We only bought our first home 2 years ago and before that we had rented 4 different properties. Therefore its only really been 2 years that we have had a garden that we actually care about maintaining, so we are still pretty new to this. I feel like maintaining a garden in the summer is pretty obvious…you mow the lawn and the only real worry is remembering not to leave the cushions out overnight on the chairs (I usually did forget though). If you have a more creative garden with plants and things then I imagine there is a lot of maintaining in the Summer but luckily mine is just grass at present. So what do you actually need to do when it comes to Autumn/Winter? How do you maintain and prepare your garden for this, a garden that, I’m going to be honest…I probably won’t be using much, if not at all in the Winter. You still however need to try and keep the damage minimum and the overall appearance as okay. This is especially important for us as you can see the garden clearly in our living room with the big french doors leading out to the garden, so there is no hiding it!
Our garden is 90% just grass surrounded by a fence. There are some patio areas, a deck, a shed and a kids playhouse slide, but it is mostly just grass and mud. This does present a lot of problems as come winter it just becomes a bog outside, especially since our garden is mostly flat with only a section along the back which is on a slope towards the fence. So it is just not possible to be out there really when it has been raining heavily. This also means any outdoor toys/play areas can make certain parts of the garden even boggier such as the trampoline. We have to move this around a couple of times as we find underneath tends to really hold the water. So on the days that we can just about step on the grass without sinking we try to move bigger toys like this around every now and again.
Cutting the grass is a funny one as Summer comes to an end as it’s hard to know when to stop doing it. We were so busy in September and weather was so random that we didn’t get to cut the grass. So now as we are well in to October we have rather long uneven grass that could really do with a cut. Getting the lawnmower out in the middle of October when no one else around appears to be doing that does feel a little bit wrong. I hate seeing my garden look untidy however, so I think I might just bite the bullet and cut it. Finding a day when I am free and the weather is okayish is an impossible task however. The grass would probably last most of winter once cut but doing that last cut (especially when you have left it a bit late) is always slightly awkward. It’s not like you can hide that you are cutting your grass, everyone nearby is alerted as soon as you turn on the lawnmower! It’s like, hey! Everyone! Look at me! I am mowing my lawn in October in the freezing cold!
Autumn really is beautiful with all the colours of the leaves that dance around in the wind. But it isn’t so pretty when your garden is covered in dead leaves and cover all of your child’s outdoor play stuff. So probably one of the most used garden tools in autumn is a leaf blower. I have actually been thinking about getting one to be honest as directly out the back of our house is basically an entire forest and our neighbours either side have various different trees so we do end up with a bit of everything in our garden. You can actually buy some rather cheap for under £50 and it would definitely help with getting them all off our garden furniture, deck and sons trampoline etc. Obviously the better the quality the easier they will be to use I would imagine. SGS do some quality ones from a budget one for around £40 right up to the super impressive more expensive ones, they have a lot of useful stuff available on there to prepare your garden (and home) for Autumn/Winter.
The other thing that we are going to do this year with it coming up to Autumn/Winter is make sure things are fixed down properly in the garden. Before we would just put things in the garden and that was that. Now we care about making sure all play equipment is properly pegged or secured and all of the easily movable toys are moved in to the shed. With the amount of Facebook posts I saw last year of people’s trampolines and children’s toys going through and even over people’s fences and some even smashing windows I don’t fancy taking that risk! Not now I own this house and garden! I can imagine the devastation of a broken window or fence right near Christmas and they aren’t really things that you can just leave for the time being. Knowing our luck it would happen to us as when money is tight that is always when something happens (usually a car breaks or our pets need an expensive trip to the vets).
I have to admit, I am more of a Summer kind of girl and the only time I am excited by the cold is if it Snows, and even then that is only dependant on what I have to do that day. A day at home is a great day for snow, a day driving around is definitely not! I don’t even really know how to prepare for Snow to be honest and I definitely am not prepared for the ice so I guess we can only do so much to get our garden’s ready for the weather to come. I am very glad I don’t currently have lots of plants in the garden as I don’t know how I would manage it.
What are your top tips for getting the garden ready for Autumn/Winter? Do you just pretend it doesn’t exist and draw the curtains? Or do you care for your garden no matter what the weather? Do you completely avoid going in the garden this time of year or are you/the little ones out there all of the time? Let me know in a comment below!