Get set for summer 2014

Summer is right around the corner. Honest. We read it in the complimentary biscuit crumbs in our Wandsworth store reception. They spelled out a prediction that the back-end of June will be a scorcher and most of July too. Kind of ironic given that the we’ve had several crumby summers. It all means that (if you haven’t already) you’ve still got a couple of weeks to get your home all set for the season of Mojitos and barbecues. If you are putting aside next weekend to prep for the fun, here are some pointers that you might find useful…

The beginning of summer is such an upbeat and optimistic time of year. We all anticipate long days of sunshine, evenings in a beer garden by the river or barbecuing at home with a cocktail or two. But there are a few things that you might need to do in preparation..

Thwart summer pests

Crawling, flying, buzzing, boring, sliming. There are all kinds of creepy crawlies out there. Of course, they’re not out to purposefully ruin your perfect summer evening – but there are some things you can do to keep them at bay. Citronella candles or incense spirals can put flying insects off whilst beaded curtains can keep them out of your indoors. Woodlouse, beetles and ants all like food scraps – so keep your surfaces and floors nice and clean, whilst a little table salt sprinkled across the threshold will keep the slugs out. Finally – when you’re barbecuing – a decent insect repellent should keep those irritating midges and mozzies at bay.

Breakout the summer bedding

Winter duvets and bedding are wonderful when it’s cold, but far too sweaty betty once summer is in full swing. Obviously it makes sense to swap the 20 tog for the 2, but you might also try Egyptian cotton sheets (and lose the duvet altogether if we get a heatwave). There’s something that it’s impossible to put your finger on with all natural fibres – but they so keep you cooler on a hot summer evening.

Get set, garden

The literal lashings of water this winter and and subsequent super-spring sunshine have meant that anything green seems to be growing at a squillion miles an hour. Grass is taller, leaves are bigger, weeds are weedier. That all means that the garden is a greater challenge than ever – but a morning cutting, trimming, hoeing, and generally sprucing up the green space will have it sorted in no time. Watch out for mint whilst you’re at it. It could come in handy later.

Ready the outdoor furniture and space

If your outdoor furniture has been kept outdoors throughout the winter months it’ll need a good wash down. A bucket of suds and a scrubbing brush should do the trick, or (depending on what it is made of and how fragile it is) a quick going over with a pressure washer will have it clean in no time. You can also use the pressure washer to zap down outdoor surfaces such as patios and driveways – as well as to blast off any of that green algae that seems to cling to wooden fences.

Alternatively, if you like to keep your outdoor furniture in tip-top condition, you’ll have been storing it indoors through the winter (maybe even in one of our personal storage units). Once you’ve got the garden and outdoor space sorted it’s surely time to pop down and get it.

Stock up

You can’t miss the promotions in the supermarkets at this time of year. So now’s the time to arm your fridge and freezer with all the things you’ll need for an impromptu ‘it’s-such-a-nice-day-we-should-have-a-barbecue’ style gathering of your mates. That’ll be food – such as handy barbecue packs of burgers for the carnivorous souls and haloumi and veggie kebabs for the veggies. Plus beer and other beverages. If you’re feeling adventurous you could stock up on the ingredients of a few cocktails, which is where that mint you were so careful to save comes in: Mojitos baby!

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