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The sun is shining, let’s go outside!

Summer is for spending outdoors, and sunny days are for sharing with friends in the fresh air. So here are some of our favourite ideas for making sure your garden, or balcony, is summer-ready!
Spend long summer days outdoors with friends
Grow fresh herbs close to your outdoor cooking station Grow healthy greens at home
Homegrown, homemade
Fresh herbs and salad leaves can’t be beat so start growing them in your own backyard for a plentiful, close-at-hand supply. Leanne in Australia hangs hers beside the barbecue, so she can always serve grilled meat and fish with healthy greens.
Set up an outdoor dining area
Celebrate summer
Whether you’re eating solo or with the whole family, make the most of sunny morning skies by taking breakfast outside. For a light but energy-packed start, try homemade granola with fresh fruit.
Make the most of the summer at breakfast timeGranola is a simple, tasty way to start your day
‘I treasure waking up to a quiet house, and eating breakfast outside with my cat’
Tamar, US
 Serve or cook meals outside as often as you can
Lay a colourful summer tableGet the whole family involved in outdoor eating
Fast family food
When family, not food, is your priority, consider cutting down the workload by serving up or cooking outside. Enlist the kids to help; ask them to bring as much food as possible to the table – think salads, bread, drinks and dressings – so there’s no need to dash inside once you’ve started eating. That way you can all concentrate on each other – and the tasty meal in front of you!
‘When we’re at our treehouse, I don’t want to spend too much time cooking inside – we want to spend it together’
Axelle, France
Use lanterns and fabric to create a party atmosphere
Personality points
Preparing for a party can be almost as much fun as the gathering itself! Artist Graça in Portugal covered her patio’s balcony railing with strips of fabric, creating a soft and summery backdrop. And her table settings are just as cheerful; she adds a quirky touch to each guest’s place, like a painted paperweight or decorated table mat.
Add little details to welcome your guestsStrips of bright fabric create a summer feel
‘I love to mix colour and patterns, and put my personality into the things I make!’
Graça, Portugal
Covered areas are great for changeable weather
Create a comfy eating area for all your guestsOne-pot dishes are easy to cook and share
Laid-back lunches
Help your guests feel at home by making food they can serve themselves. One-pot dishes are simple to cook and easy to pass around, so everyone can take just as much as they want. Plus, when friends feel like family they’re more likely to go for seconds, so there will be nothing wasted!
‘The house has a real festive family air – we designed it for enjoying the great weather and hosting traditional Spanish fiestas’
José, Spain
Use blankets and rugs to soften outdoor areas
Twilight time
Once the sun has set, extend the day by lighting clusters of lanterns; hang them from trees or rafters, or set them down on the floor or table. Bring out comfy chairs and footstools, and lay down rugs or blankets to read or play on.
Light clusters of lanterns after darkCreate a cosy corner with a canopy and lanterns
‘After an hour or two relaxing here, you start to feel like you’re elsewhere…’
Hans, France