• Janice Horslen

How to make the most of your garden during lockdown

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Gardens have always been havens for those of us lucky enough to have them, but more now than ever, gardens are a crucial factor in our well-being. I’ve been keeping an eye on social media and looking at how my own use of the garden has changed and here are some of the best ideas I’ve come across to make the most of your garden during lockdown.

1) Get active

Exercise doesn’t have to be the daily one hour trip to the park. You can get really varied in your garden and even get the kids involved. Try setting up an obstacle course and make it into a fun game, or dig out Twister from your board game cupboard. One family in Leeds created a ‘socially-distant’ chalk obstacle course on the pavement outside their home – very creative!

If you’re feeling uncomfortable about exercising in the garden, have a think about what’s stopping you. Is it a lack of privacy? Are the surfaces uneven or too hard? Need more shade? Often all these issues can be overcome with some thoughtful design work.

2) Build a wildlife pond

A good one for the kids, and also for your own well-being. A pond can be literally just a sink plunged into the ground, a container, or if you’ve got the space and the muscle, something larger. The materials you need are minimal so it’s a cheap and easy way to add another dimension to the garden. It’s also an excellent way of keeping your slug population down; frogs usually find their way to a pond within a year or two and slugs are pretty much their favourite food!

3) Grow your own

Again, this doesn’t need lots of space. You could use a pallet to create a vertical herb garden or a straw bale garden means you can grow-your-own in gardens that don’t have any soil (I’ve even seen them used on balconies)!

4) Dog enrichment

Pets aren’t always the first consideration in garden design, but they benefit from a space that’s designed for their needs just as much as humans. Dogs in particular can really benefit from areas of the garden where they can self-medicate and access both physical and mental challenges. It’s an interesting area to explore and can be particularly beneficial for older dogs who perhaps can’t walk as much as they used to. This article has some excellent ideas, including some simple ideas you can try straightaway.

5) Home schooling

Getting the kids involved in redesigning the garden definitely counts as home schooling. There are lots of ways you can get them involved. Measuring the area you want to plant – that’s maths sorted (and a scale drawing would be nice, please teenager). Counting worms in the soil and looking at its composition – that’s science covered. Children are often more likely to think ‘out-of-the-box’ too, so they are likely to come up with ideas and solutions that us grown-ups might never have considered. They could even make a model of their new design from junk!

Hopefully some of these ideas have given you some inspiration and please get in touch if you want to discuss a lockdown redesign of your garden.

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Janice Horslen Garden Design


Surbiton, UK

©2020 by Janice Horslen Garden Design