Home Tech Alfresco summer hacks: outdoor family fun and weatherproof barbecues

Alfresco summer hacks: outdoor family fun and weatherproof barbecues

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Alfresco summer hacks: outdoor family fun and weatherproof barbecues

Picture the scene: the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue, and there is nowhere else to be that day other than relaxing outside with the family. But as you reach for a comfy chair and sunscreen, you notice that your garden is in need of some TLC.

Overgrown hedges, grass taller than the children’s and creeping weeds all mean you’re spending time maintaining your garden rather than enjoying it. Add in a questionable forecast for your barbecue later and a discussion about screen time, and suddenly summer starts to look a lot less appealing.

But fear not: when it comes to lawn length, help is at hand. A robotic lawnmower, such as the Honda Miimo, can make regular maintenance of your lawn much easier, with state-of-the-art features such as mapping your garden, intelligent mowing, the ability to work around obstacles – on uneven terrain and slopes – and the best security features. And to use appropriate robot language, there are cheat codes for the other stuff too.

Here are a few more ideas on how to stop sweating the stressful stuff and have the season you want…

How to entertain children outside
Once the weather warms up, the garden is ideal to tempt your children out of their caves. “A pack of chalk provides endless fun,” says Emma Morton-Turner, interior stylist and founder of insidestylists.com. “Give them the challenge of drawing their family or your guests on paving stones or stones. Chances are your garden will be full of rainbow colors at the end of the day,” she says. “For the little ones, freeze their plastic action figures in a bowl filled with water. Give them spoons and warm water in squirt bottles and tell them that their favorite superheroes need their help to be released. It will entertain them forever,” she says.

The garden can be an endless source of inspiration for children. Make an insect hotel from pieces of wood. Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

You can give green-fingered kids their own section of the garden: they can plant bulbs, build an insect hotel from scraps of wood and old pots, or use old plates and spoons to make messy mud pies – leaving the rest of your stuff behind. garden pristine. “Building a den with a duvet cover or tablecloth keeps kids busy,” says Morton-Turner. “If trees and branches are not available, use chairs and tables. They also like to play, eat and sleep there, she says. “When the sun goes down, set up an outdoor cinema for a family movie night: all you need is a cheap projector and a sheet. Just add pillows, throws and popcorn.”

How to throw a weatherproof barbecue
“We all know that wet weather makes people prick up as soon as you say ‘barbecue’, so invest in a large parasol or pop-up tent that will cover you and the barbecue during rainy conditions,” says Hilary Anderson of @bbqlads. “Ideally, your barbecue will have a tight-fitting lid to keep the coals and/or gas grill surfaces as dry as possible – but whatever type you have, rain will lower the temperature, so make sure you have extra fuel on hand to more to fill. often,” he says. “You could try charcoal briquettes which, while trickier to light, burn longer and get you through some challenging cooks.”

Don’t let the rain dampen your barbecue; a large umbrella and a tight-fitting lid will get the party started. Photo: Adene Sanchez/Getty Images

Alternatively, dual-fuel or electric models offer more weather flexibility than struggling with cooling charcoal. “Also, do as much preparation indoors as possible and have covers ready for eating as you quickly run out and back in,” says Anderson.

This way you ensure a low-maintenance garden
Creating a welcoming garden doesn’t take as much effort as you might think if you make a few simple adjustments. “Containers provide flexibility in any outdoor space, reducing the need for extensive weeding,” says Julian Palphramand, head of plants at British garden centres. “Clustered, they centralize the garden chores – and you can choose self-watering pots, ideal for people with a hectic lifestyle. Plant perennials such as lavender, sedum and geraniums: they are relatively simple, attract wildlife and easily add color,” she says. “You can also exchange the hedge plants, which need to be pruned, for wooden lattice or slatted panels that require little maintenance.”

Another smart move is to upgrade from a traditional lawn mower to a Honda Miimo. Miimo glides over the lawn and nibbles on the tops of your turf. There is no need to rake afterwards as the clippings mulch into the soil below. The newly released models have better navigation, improved sensors and connectivity with smartphone apps, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. So now that the kids have had a good time and the BBQ stress has subsided, you can raise a cold glass and watch Miimo do the hard work. It’s summer, simplified.

Find out more about how the latest Honda Miimo robotic lawnmowers can transform your lawn

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