If you are a big fan of taking time out to de-stress, and feel that the life-work balance is out of kilter, you need to restore and replenish your energy levels; a whole week between weekends can feel like a year, especially with the added constant demands of work commitments, small children and animals. Having something on your doorstep is essential to enable you to stay on top of these stresses, easily.
Sometimes the mere thought of having to go out and about can feel like a mammoth task, but now is the time to take full advantage of the better weather and the lighter evenings: hose down the garden furniture, re-waterproof the umbrella and invest in some outdoor candles to help set the evening ambiance. You are more than likely to have your own version of paradise outside of the back door that is accessible any day of the week, and at any time of the day: a few stolen minutes can do wonders for the soul. The great outdoors is on your doorstep, and with the addition of cleverly placed pot plants, a real oasis of calm can be achieved as a direct contrast to the busyness of daily life. Treating the outside as an extension to your interior living space is an opportunity to express your style and panache to a space that has historically has been considered separate to the living areas.
The garden can be your own personal go to spring and summer retreat, but the whole family can enjoy the space; seeing the fruits of your labour with summer bulbs flourishing, herbaceous borders creating dramatic effect, and the cuttings you have nurtured taking a real hold. When the plants are satisfyingly established enough to support the butterflies, a great and exciting thing to be involved with is the butterfly count, this will encourage the children to love being outside and develop an affinity to nature, whilst you can take the opportunity to sit in the garden in observation mode.
Busy working parents often find themselves wondering how they can fit all the household chores into the day, and are split between wanting to spend quality creative time with the children, but not at the expense of the standards for the home. However, investing in some patio furniture means that most mealtimes can be had outside, and less time can be spent cleaning up: all the family can enjoy the extra time this creates. It can feel like you are on holiday every meal time you have al fresco, and that gives great joy and creates wonderful memories.
With extra time spent outside exploring and learning more about their environment the children are exhausted by bedtime, which affords Mummy and Daddy a little more ‘us’ time, and perhaps even a little more wine time. The joys of spring and summer are to be embraced, but then again, the joy should be found all year round and not limited to half of the year; if only we could bottle that spring in our step and the summer fragrances that greet us each day.
Garden bench image by ShutterStock.