Preparing your garden for the hot summer ahead

Spring has delivered a mix of weather to Melbournians, with very cool temperatures keeping the winter jackets in use while a splash of warm weather has kept us on our toes.

But despite the unpredictable weather we’ve had so far one thing is for sure, and that is there will be a warm summer ahead in Melbourne with the BoM predicting “a summer of severe heat” as El Nino is declared.

So what can you do to prepare your garden for the heat ahead? We’ve put together 5 tips to keep your garden cool and inviting.

1.      Shaded structures for the win.

One of the best things you can do to ensure an outdoor space is still usable in the hot months ahead is to add shade. Adding a permanent solution such as a sail or awning to your outdoor space will not only add shade but can also add value to your property. Alternatively, a cantilever umbrella can be moved in various positions and put up or down to suit your desires throughout the day. Of course, trees provide excellent shade as well, and although they may take several years to provide the desired effect, consider planting now so that they may be enjoyed in years to come.

2.      Add a water feature.

A water feature or fountain can be a wonderful centrepiece for your garden, providing a striking focal point and a beautiful ambiance to your outdoor space. Flowing water provides a greater cooling effect than still water, and fountains can cool surrounding temperatures by up to 35 meters. So if you have been considering adding a water feature to your garden now is the perfect time.

3.      Create a breeze to keep the cool.

If you have a patio or seated outdoor area adding a ceiling fan may be just what you need. A breeze, whether natural or man made, is a joy to receive on a hot summers day and can make the heat all the more bearable.

4.      Plant an oasis.

Planting a mix of plants can help keep all bases covered no matter what the weather. Australian natives can tolerate long periods of drought and don’t need much water or fertiliser, consider mixing through some lively colours with sunflowers, poppies and petunias to really help your garden pop. Remember to water early in the morning or later in the evening and give a nice long soak so that the water goes deeper into the soil.

5.      It doesn’t get much better than a pool.

If you are after the ultimate way to cool down on a hot summers day, then of course you can’t go further than adding a swimming pool to your backyard. The timeframe to have a pool installed can vary depending on the type of swimming pool (pre-engineerd, concrete, or fibreglass), your chosen builder and obtaining a pool building permit. So, if this is the option you are hoping to achieve then it would be best to get started straight away so that you can enjoy the hot summer months ahead sitting poolside.

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