The first tentative steps towards the easing of lockdown are being taken and from this week in England we should be able to welcome friends and family into our gardens again.
It has been a long hard winter and we are all looking forward to being able to socialise more while spending more time out in the fresh air as the weather warms up.
Those lucky enough to have balconies, courtyards or gardens at their rental homes might now be starting to think about getting them ready for welcoming people into.
Here are our top tips for making your outside spaces look a little more welcoming:
*Smarten up your hard surfaces
If you don’t do anything else, you could at least give terraces, patios, balconies, areas of decking and courtyards a good sweep and perhaps even a hose down. Scrub off mud, green algae and deal with any piles of leaves, twigs and other debris that have gathered.
*Spruce up garden furniture
Dig your deckchairs and other garden furniture out from the back of the shed and give them all a good brush down. If you have wooden or metal items that need treating or painting, you could give them a quick coat if you have time and the weather permits.
*Tidy up your borders
If you want to go a step further, spend an hour or two weeding and tidying up your borders. The weeds may well have started to appear already, and you will probably have some autumn and winter debris to deal with.
*Consider your lawn
If you have a lawn, give it a good rake over and perhaps dig the lawn mower out from the shed. This could be the right time to give it its first mowing of the year.
*Add some containers
Bringing a few colourful pots and containers can make all the difference to any outside space, no matter what its size. Head down to your local garden centre to see which bursts of spring colour take your fancy.
*Clean the barbecue
It might be a bit optimistic to start thinking about barbecues, but we sometimes have fantastic Easters and you want to be ready! Give the barbecue a good clean and make sure you have all the necessary accessories handy.
*Think about evening warmth
Do you have a firepit or chiminea? If so, this is the perfect moment to give that a good clean or renovation too. There’s nothing nicer than sitting out in the garden next to a roaring fire as the day draws to a close. And with a little heat, we should be able to extend that outdoor socialising for an extra hour or two!