Generally, in the UK we spend more time outside in our gardens during the summer months. However, as the dark nights draw in it’s even more important to get outside and make the most of the daylight hours we do have. What better (and more affordable!) way is there than to get outdoors in our own garden if you’re fortunate enough to have one? Read on for 5 things to do in your garden this autumn if you need inspiration:
1. Autumn Crafts
At this time of year, garden borders need a bit of a tidy, the lawn needs its final cut of the year and fallen leaves may be everywhere. While you’re out having a clear-up, get the kids to help too and collect natural autumn pieces together. You can use these to make a natural garden art collage outdoors (Izzy loves making these), or bring them indoors to make an autumn wreath or garland to decorate the home. Crafting with these organic materials is a great way to relax and connect with nature, which is great for improving wellbeing.
2. Plant Daffodil Bulbs
This is your annual reminder that NOW is the time to get outdoors and plant some daffodil bulbs (or any spring flowering bulbs of your choice). Planting seeds and bulbs give us hope for the promise of new life in Spring. Whether you plant a few bulbs in one pot or plant lots along your borders you will be rewarded with a gorgeous display of bright yellow daffodils next March.
3. Feed the Birds
Feeding the birds is a great way to spend more time out in the garden. Even if you just have one feeder, you will benefit from seeing the birds come to feed each day (they soon learn where food is being left out for them and tell their friends). You’ll find yourself looking out of the window checking that your feeders are topped up for your new garden friends and it’s lovely to be able to spot the different birds that will become to come into your garden, particularly if your do have more feeders and put a variety of food out.
I know some people worry about putting the food out for birds in case they attract squirrels or rats instead. You can avoid this by buying specially designed pest-proof feeders or adding a squirrel waffle to existing feeders. Always hang food high off the ground (this helps protect the poor birds from cats too) and clear up any spilt food immediately. In the house, store bird food in a sealed container. If you do see any signs of rats in your garden or home, contact pest control services immediately. It’s an easier problem to solve earlier on, rather than letting it escalate. They can help treat your problem and prevent unwanted pests in the future.
4. Light a Fire
Healthwise, it’s good for us to get as many hours of daylight outdoors as possible to get all the vitamin d we need at this time of year. However, just because it gets dark earlier, it doesn’t mean our fun-filled days have to be shorter. To enjoy your garden during the dark evenings, burn a fire for light and heat. It’s good for the soul to sit outdoors listening to a crackling campfire. An added benefit is you can use up some of your dry, natural garden waste as fuel too. Add a kettle hook to your fire pit so you can brew tea or cook soup to warm your belly and toast s’mores over the flames for a treat.
5. Look at the Stars…
When the garden is completely dark at night after the fire has burnt out, grab blankets, get cosy and watch the stars up above. At the moment Jupiter is visible all night (it looks like a very bright star without a telescope). This autumn, there are also meteor showers, a Hunter’s Moon and a Beaver’s Moon to look out for as well as a lunar eclipse. You may be lucky and spot nocturnal creatures while you stargaze, such as bats, a badger or a fox. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the sky during the day too as this October, Mercury will be visible in the morning sky. Add a stargazing app to your phone so you don’t miss any important astronomical events.
Do you plan to use your garden lots this autumn? Let me know what you get up to.