Summer is finally on the way and that can only mean one thing â€“ itâ€™s nearly BBQ time! But it also means that now is the time to start sprucing up your garden to ensure you can make the most of those lazy days and long, light evenings.
Many Brits herald the arrival of warmer weather with outdoor cooking and eating. Garden parties become the norm and huddling in front of the fire with dinner on your knees is replaced with al fresco meals that go on for hours.
So to make the most of your garden this summer follow our top tips on getting ready for the sun.
If you already have garden furniture dig it out of the shed and assess its condition. If you have bought well it should last for many years, but if itâ€™s looking a little worse for wear you have two options; make do and mend or buy new.
A quick blast with the sanding paper and a lick of paint can work wonders for wooden chairs and benches that are past their best.
But if metal items are rusting and becoming weak you will be better off buying new, high-quality pieces.
Be sure to have a shaded area in your garden so everyone can get a little relief from the blazing sunshine.
Create a picnic area under a tree or use a gazebo or parasol to get out of the heat. Even a blanket thrown over a fence and held up with the washing line at the other end can do the trick!
If your gardening skills leave a lot to be desired then inject some colour with decorations.
Think bunting, big bean bags and cushions on the lawn, table centres using bought flowers, and napkins crudely torn from old sheets or linen.
Whip out the sewing machine and get creative!
The evenings will stay light for many hours but if your parties have a habit of going on to the early hours you will need some artificial light.
Candles are great but only after the kids and pets have gone to bed. String a row of fairy lights over your gazebo or use solar-powered lamps that stick into the soil or grass to bring a little illumination.
Games and entertainment
Whoever your guests are it is wise to have some sort of entertainment on-hand in case the conversation dries up.
Bats and balls should keep the little kids happy, and for big kids why not try some over-sized garden games like Jenga or chess. Twister is a sure winner, whatever the age range.
Finally, but most importantly, make sure you have a decent BBQ to cook on. Debenhams BBQs come in all shapes and sizes and there are chimneas and fire pits too for a bit of extra warmth after the sun goes down.
Whatever you get up to in your garden this summer donâ€™t forget the sun screen and insect repellent!