Our toy storage bench has been an unexpectedly vital feature. Our children are prone to leaving their playthings scattered across the garden and so being able to sweep them quickly under the rug (well, bench) has been a godsend. It helps us quickly smarten the place up when we have guests over, or helps us enjoy the garden speedily and easily in summer once we’ve put them to bed. Can’t recommend enough.
We recently smartened up our outdoor seating area, covering it with a pergola and planting climbers around the edge. Our hope is that the climbing plants will take over and give us a peaceful, shady area to sit in the summer. I love the shadows that it throws against the dusty pink of the wall too. Sitting watching them travel across it over the course of an afternoon reminds us of lazy holidays and trips abroad.
My little balcony in South London comes with incredibly helpful built-in window boxes. Every flat in the building has them and I love the invitation and encouragement to garden. Changing mine slightly every year, swapping out the odd plant that has inevitably failed to survive on the wind-swept North-facing side of the block that I inhabit, is always a pleasure and looking out and seeing what everyone else has done with theirs brings a very pleasing variety to the view. It’s a reminder to me that windows, windowsills, and balcony boxes can be gardens as much as anything on solid ground, if you take the time to nurture them. Added bonus, very few slugs.
We loved our small cedar greenhouse from Gabriel Ash that we got ex-display many years ago. It was a wonderful space to grow vegetables of all kinds and the kids enjoyed it as much as we did, especially as it sat right next to our own little veg patch. There’s nothing more satisfying than sowing seeds and seeing them flourish over time.
Click to enlarge: