Whether your garden is a big open space, an indoor urban jungle or your well-tended-to plot at the local allotments, your green space is your sanctuary which has probably been a saviour this summer with the conditions of lockdown. We’ve been lapping up the sun rays and enjoying the heat in recent weeks, but did you know the rise in temperatures had led to some difficulty for water companies? As our demand for water naturally increases, it puts huge pressure on the water companies to process the high quality drinking water that we’re all used to. So, saving water in the garden is more important than ever.
It’s warm (probably an understatement), and we’d all love to travel abroad to lay by the pool. For many of us, ‘it who shall not be named’ has scuppered our plans. We’re at home for the summer, which means we need to bring the fun of going away, into our gardens. However, rather than busting out the paddling pool or the hosepipe, we’ve created a list of fun activities to do that don’t include water – as well as some extra hacks to stay cool in hotter temperatures.
Tips for staying cool in the heat
Cooling down, often makes us think about water; but when we’re trying to save water, how can we keep cool? We’ve got some nifty hacks for you:
- Put damp cloths in the freezer and rotate them throughout the day for a permanent cooling blanket.
- Place a bottle, two-thirds filled with water, in the freezer the day before and top it up with tap water the next day for consistently cold drinks.
- Fill a sock with uncooked rice and put it in the freezer to take to bed at night.
- Find some shade! Put an umbrella up in the garden while its early so that the area remains cooler than the rest of the garden as the day heats up.
- Stay hydrated, whether that’s with drinking water or watery foods such as watermelons and cucumbers.
- Wear breathable clothes. Active-wear is usually best for this, but make sure you still protect your skin with sun lotion in the sunshine.
Activities to enjoy in the garden without water
We usually reserve our gardens for the warmer months of the year. The weather is nicer, the days are brighter; who can blame us! However, as soon as those back doors open, out come the water guns, the pools and the sprinklers for some water fun. So we asked ourselves the question, is it possible to enjoy the garden in the warmer months and not use a crazy amount of water?
Did you know that having a hosepipe on for 10 minutes can use 170 litres of water? How long does it take to fill your paddling pool or hot tub?
There are plenty of ways to have fun while saving water in the garden. Take a look at our favourite ideas.
Get painting the pots
Gardeners often have a lot of plant pots in the garden; whether they’re in use or stored in the shed. So why not, for some outdoor fun, find a shady spot to sit in and paint them. The kids can enjoy getting messy, and you can get some (probably questionable) beautiful plant pots!
If you can’t go to the beach, bring it to you! Use your paddling pool for a sandbox instead and have endless fun building castles and burying toes. If your kids are slightly older, you might capture their attention by doing some cool science experiments such as erupting volcanos!
Bird watching and bug hunting
There are plenty of resources to download online with this one. Write a list of the birds and bugs you want to find and explore. There’s a record-high number of butterflies to spot this year and wildlife is thriving due to lockdown. You can even set up little areas to attract wildlife such as food stops, watering holes and shady corners.
Whack out the chalk
Sometimes crayons just aren’t enough fun so let’s go big at home. Chalk is great fun on pavements for making hopscotch routes or just general doodles. Why not go one step further and colour the brick on the house? Turn your boring brown bricks into a colourful rainbow to support our key workers.
Is it time to learn garden chores?
It might be the summer holidays, but for older children, household chores are important. That fence which desperately needs a new coat of paint or a shed that you can barely get in. Perhaps you haven’t tended to your shrubs and they’re not somewhat overgrown? If they’ve flowered, now is the right time to think about starting pruning to promote healthy growth for the following year. Could you get your older children involved in learning how to tend to a garden?
Read the book!
We’ve all got one. Sitting in the corner, or on our bedside table. That book which you’ve been trying to read for years. Find a shady spot and crack it open. Now the kids are saving water in the garden with their activities it’s time for you to enjoy some well-deserved you time. You could even pour yourself a glass for ultimate relaxation.