Outdoor living and connecting with nature reduces stress levels and make you feel happy. It has even been suggested that gardening should be prescribed to patients through the NHS. Now that summer has arrived decamp outside to your garden, soak up the sunshine and enjoy the long light evenings.
Get your kids to connect with nature and eat healthily by creating a vegetable patch. Grow a few fruit and veg for the dinner table. Home grown garden peas and strawberries taste way better than anything on the supermarket isles. Wandering down the garden path to gather them beats queueing up at the checkout.
Fill window boxes and patio pots with dill, chervil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and mint. Herbs will add flavour to and elevate even the most basic of store cupboard staples to ‘haute cuisine’. Throw a few ‘cut and come again salad leaves‘ in to a bowl and pepper with some zingy nasturtium flowers.
Man is instinctively drawn to fire and it’s hypnotic effect on us takes us back to our primal roots. We have grown up throwing a few sausages on the barbecue, but now there are many more options for creating an outdoor kitchen. Jamie Oliver has us salivating with his creations from his wood fired pizza oven. It’s use extends beyond pizza to making soup, baking cakes and even roasting your turkey on Christmas day.
For something more exotic, how about the spicy aroma of chicken kebabs and naan bread wafting over from your tandoor oven? There is also a foodie trend for smoking anything from fish to duck breasts in your back yard.
Dining ‘al fresco’ is a great way to get friends and family together to spend some quality time in a friendly relaxed and informal gathering. Make it fun and decorate your ‘outdoor dining room’ with cushions, tablecloths and lanterns to create a warm and convivial atmosphere.