In summer, we all spend much more time outdoors, and creating zoned areas in your garden will help make the most out of the space you have, from sprawling lawns to a small backyard.

Whether you want somewhere for the children to play, to have a morning cup of coffee or an evening meal, or a relaxing spot to settle down with a book, think about how you can zone your plot into different sections.

Look around your garden - even in a small area you can usually find somewhere that would work as a relaxation spot. Place an arch in one corner and cover with jasmine, roses or honeysuckle for a scented seating space, or hang a hammock between a pair of trees. On a balcony, put a small table and chair among your flowering pots and baskets to create a peaceful reading zone.

Carve out a dining area for eating alfresco – whether you have a large rattan dining set or a stylish bistro table and two chairs on a patio. Place your table near a hedge or fence for privacy and to help shield noise – even better, cover the fence or wall with clematis or a climbing rose. 


For even more privacy, create a screen cheaply and easily using wooden pallets or old doors, scrubbed and whitewashed.

Encourage children to play outside by putting up a pop-up tent or tepee where they can hide away and play or have private tea parties. A swing ball or sandpit will help them let off steam and get creative. Moving toys into just one area will clear the rest of the garden and let them feel they have their own special place to play. Why not build a bug hotel with them and put that in their zone, too? They’ll love helping you create it and watching the insects as they move in – and it helps provide a crucial habitat for your garden wildlife, too.

Keep your garden zones tidy – if space doesn’t allow for a shed, an external storage box will be ideal for cushions and toys.

Meanwhile, make sure you keep your garden looking good through August – another hot month! Keep on top of the watering using water butts as much as you can and, if you’re going on holiday, ask for help from family or friends to keep the garden ticking over while you’re away.


Here’s our list of jobs to do in the garden this month:

  • Feed, water and deadhead flowers in hanging baskets and containers to keep the display fresh - preferably with stored rainwater
  • Deadhead flowering plants and roses regularly
  • Cut back strawberries after they finish fruiting
  • Cut away old flowering lavender spikes to keep it nice and rounded, but avoid cutting into the old wood 
  • Prune wisteria and summer-flowering shrubs once they’ve finished flowering 
  • Raise the blades on your lawnmower to help the grass retain moisture and stay green
  • Trim hedges
  • Keep bird baths topped up in really hot weather
  • Compost grass clippings
  • Keep camellias and rhododendrons watered while their flower buds are forming
  • Prune rambling roses
  • Plant autumn bulbs
  • Sow hardy annuals for early summer colour in 2023
  • Harvest fresh herbs to freeze in ice cubes for use throughout the winter
  • Clear weeds from drives and pathways