People are often surprised to find out how much I, at the grand old age of 25, love garden centres. For as long as I can remember, visiting a garden centre has been one of my favourite weekend activities – I love picking out a firepit and garden furniture for my dream future home, and buying little fruit plants and rummaging through all the seed packets. It’s sad but true. The other week I had an email asking me for my top tips for garden hygge, so I thought I’d continue that trail of thought in a post. Aren’t you lucky?!
Create social spaces
Hygge is for sharing, so have a think about how you can create a garden ready for entertaining. Whether you have a tiny yard or acres of land, it’s perfectly possible to build a social space into a garden of any size. All you need is somewhere to sit down comfortably, which could be a petite bistro dining set, a picnic table or even giant outdoor floor cushions, and a way to make the space inviting. Keep it bright, welcoming and relaxed – perfectly preened lawns and pruned hedges don’t scream hygge – and make sure you have lots of blankets on hand for when it gets a bit chilly.
Get your hands dirty
For everyone who still thinks that hygge is purely for winter, this one’s for you. Getting the family involved in gardening is a great way to get some fresh air, some light exercise and to watch your efforts bloom before your eyes. Gardening needn’t be daunting – if you have no idea where to start, why not try a gardening subscription service like Bloombox? This is a quarterly subscription service where plants are delivered to your door along with tips to help you make the most of your new garden, which is great if you’re new to gardening or want to check out some new options. Gardening together is a fantastic activity for little ones, who can watch plants grow from scratch, and if you’re growing food you can eat what you grow for the ultimate hygge vibes.
Light it up
As if we were going to get through a post about a hyggeligt home without mentioning lights! If your garden is a bit of a suntrap (lucky), solar lights are an eco-friendly way to stay illuminated well into the evening. I also love torches and lanterns to save on electricity (though steer clear if you have pets, fire-obsessed children or lots of curious critters who call your garden home), and every garden in the world looks better with a string or five of outdoor fairy lights (go for battery powered if you don’t want wires trailing out into the garden).
A multisensory experience
The real beauty of gardens for me is the fact that they engage all the senses. I like looking for aesthetically pleasing flowers (hydrangeas and violets are some of my favourites), as well as blooms that smell divine (stocks, hyacinths, jasmine, roses… there are plenty of options here). Herbs both smell and taste great, and they can be frozen into ice cubes to pep up your summer drinks or snipped over a salad for extra fresh flavour. Also think about hanging some windchimes from a tree – I much prefer wood to metal, but you could even make your own with some little seashells if you’re from the seaside (like me!).
In issue 3 of Project Calm magazine, I wrote all about how you can connect with nature the Nordic way this spring. Why not head outside with a sketchbook and try your hand at painting? Or download an app to help you identify the bird songs in your own garden? Or choose your favourite flowers and press them (you can buy flower pressing kits, but I still have flowers from my grandma’s garden 15 years ago that I pressed in the middle of a heavy dictionary!)? Or, just embrace your inner child, lie on the grass for a while and watch the clouds go by. If you want to learn more about what’s going on in the sky today, The Cloud Collector’s Handbook is a great little guide to our fluffy friends, and I’ve read my copy many many times.
What’s your favourite hygge moment from your garden? As the weather gets brighter, I’d love to hear what’s made you happy over the years!