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Transforming Your Garden into a Summer Haven

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Transforming Your Garden into a Summer Haven

As the school term is not far from drawing to a close, families across the country may both dread and eagerly anticipate the upcoming summer holiday. 

This extended break is a prime opportunity for children to spend quality time with friends and family, creating lasting memories and enjoying a plethora of outdoor activities. With the right setup, your garden can become the ultimate playground for kids and a relaxing retreat for adults. 

From BBQs to paddling pools, and thoughtful garden designs that include awnings and pergolas for shade and comfort, here’s how you can make the most of this precious time.

Embracing the Great Outdoors

The long summer holiday invites children to revel in the freedom of outdoor play. Transforming your garden into a hub of activity can keep them entertained and happy. 

One of the most enjoyable activities during this period is hosting backyard BBQs. These gatherings provide an excellent opportunity for families to come together, savour delicious food, and create fun memories.

Crafting a kid-friendly menu with options like grilled vegetables, fruit skewers, and mini burgers ensures that even the youngest guests are well-fed and happy. Engaging children in the cooking process, perhaps by letting them assemble their own kebabs or pizzas, adds an extra layer of excitement. 

While the food cooks, lawn games, such as frisbee, badminton, or a scavenger hunt, can keep the young ones entertained. For an added twist, consider setting up a themed BBQ, like a Hawaiian luau or a cowboy cookout, complete with decorations and appropriate activities.

Another great way to maximise the holiday fun is by transforming your garden into a playground. Paddling pools are a perfect way for kids to cool off on hot days, offering endless hours of splashing and laughter. To ensure safety, always supervise younger children. 

Complement the paddling pool with water toys, such as sprinklers, water balloons, and water guns, to extend the fun. Setting up a small splash pad or installing a temporary slide into the pool can make the experience even more exciting.

Investing in garden toys, like trampolines, swing sets, and sandpits, can provide a diverse play environment that keeps children engaged and active. To keep things fresh, rotate toys and equipment regularly, introducing new activities like a mini soccer goal, a climbing wall, or a balance beam.

Creating a Comfortable Outdoor Space

While children are occupied with their games and activities, creating a comfortable outdoor space for adults to relax and socialise is essential. A well-designed garden can serve as a peaceful retreat, and incorporating elements like awnings and pergolas can significantly enhance the comfort and appeal of your outdoor areas.

Awnings are an excellent solution for providing shade and shelter. These versatile structures come in various styles and sizes, and their retractable feature makes them particularly convenient. 

Retractable awnings can be extended during the hottest parts of the day to provide much-needed shade and retracted in the evening to enjoy the cool night air and stars. Fixed awnings, on the other hand, offer permanent shade and can create a covered dining or seating area. 

For added convenience, motorised awnings, that can be controlled with a remote or smartphone app, are available, allowing you to adjust the shade with ease.

The benefits of awnings extend beyond just providing shade. They offer protection against harmful UV rays, making your outdoor spaces safer for children. By keeping areas cool, they enhance comfort, allowing families to spend more time outside. 

Furthermore,awnings can also be used over patios, decks, and even windows to reduce indoor temperatures, providing a multi-functional solution for heat management.

are awnings waterproof

Pergolas: Adding Style and Functionality

Pergolas are another fantastic option for creating shaded and inviting outdoor spaces. These structures can be customised to suit any garden style, from traditional to modern. Traditional pergolas with an open lattice design can be adorned with climbing plants like wisteria or ivy, offering natural shade and a touch of greenery. 

Modern pergolas, often featuring sleek lines and materials, like metal and glass, provide a contemporary look that complements modern homes. For those who enjoy DIY projects, pergola kits are available, providing all the necessary components and instructions for building your own structure.

Pergolas not only add aesthetic appeal to your garden but also create defined spaces that can be used for various purposes, such as dining, lounging, or even as an outdoor play area for children. 

With the addition of retractable canopies or curtains, you can control the amount of shade and privacy, making pergolas a flexible and stylish addition to any garden. To enhance their functionality, consider adding built-in seating or integrating a pergola with your existing deck or patio.

Pergola for Patio or Garden

Designing Your Outdoor Oasis

Creating a functional and enjoyable outdoor space involves thoughtful design and consideration of various elements. Comfortable seating is essential for ensuring that your garden is a welcoming retreat. Combining different types of seating can cater to various activities and preferences. 

A sturdy dining set is perfect for family meals and gatherings, while lounge furniture, like sofas, armchairs, and hammocks, provide cosy spots for reading, napping, or chatting. Portable options, such as bean bags, folding chairs, and cushions can be easily moved around the garden as needed, adding versatility to your seating arrangements.

In addition to seating, providing adequate shade is crucial. Beyond awnings and pergolas, umbrellas can offer adjustable shade wherever it’s needed, while shade sails provide a stylish and flexible option that can be attached to posts, walls, or trees. 

Planting trees and tall shrubs can create natural shade over time, enhancing the garden’s aesthetic and ecological value. Consider fast-growing species, like silver birch or Japanese maple, for quicker results.

Outdoor lighting extends the usability of your garden into the evening hours and adds ambiance and safety. String lights create a magical, fairy-tale atmosphere, while solar lights are eco-friendly and easy to install, making them ideal for illuminating pathways, seating areas, and garden beds. 

Lanterns and candles can be used for a cosy, intimate feel during outdoor dinners and gatherings. For a dramatic touch, install uplights to highlight trees and architectural features, or use underwater lights in your pond or pool.

To make your garden a truly inviting space, consider adding outdoor rugs to define seating areas and add a splash of colour. Throw pillows and blankets provide additional comfort and can be easily stored when not in use. 

For cooler evenings, outdoor heaters or fire pits can extend your time outside, making your garden a year-round haven. Incorporating features like an outdoor kitchen or bar area can also enhance your entertaining options, making your garden the go-to spot for family and friends.

Keeping Children Entertained

Ensuring that children stay entertained and engaged throughout the holiday involves setting up different zones in your garden. An active play area can be designated for physical activities and games. 

Providing sports equipment such as soccer goals, basketball hoops, and tennis nets encourages active play, while setting up a fun and challenging obstacle course using cones, tunnels, and balance beams can offer hours of excitement. 

Introducing a garden gym with items like monkey bars, rope swings, and climbing frames can also promote fitness and fun.

Encouraging creativity with a dedicated area for arts and crafts can also keep children happily occupied. Stocking up on craft supplies like paints, markers, and various materials for projects allows children to explore their artistic side. 

An outdoor easel can provide a space for painting and drawing while enjoying the fresh air. Consider adding a chalkboard wall or a mud kitchen for more hands-on creative play.

Fostering a love for nature through activities that connect children to the environment can be both educational and enjoyable. Giving children their own patch of garden to plant and tend teaches them about responsibility and the wonders of nature. 

What’s more, a bug hunt, complete with magnifying glasses and bug jars, can turn a simple garden walk into an exciting adventure of discovery. Additionally, setting up a bird feeder or a butterfly garden can help kids learn about local wildlife and ecosystems.


The big summer holiday at the end of the school term is a treasured time for families to bond, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. By creating a comfortable and inviting garden space with the help of awnings and pergolas, you can ensure that everyone has a fantastic summer. 

Whether it’s hosting lively BBQs, splashing in a paddling pool, or simply lounging under the stars, a well-designed outdoor area can make all the difference. Embrace the sunshine, make lasting memories, and provide your children with a holiday they’ll never forget.

If you are interested in purchasing an awning or pergola and you have any questions, don’t wait to contact us. Our professional team at Fraser James Blinds are always on hand and more than happy to help. Alternatively, if you would prefer to arrange a home visit in one of the areas we cover, it can be arranged at a time that works best for you.

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