5 reasons to get outside and enjoy your garden this autumn

1. It makes us healthier

Being outside on a beautiful autumn day is an ideal way to reduce stress and regain a sense of well-being. Almost every week there seems to be another scientific study confirming the health benefits of being outside, from reducing depression to strengthening immunity. Research has also confirmed that gardening is not only great exercise but is linked with better mental health. Just a few minutes in the garden will give you a vitamin D boost, some fresh air and a chance to switch off from the pressures of daily life and enjoy nature.

2. It's the most beautiful season of the year

Autumn is the time when many of our gardens look their best – some of the flowers are still out but the leaves are turning to shades of red and gold. The days may be getting shorter, but the weather is often warm. If you’re lucky enough to have a south-facing garden you can still enjoy the sun and even continue eating outside, long after the summer has finished.

3. It's the best season for wildlife spotting

If you watch BBC’s Autumnwatch, you’ll already know that this is a great time of year for wildlife spotting. Nature puts on a spectacular show before the colder winter weather arrives. From flocks of migrating birds to hedgehogs preparing for hibernation, there is plenty to see, even if you live in a town or city. You may need to patient, but why not snuggle up under a blanket and see what wildlife passes through your garden? If you want to encourage more wildlife to your garden, the RSPB has some excellent advice.

4. It's a great time for kids to be outside

Although it’s often mild, the days of worrying about sunburn are over and you no longer have to face the battles of applying sun cream to children who just want to get outside and play. Late autumn can be wet, but kids don’t seem to share our negative feelings about the rain. For younger children, splashing around outside in wellies and waterproofs is fantastic fun.

With colourful fallen leaves, nuts and acorns Autumn is a lovely time of year for craft activities. There are some great ideas here. Younger children may enjoy collecting things to stick on paper, while more accomplished crafters could gather material for a Christmas wreath. Keep a close eye on younger children, though, to ensure they don’t touch poisonous berries of fungi.

5. It's the perfect time to start planning for next year

There is plenty to do in the garden in the autumn, from tidying up decaying summer plants or sweeping up leaves to planting spring bulbs.

It’s also the perfect time to start thinking about how you can improve your garden for next year. If you share our enthusiasm for spending more time outdoors, think about how you can incorporate space for outdoor living into your garden – however small it is. If you want some inspiration, there are some spectacular outdoor living projects on Houzz.

Think about how you can make your garden a space you can enjoy all year round. That means giving careful consideration to the ground surface you want to use. Timber decking is a very popular choice for outdoor living spaces because it has such a contemporary look. It also becomes notoriously slippery in wet weather, which sadly means many people avoid it for much of the year. Gripsure non-slip timber decking is a great alternative, which will keep you on your feet even in wet or icy weather. Our slip-resistant timber boards are now available at Homebase, but you could also consider our decking tiles, for a quick way of creating a non-slip deck.

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If you have any questions or would like more information, get in touch with one of our friendly team.

Get your garden ready for winter in 5 easy steps

With the temperature dropping, leaves starting to fall and evenings getting darker it is time to start getting the garden ready for winter. This can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it all at once. To make it easy, the Gripsure team has broken it down into five smaller jobs.

1. Tidy your borders - but not too much!

Autumn is the time when most of us want to give our borders a good tidy. Summer plants have mainly died back and flower beds can start to look scruffy. Removing some of the dead leaves, as well as giving the beds a good weeding, can make the world of difference. Don’t go crazy though. Dead stems and seed heads can look beautiful, especially when they are sprinkled with frost. Hollow stems and piles of decaying foliage provide important winter habitats for wildlife, including ladybirds and bees. So, be selective and avoid leaving your beds looking completely bare.

Most vegetable crops can be pulled out at the roots, but chop beans and peas off at ground level as their nitrogen-rich roots will help feed next year’s crops. As long as vegetable plants are not diseased, they can be composted.

2. Maintain your decking

Whatever type of decking you have, it will need an occasional clean to keep it looking its best and autumn is a good time to give it a spruce up. You could use a pressure washer, or the old fashioned bucket and scrubbing brush option. If your decking needs more TLC, you may want to consider oiling or staining to prevent water getting into the timber and rotting your decking boards. Our previous blog has more decking maintenance tips.

If you have traditional timber decking, it is especially important that you clean it regularly to avoid it becoming dangerously slippery. Gripsure anti-slip decking stays safe, even with moss, algae or fungi, but we would always recommend a good clean every now and then, to ensure it looks its best.

3. Repair fences, sheds and greenhouses

Winter can unfortunately bring stormy weather. It is well worth checking that your fences, sheds and greenhouses are in a good state so they can withstand as much bad weather as possible. If you need to replace any damaged or rotten fence panels, ask a friend to help – it is a much safer and easier job that way.

Spend time giving your shed and greenhouse a good tidy up and you’ll thank yourself in the spring, when there are so many other jobs to do in the garden. Clear out anything you no longer need and have a good tidy and sweep out. It is better to inspect the walls and roof for any damage before the winter weather sets in. Once you have replaced any broken timber or greenhouse glass, you can add a wood preserver to protect the timber from rot and mould.

4. Prepare your lawn for winter

Lawns often look tired after a busy summer, especially after periods of dry weather. Autumn is the time to give your lawn a final mow, before spring. Spending a bit of extra time ensuring the edges are tidy will help make your garden look its best over the coming months.

Many people choose to aerate, or spike, their lawn at this time of year. This just means creating a few holes over the lawn about 10 to 15 cm apart, using a garden fork. Doing this every two or three years will help the lawn cope better if it gets very wet over the winter

5. Get ready to enjoy your garden this winter

Most of the gardening advice out there focuses on shutting down the garden for winter, but at Gripsure we don’t think it has to be that way. Autumn, winter and early spring can be beautiful times of year to enjoy your garden. While the days are shorter, it is worth spending some precious time outside – whether it’s wrapping up and enjoying a mid-morning coffee on the deck or running around with the kids at the weekend.

To inspire you to think differently about your garden this autumn and winter, our blog on hygge gives some tips on getting outside at this special time of year. What do you need to do to avoid making your garden a no-go zone over the winter? Perhaps you could plant up some pots with colourful foliage plants to brighten up your decking or patio until the spring flowers arrive. Or maybe you could upgrade your outdoor lighting so that you can spend some of your evenings away from the TV, wrapped up warm and gazing at the stars.

Slippery paving or decking can sadly be a real barrier to people getting out into the garden over the winter. Gripsure non-slip timber decking will keep you and your family on your feet in wet or icy weather. Our slip-resistant timber boards are now available at Homebase, while our anti-slip decking tiles, which are available from our website, give you a quick way of creating a non-slip deck.

So, while you spend time tidying your borders, decking and shed this autumn don’t feel you have to say goodbye to your garden until spring. After all, you deserve to have some time outside to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like more information, get in touch with one of our friendly team.