wildlife into your garden for the kids. Firstly, you need to secure the land to ensure your neighbour’s cats can’t get into the backyard. That should encourage more birds to land and eat from your feeders. You could also dig a small pond if you wanted to attract frogs and tadpoles. Some people choose to build chicken coops and benefit from fresh eggs every morning. The idea is just to make the backyard seem as vibrant and alive as possible.

If you put those suggestions into practice; there is a decent chance your kids will peel themselves away from the TV screen a little more often. Just be sure you spend lots of time in the garden as a family when the weather improves. Building a brick barbecue is a wise move because it will mean your family can enjoy a few meals outside during the summer. You might also think about adding some waterproof outdoor speakers, so you have some entertainment in the backyard. Just create a plan and work out your budget before the spring.

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The Garden Equipment Every Homeowner Needs

As a homeowner, you probably keep your house clean and tidy and looking great. But can you honestly say the same about your garden? So many people ignore what’s going on in their garden, and that’s often because they don’t know how to tackle those kinds of outdoors challenges. Well, it all starts with getting the right equipment and learning how to use it. Here’s more information on all the garden tools and equipment every homeowner should have.

Well-Designed Garden Pruners

Pruning is something that all gardeners must to do keep their plants as healthy as they can be. Make sure you have some well-designed pruners that you can use and rely on in your garden. It can be tiring for your hands, so it’s best to use pruners that have been designed with this in mind.

Small Weeding and Digging Tools That Are Easy to Grip

Weeding and digging is something you’ll probably be doing a lot of in the garden, and that’s why you should get yourself some tools that are easy for you to grip. It’s not always easy to use cheap tools because they are not designed in a very ergonomic way. That’s why you should try to use higher quality weeding and digging tools if you can. It’s one of those things that’s worth spending a little extra money on.

A Chainsaw for Tackling Unwanted Branches

When you have branches hanging down and getting in your way all the time, it can be very frustrating. Don’t just ignore them, though. It’s easy to get rid of them when you have the right tools. A chainsaw will help you with this and any other tree problems that might need to be remedied in your garden. It’s definitely worth considering. You can buy a chainsaw from this website. It’s an investment that will serve your garden well.

Compression Gloves

You’re going to need a good pair of gloves to rely on if you want your gardening to be comfortable and easy. You will cut your hands and experience all kinds of problems if you try to garden without using gloves. It’s not even worth considering. So, be sure to find yourself a pair of compression gloves that offer that little bit extra padding and keep you properly protected. It might not sound like much, but good gloves can make a world of difference.

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A Good Lawnmower

Of course, you’re going to need to mow the lawn on a regular basis if you want your garden to look great. The lawn is the focal point of pretty much every garden out there. And when you don’t cut it correctly, it either gets brown and barren or it gets overgrown. Neither of those outcomes are particularly desirable, so you should upgrade your lawnmower for better results. There are so many high-tech options out there today.

If you own a home with a garden, you want that garden to look great. But it will only look great when you have the right tools and equipment for the task of keeping that garden in check.

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Keeping Your Garden Special To You

With the summer in full swing, being able to go out and enjoy the garden is an expected luxury. Your plants are green and flowering aplenty, and your apple tree is dropping fruit by the minute. But how easy is it to keep a garden in this condition? Even moreso, what’s with all the hot new trends on the horizon about garden styling? Whether your garden is big or small, or just consists of a few plants next to the window, here are a couple of tips on keeping it special to you.

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[Photo courtesy of Lukas/pexels.com]

Plant the flowers you want to see

It’s good to have a conundrum of colour amongst the greenery of leaves. In your garden, be sure to buy and plant the seeds of flowers you found interesting and pleasing to the eye, instead of based on reviews. If you don’t know what the flower is or the logistical side of mixing it with other species, you can do a little research and then design your garden around your own choices.

Sunflowers are a staple of the good garden dream and everyone loves the sight of them. They’ll also grow to humongous heights which is always a pleasure to see! Bring back a little of that childhood magic by including a couple of sunflowers next to your shed or at the back of the foliage.

Similarly, planting a few marigolds here and there is an easy task to accomplish. The rich golds and reds you’ll be greeted with when you step outside is both rewarding and warming.

If you’re environmentally conscious, both of these plants are great for attracting to bees to your eco system! Just be sure to use seed varieties instead of pre-grown plants from garden centres if you’re worried about dangerous elements.

Get used to mowing the lawn

Mowing the lawn can seem an arduous task, and having your legs out whilst working on the grass means you’re in for quick sting with every strimmed blade. However, mowing the lawn allows you to take pride in your work and a heavier sense of satisfaction when you see how it looks at the end. You know you’ve grafted hard to enjoy what you have. Buying a lawn mower isn’t a hard task really either. Shopping at sites such as Beacon equipment ensures you have an easy way to make a return or exchange if you experience a fault. You want to know you’re getting bang for your buck and that your efforts will pay off, so get yourself a warranty and get that summer tan you’ve dreamed of at the same time.

Having a healthier grass condition means you won’t be seeing any of the dry and brown variety any time soon. It’s so much nicer to be outside when you’re not ashamed of the weeds you have cluttering your space, and will allow your hosting abilities to skyrocket.

Keep your garden special to you by keeping in mind a few practical elements of the care process.

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Why The Lawn Is The Be All & End All Of Your Garden

A huge mistake for any greenthumb to make is to ignore the importance of grass and its role in the garden. In fact, green grass and stretches of lawn have a massive role in society that might not be clear – it is certainly something that exists in the subconscious. In fact, there might not be a better representation of the ‘American Dream’ than a green grass lawn. There is so much to do to a garden to improve its use, looks and lifespan – so it can come as a surprise to learn that everything ends with how well the grass is kept. Grass in poor health? It’s bad and it brings down the garden. You might not have known just how important grass is.

Grass? It’s the biggest crop in the United States. There is no crop more pursued or cultivated than humble green grass – and that’s because there are a lot out there who realize the importance of the lawn and the role it plays in life. It plays a bigger role than you might know or understand. When kids get shouted off for playing on a lawn, there’s a big reason for that – and that’s because people pour so much into their lawns. Behind every neat lawn lies hours and hours of work and probably thousands in money. Becoming the owner of a great lawn is certainly something to be, it’s not easy though. Well, if you have the right equipment behind you, like a zero-turn mower which you can find here and a good foundation that you don’t have to rip up, you can get it done. Even then, you can get plenty of gardening help to get you going – and enough to help maintain it.

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The key to a good lawn is not just its health, it’s yours as well. The lawn chase has grown into an obsession that frankly isn’t healthy – and considering that lawn care is a laborious process, it can be a good hobby or a distraction, but as a daily pursuit it can be crushing. The Chicago Tribune described laws as a soul-crushing timesuck and said that most of us would be better off without them! A bit harsh – but the truth is there. If we are focusing all of our efforts onto a lawn, than anything else, that might be a bit of a worry. There are plenty of negatives as well – when it comes to obsessive lawn care and the use of fertilizer, there are environmental considerations to take into account. As always the best thing to do is find the middle ground. You do not want to be caring for your lawn day in and day out because it’s not healthy to do so. Obsession, in general, isn’t healthy!

However, because the lawn is the carpet of the garden, you do need to pay attention to its upkeep if you care about your garden. However, because the lawn is the carpet of the garden, you do need to pay attention to its upkeep if you care about your garden at all. This does mean regular mowing. In fact, if your grass is poor – you might need to consider ripping it up and starting again. That’s only if it is in terrible condition – because most lawns can be resurrected from the brink of death!

The lawn foots off our garden, so if we having things like flowers, trees or a water feature, then a poorly maintained can be a massive distraction from some of these features. Off-colour grass takes the eye away from flower patches, while taller grass can hide a lot of what we would want to look at. Think of the lawn as a bonus points multiplier in that it enhances everything else, but will also subtract from everything else that is good from your garden.

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[Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org]

The lawn is especially important because of we have brought the lawn to mean. It means social status, it means money, respect and hard work. It’s a lot wrapped up into a green grass lawn – we’re judged on how well our lawns are kept. It sounds silly, but hey – that is the truth of it all. We have made lawns into a big deal!

The thing is, if you’re going to go the whole hog and put lots of effort into making your garden look good, you cannot forget about the lawn. It might just be the be all and end all of your efforts, a bad lawn will take away all your hard work.

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Laws Of Stunning Garden Design

Have you ever wondered how professionals seem to be able to create stunning garden designs? It’s not just because they’re consummate artists. It’s also to do with the fact that they learn certain laws of design, and stick to them.

The good thing about these rules is that they can be applied by anybody, whether you’re a professional garden designer, an amateur enthusiast or a parent. They’re unambiguous and easily adapted to most situations.

Law #1: Plant Similar Plants Together

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Cottage gardens with dozens of different varieties of flowers and plants emerging from a single bed have a certain charm. But, in general, the power of clustering plants together is better than mixing them up and spreading them around the garden. According to Russell Page, one of the most famous landscaping designers of the last century, it is more aesthetically pleasing to see one element in a garden repeated over and over again than to have many competing against each other. In simple English, he was saying to put your pansies in one bed and your tulips in another.

Law #2: Plant Big First, Then Small

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tree nature branch blossom plant white leaf flower evergreen botany yellow garden flora wildflower flowers petals shrub stamen rhododendron tubes delicate fragrant macro photography jasmine honeysuckle flowering plant trumpet shaped frail woody plant land plant honeysuckle family

[Photo courtesy of SJ8358/pxhere.com]

Most gardens have a range of large plants, like trees, medium-sized bushes and small shrubs and flowers. But if you’re starting from scratch, the order in which you plant these items really matters. Planting big first and then going small is important not only to ensure that you get the right composition but also from a purely practical perspective. Many larger plants, such as trees, could require mechanical diggers to plant. Hence, you don’t want delicate shrubs which could be damaged already in the ground before you get started.

Law #3: Go Big And Be Bold

Some gardeners are rather timid when it comes to the size of the features in their garden. But according to experts, it’s almost always better to go bigger. For instance, if you’re deciding whether to go with a tall or a short summer house, a long or a short pool or a wide or a narrow path, the former is almost always the better, even if you feel that you’re space-constrained. Visit Soulscape for ideas.

Law #4: Use The Golden Number

Knot Garden at Little Moreton Hall: Cheshire

[Photo courtesy of SJ8358/geograph.org.uk]

For centuries, something called the Golden Ratio has dominated artistic work. You can find it in the ancient pyramids, the Greek Parthenon and many other places all over the world. In fact, it’s so universal, many archaeologists think it’s about the closest thing there is to objective beauty in the known universe.

The Golden Ratio is just a number which describes the proportions of an object. Numerically, it’s 1:1.6, meaning that the length of one dimension is 1.6 times as long as the other. Gardeners can use this principle in their garden to create beauty, almost free of charge. For instance, raised beds can be carefully calibrated to observe the Golden Ratio, as can patios, terraces, and lawns. The ratio helps to bring a sense of order and stability and always looks good, no matter what the application.

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Prying Eyes: Tips and Tricks for Improved Garden Privacy

Most homeowners would agree they don’t want their neighbours spying on them in the garden. However, due to the layout of many housing developments these days, that task can seem impossible. Still, there are lots of things anyone can do to avert those prying eyes and create a secluded outdoor sanctuary. Some of the best ideas are in this article. So, anyone who’s struggling with their neighbours at the moment should consider the tips and tricks below. When all’s said and done, most folks spend a lot of money when purchasing their properties. So, the last thing anyone wants is to end up with an open garden that doesn’t offer any privacy.

[Photo courtesy of Akuppa John Wigham/flickr.com]

Plant some large trees

One of the easiest ways to keep any garden away from prying eyes involved planting some tall and bushy trees according to experts like those at treescience.com.au. The issue is that it can take many years for them to grow. For that reason, it’s sensible to search online for specialists who provide mature species to homeowners. Sure, those items will cost more than seeds, but the people get to benefit from a fully-grown evergreen that will create privacy straight away. Some of the best trees for residential gardens are:

  • Blueberry ash
  • Bunya bunya
  • Finger lime
  • Queensland lacebark

Still, there are many other species available, and the final decisions should come down to the homeowner’s preferences.

Invest in some new screen fencing

Erecting a new fence around the garden is always a wise move. Just be sure to opt for something that is at least six-feet high for the best results. It won’t stop people from looking out of their first-floor windows into the garden. However, it will stop those in neighboring homes from being able to see into the outdoor space when they’re hanging their washing out. Specialists from futurewood.com.au and similar sites say screen fencing doesn’t have to break the bank if people opt for a company that uses recycled timber. The benefits of new screen fencing include:

  • Improved privacy
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Easy maintenance

Free Wooden Gazebo Stock Photo
[Photo courtesy of Archie Binamira/pexels.com]

Build a solid roof structure

Sometimes the only way to hide away from prying eyes in a modern garden is to create a solid roof structure. That move could also help people to make their outdoor spaces look unique. Think of the construct as a gazebo that isn’t going to blow away during high winds. Homeowners can use the design to create a part of their garden where it’s impossible for neighbours to see what they are doing. Anyone who enjoys sunbathing outside should consider that option. The structure won’t require any sides, and so it remains open to the elements. It’s also possible to use translucent plastic for the roof to ensure the sunshine manages to break through.

All three of those concepts should assist homeowners to create more privacy in their gardens. Of course, depending on the size and shape of the space, there are many other techniques people could try. Just use some common sense and read as many articles like this one as possible for inspiration. Also, take a look around before leaving this site today as there are some fantastic garden posts readers won’t want to miss. See you next time!

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Tackling an Overgrown Garden in 6 Simple Steps

Tending to a garden can be a rewarding experience, as a well-kept garden always works well to improve the overall appearance of a house. However, it is also true that keeping a garden looking neat and tidy can be an extremely time-consuming task (and time is something that not many of us have to spare). It does not take much for a garden to start looking overgrown, and if action is not taken, things can very easily get out of hand. In many cases, the problem is deciding where to start from. If your garden is showing signs of neglect, these simple steps can help you get it back to looking its best.

Back to the Basics

Take a walk around the garden and make a note of everything that might look out of place. This includes any plants, flowers, or shrubs that have grown too far outside their original shape. Get your pruning scissors out and start cutting back. Keep an eye on the state of overgrown plants though, as in some cases they might have been starved to a point in which they will never grow back. If this is the case, simply dig them out and focus on starting with a blank soil canvas.

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[Photo courtesy of Creative Vix/pexels.com]

Know your Weeds

Again, you need to assess the damage caused by weeds before deciding your next step. If the soil looks like it has been completely invaded by weeds, it is time to take some serious action and invest in a good-quality chemical weed killer. Also, identify the type of weeds that seem to predominate. Bindweed, docks, horsetail, and nettles can be notoriously difficult to get rid of, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few tries before you can eliminate them completely. If the situation is not too bad, avoid chemical weed killers and opt for mulching instead (see next section).

By this point, you might have a large amount of garden waste in your property. It is useful to hire a man and van service to clear your garden and give you more time to focus on getting it back into shape. Specialized man and van companies like Anyjunk can also provide mini-skips and skip bags, which you can keep until your garden makeover is complete.

Mulching

Mulch has two main functions: aesthetic (as it can rapidly improve the unkempt appearance of a garden) and functional (because it can be used to treat gardens that have been overrun by weeds). To deprive weeds from light and stop them from reproducing, you will need to add a mulch layer of at least 2 inches. Whenever possible, go for an organic mulch, as it will give your garden soil additional levels of moisture and nutrients.

White Flower Close Up Shot

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Plan and Design

You can now start planning how you want your garden to look like. Think about the garden boundaries, repairing or cleaning hard surfaces like steps or paths, and fixing, discarding, or adding structural elements such as pergolas, gazebos, sheds, beds, or arches. Also, decide on whether you want a purely ornamental garden, something more functional, or a bit of both. Do you want/need trees, shrubs, vegetables, or flowers? If you usually don’t have much time to tend to the garden, keep it basic and easy to care for.

Shape It!

The job is almost done and it is now time to give shape to your garden. Use techniques like edging or framing to add structure and to keep things under control. You can also consider adding garden ornaments, like sculptures, furniture, or fountains. The trick is to be creative and to make sure that your garden reflects the style of your home.

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3 DIY Projects For Your Big Garden

If you are lucky enough to have moved into a new house with a big garden, you may be wondering what you can put in it to create a centerpiece that everyone will notice. A large garden is such an asset to any home, now all you have to do is make the most of it!

You could add something that injects some luxury, something that looks amazing or something that provides some additional living space. Here are three ideas.

A large garden structure

Large gardens can take a large external building. You can choose to construct this out of whatever materials you wish. Stone and brick buildings can take a long time to build and do not fit into every garden. If you do not have the necessary skills, you will have to pay for someone else to build it for you and cost can mount up. It is easier to build log homes than you think when you take a course. You will be taught how to follow a DIY step-by-step guide on how to build a log cabin that covers everything from selecting logs, laying foundations, and constructing a roof.

Trees in Park

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A swimming pool

Swimming pools are a spectacular addition to any garden and, depending on your local climate, they are something that the whole family can use for many months of the year. There is a current craze for chemical-free pools which are better for you and for the environment. Keep your design simple

One of the top tips is to choose a design with a flat bottom as they are much easier to dig and to clean once it is operational. Box shaped pools are cheaper to build because liner manufacturers will box weld a liner for you. Water proofing the pool is the hardest thing to achieve so it is best to limit the number of fittings that you have because they will breach the waterproofing.

A built-in barbecue and dining area

Who doesn’t love to eat outside? When you have a large garden, you can go to town on an outdoor eating area. Start with a built-in barbecue or even your own pizza oven. These make a spectacular focal point for your dining area and are practical as well. Wood fired outdoor bread and pizza ovens are delivered in sections so all you have to do is put them together. The attractive dome shape will look great in any garden and they produce tasty pizzas and freshly baked bread for your dinner party.

Then lay a patio so that your diners do not get muddy feet when they are eating. Make it big enough to take a large dining table and still leave enough room for your guests to move around.

Lighting is a big part of creating the atmosphere at your outdoor dining area. Solar powered lights are the most environmentally friendly but you may want some electrical ones as a back-up. Tea light candles complete the look for a lovely summer dinner party that your guests will not forget.

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Fine Living In The Garden

When most people think about luxury living, they imagine living rooms adorned in marble and kitchens decked out with fantastic range cookers. But the latest trend in luxury living is to move out of the house and into the garden. More and more people want to be able to enjoy their lives in the open air. It’s here that they want to entertain guests and indulge themselves in their hobbies, especially now that the summer is almost upon us.

So what can you do to live it up in your garden? Take a look at some of these ideas from the rich and famous.

Create Your Own Covered Space

Just because you’re outside, it doesn’t mean you don’t need a covered space to keep the sun at bay. As a result, it’s a good idea to invest in some sort of canopy: one that allows you to enjoy the rest of the garden while protecting you from the sun during the hottest part of the day.

[Photo courtesy of Hotel Montecatini Terme/flickr.com]

These covered spaces can be equipped with pretty much whatever you like, but at a minimum, you’ll want some seating and a table in the middle. If you’ve got the budget for it, add an outdoor TV for watching sports and a fan to keep you cool when the mercury hits 90.

Give Your Pool A Makeover

Swimming pools are a staple of a luxury garden: they’re somewhere that you can cool off on those long summer days between June and September. But pools aren’t necessarily stylish, especially if you’ve had your current pool for a while. Not only can they look out of date, but they can also get run down pretty quickly, especially if you don’t regularly maintain them. Visit Sparklean Pools to learn more about vinyl liner pool repair. Updating your pool can make a massive difference to the visual appeal of your garden and help it to feel luxurious once more.

A Wonderland Getaway

The wealthy also really love to use their gardens to escape from the rigors of the day. Having somewhere they can go to relax helps them to unwind. A wonderland getaway can take on practically any form, depending on what constitutes a getaway for you, which is what makes it so exciting.

Free Gardener reading book in armchair near plants in pots Stock Photo

[Photo courtesy of Gary Barnes/pexels]

Some people like to be surrounded by flowers and slunk off to a remote corner of the garden to read a book. Others like to create communal spaces in unusual locations, using the geological features of the backyard itself. For instance, your garden might be on a slope, next to a steam or near to a rock formation. Finally, a wonderland getaway could be a physical building, like a summer house, complete with various creature comforts.

An Outdoor Chess Set

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[Photo courtesy of Misaochaaan/wikimedia.org]

Being in the garden is all about having fun. That’s why many wealthy people make games a permanent feature of their gardens. Take chess, for instance. Large, outdoor chess sets are really good if you have children or relatives who like to play. Plus, they help keep people entertained on those long summer evenings.

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