I was thinking the other day that it’s been almost 6 months since I was last on a plane, since I travelled internationally for pleasure. For someone like me, who used to travel at least twice a month, being stuck in the same place for so long feels so surreal. The first few months were the hardest, I could have never imagined that I would ever spend 50 days without any other human contact, without being allowed to leave my home expect for short trips to the supermarket every 10 days or so.
As the new normality settled in, I started to think of ways that I could get that thrill of travelling again, but whilst staying at home. So I gathered some ideas from here and there, browsed Pinterest for inspiration, then started to transform my garden into an area that would remind me of my trips abroad.
Plant Some Colourful Flowers
Because I moved into my new home recently, my garden was like an empty canvas, so I could put into practice everything that I imagined. Firstly, I went to my local garden centre and bought some petunias – they are such colourful flowers that love to spread and they look amazing in hanging baskets. I mixed and matched them with other great flowers for baskets, such as bacopa, apple blossoms and verbena. I actually found gardening to be such a relaxing way to take my mind off things, so I continued to build a raised bed alongside the house, and plant it with a variety of colourful flowers. Whilst already made flower beds are expensive, I found these beautiful wooden lawn edging fences at B&M, 3 panels for £10. I painted them black and drove them into the ground with a mullet hammer. And what a difference they made!
Decorate Your Garden
After I decorated my garden, I started to enjoy spending time outdoors so much more. Decorating the garden shouldn’t cost a fortune! I picked up a few flamingos in the B&M sale, which I decorated the house and the shed with. For the back of the garden, where I have some bamboo plants growing, I purchased a large metal heron for only £7. The garden furniture was a bit of an issue as the one left by the old tenants was in a very bad shape, and was made from pallets. New garden furniture is expensive though, so I had to find a way to work around it. I painted the wood black, for a more elegant look, and I also ordered a funky flamingo & pineapples tablecloth from Amazon. I also found some really cute embroidery design pieces, which were perfect for my DIY drink coasters. There are so many different designs, all so pretty, something for every occasion. I went with the pink flamingo options, as I simply love them and they are a featured piece in my garden.
Have a Barbecue
Barbecues are always so much fun and remind me of travelling. Some of the best barbecues of my life were whilst I was travelling around South America. So why not replicate these at home? I didn’t want to spend money on a fancy barbecue because I couldn’t tell the difference between them. Also, barbecuing at home involves coals and fire starters, not to mention cleaning up the mess afterwards. So I opted for disposable barbecues, which only cost £2 and are easy to find at every supermarket! They are so easy to use and leave no mess behind. You can just throw them away, safely, once they have cooled down completely.
Cook International Dishes and Eat Outdoors
After I transformed my garden into a space to relax, I started to enjoy eating outdoors more and more. The weather didn’t disappoint either, with sunshine every evening. Now, there is no better place to eat than in my garden. I love travelling through food, so I started to cook international dishes more often. However, you don’t have to be a chef to create some nice dishes. I love using Simply Cook spices to recreate my kitchen dishes such as butter chicken, jerk chicken or tacos al pastor. You don’t have to be a master chef to cook good food. Just pick up some German sausages and make currywurst – it’s a delicious summer dinner that takes five minutes to make.
Pretend You’re at the Pub
I love going to the pub and I did miss this activity a lot during the lock down. To bring the pub into my back garden, I picked up beers from the supermarket that I would usually find in a pub and ordered some Awfully Posh pork crackling online from here. Is there any other more typical British pub snack than pork crackling? I love the Awfully Posh pork crackling because they come in two flavours: sea salt and chilli & garlic, which are so delicious. They are perfect with a pint of beer, when the sun in shining in the garden!
Make Some Cocktails
For a reminder of the Caribbean beaches, I’ve taken part in quite a few online cocktail masterclasses with Slug & Lettuce and wine tastings with Campo Viejo. Learning how to make cocktails at home directly from brand ambassadors of different alcoholic brands was pretty cool! I’ve made delicious mojitos and gin & tonics, which I enjoyed afterwards in my beautiful garden oasis. How about you? Have you done anything in your garden during this lockdown period?
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