Gardening Year, George, Greenhouses, How To

How to Make Your Garden Warmer

While many of us are enjoying a summer heatwave, such weather in Britain is rare. Most of the time we’re desperate to make the most of any warmth in our garden, both for entertaining and giving our plants the best chance to bloom. So we’ve done some research into how to make your garden warmer and broken it down into four main elements. Soon you’ll have your own sun trap!

how to make your garden warmer

1 – Wind

Wind is the enemy of warmth. It takes any heat from the ground and disperses it up into the atmosphere. So your garden will need decent wind protection if you want it to be warmer. The coldest winds in the UK come from the north and the east – or, if you live by the coast, the sea. Keep this in mind when you’re erecting barriers against the breeze.

A solid barrier like a wall or regular fence is not the best to prevent the effects of the wind, as it will force the air up and over the top. It then swirls back in eddies, cooling the space behind. Instead it’s best to use permeable barriers, like hurdles, that allow some of the air to pass through but cut down on the full blast of it. Some ventilation is essential for healthy growth in your plants.

wind through fences

2 – Heat

A garden warms up when objects absorb heat from the sun. Certain materials and colours will take in heat more effectively than others. Brick walls, stone paving and gravel are all great conductors – you’ve probably felt how hot they get on a summer day. So to maximise heat it’s best to place these features facing south and leave them exposed (ie uncovered by plants) to heat up as much as possible during the day.

Dark, well draining soil is also better at absorbing heat. Sparsely planted beds with gaps of bare earth will result in warmer conditions for the plants. To really maximise exposure to the sun, it’s best to have a garden sloping down towards the south. This will also help with drainage.

heat trap

3 – Water

Water evaporates in the heat, cooling down its surroundings. So if you want to make your garden warmer, it’s best to limit the amount of water present. This is another reason why well draining soil is key, as it will help the earth to stay as warm as possible. Ponds and other forms of standing water are best avoided if you want to make the garden a heat trap as these will cool you down.

4 – Cover

Covering your garden is the most extreme way to maximise heat, though clearly it would be be impractical to turn the whole thing into a giant glasshouse! But you can use shelter to create warm pockets in the garden. For example, polytunnels and greenhouses are the most effective ways to protect plants from dips in temperature. Then for entertaining, you could invest in a garden building like a summerhouse.

greenhouses for warmth

Hopefully these ideas have given you a little guidance in your journey to create a warm oasis in your backyard. Through a few adjustments you can establish your own microclimate, full of bountiful flora and the perfect sun trap to relax in all summer long.

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.