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Ah, the great British Summer…it is never going to be wall to wall sunshine, but it will always be fun. If it were actually boiling hot for 3 months most British people would end up moaning and secretly wishing for rain. Nothing says Summer like Cliff Richard singing to a sodden Wimbledon crowd or barbequing whilst holding an umbrella and we love it that way. However, what we do in the summer has changed a bit and there are quite a few cool things we can buy to make spending time in the garden and on the beach even more fun regardless of the weather…well almost.
Once the preserve of the wealthy with games like Croquet garden games are now big business and there are some really cool ones to choose from. Companies like https://www.yesiwantit.com are good places to start looking. Products like lawn darts are great fun especially if you can get the “light up” ones so the grown-ups can carry on playing in the dark! You simply launch your large soft dart and try to get it to land in a ring target, simple, fun and lots of laughs. But there are some more traditional games out there too. A Cornish game called Smite is amazing fun and actually really good for helping kids with mental arithmetic because they have to add up on the go. It involves throwing a small piece of wood at some other numbered pieces of wood. You then add up the number of pins hit or the number on the single pin and it’s the first to fifty. But you can go bust so planning is key. It sounds simple but the kids go mad for it once they get going.
A Good Barbeque
We have all been there, we see a great deal at the local DIY shop, and we buy what seems to be a great barbeque. The problem is, its hard to put together and when it is together it wobbles a lot and after a few uses it gets left and when we return to it it’s all but rusted away. Buy cheap buy twice really does come into effect when talking about outdoor cooking. However, that’s not to say you need to spend hundreds of pounds. There are some big names like Weber, and they are well known for a reason, they do make really good barbeques and they last years if well kept. But there are also some lower cost options that work really well. Tepro does a fantastic BBQ and smoker that is big enough for the family for around £150 as one example. Spending a little more can go a long way but if budget is not much of an issue then Weber do make some very nice ones!
Great Garden Gifts
As well as getting things for ourselves it is nice to have some gift ideas for the summer too…though no one is saying you can’t buy yourself a gift too. Fun things like this light-up ice bucket may not be mega classy but actually looks really good outside in the evening and for camping! There are also an endless array of garden lights and lanterns that can make great gifts. Do remember that a barbeque needs tools and anyone who likes cooking outdoors will love any kind of accessories, but maybe avoid the cheesy novelty apron with the naked body on the front.
And of course the kids can’t have all the fun so on my summer garden wish list are a garden bar, a nice hammock to relax in – I’ve been eyeing up some lovely colourful ones by tropilex which would be great for relaxing in the garden while the kids are in the pool, and of course I would absolutely love a hot tub for myself – something the kids aren’t allowed to use.
Pools and Hot tubs
In the 80s and 90s, we basically had small paddling pools filled with water from a hose, they were freezing cold and soon filled with so much grass and stones they needed to be emptied. These days things have moved on and even a modest garden can fit in some pretty cool watery fun! There is a huge range of above ground pools that use frames to support the sides and not air. These are not permanent but not up one day and down the next. These pools start from Around £30 and will provide a lot of summer swimming fun. Hot tubs are perhaps not ideal for a boiling hot day, but they are great in the evenings and there are loads of inflatable tubs on the market with external filters, bubbles and everything you need. They make for an amazing way to relax when the sun goes down and guest love them too. But you can turn off the heater and use them to cool down as well.
Whatever you do in the garden, get out there an enjoy what summer we have. As this article is being written it is raining…hard!