The glorious summer has arrived and South Africans have come out of hibernation to relish in the hot days and warmer evenings. As we head closer to the festive season, it’s time to bring out the cushions, set the outside table and throw some coals onto the fire. Yes braai season, a firm favourite on every South African’s calendar, is here and is set to stay for a few months.
Before you start inviting friends and family over for an afternoon of lazing next to the pool, sipping cocktails and enjoying great food, Life is a Garden has put together a few things you may need to consider to transform your garden it into the entertainer’s paradise you desire.
Add some shade
The summer days lure us out of the shelter and bring us closer to nature as we move outdoors. However, in the hot sun, some shade will be a welcome reprieve for all. You can create a tranquil, shaded area in the garden by placing a bench under a large tree or put a large umbrella at the table where you can enjoy your meal and spend hours socialising with guests. If you’re looking for something a little cosier, place some outdoor couches under a shade cloth near the braai where the aroma of the braai and crackling of the fire will add to the atmosphere.
The soothing sound of water
A water feature is a must for every garden especially in the summer months when the gentle flow of burbling water creates a tranquil paradise. Not only will the water attract the birds to your garden throughout the year, but the soothing sound of the water spilling over also has a calming effect on the mind. Friends and family will love spending time in your garden, enjoying the relaxing sound of water flowing as it provides an escape from a busy lifestyle.
Grow your herbs
Whether your garden is big or small, you’ll earn serious bragging rights with a herb garden planted near your entertainment area. Not only will the fresh aroma of the herbs delight your senses, but the herbs will also provide an abundance of flavours to enhance your meal or dress up your cocktails. Plant plenty of basil, mint and thyme as these are great accompaniments for gin cocktails and can perk up salads, sides and meat dishes instantly.
Flowers for every occasion
As your garden will provide the backdrop to your outdoor paradise, plant some beautiful aromatic flowers in flower beds, decorative pots and baskets around the garden. These will go well against a lush lawn and dark green foliage such as small shrubs and bushes. As the table will be a central focus while you’re entertaining, dress it up with some glass vases filled with freshly picked flowers from your garden. Add a few candles to add some soft light and atmosphere in the early evening.
Cosy up next to the fire
While the evenings are fairly warm, they can be much cooler than the hot summer days. A fire pit will add an element of warmth and keep the conversation going well into the dark. Place a fire pit on a solid surface in the centre of your garden and add some comfy seats with fluffy blankets around the fire for your guests to cuddle up while enjoying the night summer breeze.