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Grill: How to prep your garden for BBQ season

By Brian Davenport, Co-Founder of The Solar Centre

Summer weather is still touch and go in the UK, but BBQ season is in sight, with many of us cooking up a storm in our gardens when the sun makes one of its rare appearances. But you may have noticed that your garden needs some TLC before you start welcoming friends and family into your outdoor spaces for BBQs.

For National BBQ Week, here are some tips on giving your garden a facelift ahead of the summer season…


#1 Clean your BBQ

A deep clean of your BBQ has both an aesthetic and practical purpose. A well-maintained BBQ will have a longer lifespan and a polished look that can enhance the look and feel of your garden. 

It is also important for food quality and safety, as grease, food and carbon can accumulate, causing barbeques to cook unevenly or even catch fire, with an estimated four percent of accidental fires linked to barbeque use.

Start by disconnecting the BBQ from the gas supply and remove the grates for a soak in hot, soapy water. Make sure to give them a thorough scrub to remove residue.

Gently clean the burners by brushing off debris, checking for clogged gas ports, and cleaning the interior with a specialised grill cleaning solution.

Thoroughly rinse all the BBQ parts and ensure they are completely dry before reassembling.

#2 Set up a seating area

A designated seating area in your garden can create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for guests, which boosts social interaction and enjoyment during a BBQ.

Place seating in your garden where it is easily accessible from your home, particularly the kitchen, for easy transportation of food and drink. Make sure it’s a fair distance from the BBQ to avoid a face full of smoke. 

Plenty of tables, chairs and outdoor sofas will keep your guests comfortable, but consider throwing in some comfy throws and cushions to add comfort and style to the area. Meanwhile, consider using umbrellas or pergolas to provide some shade on super sunny days. 

Position the area to prioritise privacy and shield it from windy conditions. Behind tall shrubbery or next to structures like garden walls and fences will provide some shelter from the elements. 

And don’t forget to give your garden furniture a clean if it’s been sat outside through the winter.


#3 Light up the space

Illuminating your garden with the right lighting will help set the ambience and provide functional lighting for preparing food.

Placing lighting around your seating area will create a cosy environment that makes guests feel relaxed.

Hanging fairy lights around an outdoor structure like a gazebo or pergola will provide gentle overhead lighting and nicely highlight the structure.

Stringing festoon lights across your garden can also create a festive look perfect for hosting guests that can make your garden look well-kempt, while thoughtfully placed lanterns can offer low-level lighting that helps to set a cosy feel. 

Meanwhile, adding several wall lights or spotlights around the BBQ area can provide ample illumination for food preparation and safety while cooking.

#4 Spruce up your greenery

Plenty of greenery and flowers around your garden and seating area can make the space feel calm and relaxing, and planting fresh blooms can be a simple task that transforms the space.

Colourful flowers like sunflowers, zinnias, daisies and cosmos can brighten your garden and make it look even more beautiful and summery.

Refreshing your flowerbeds with fresh soil and removing any weeds and debris will make them look taken care of and tidy, as will trimming or pruning any hedges, bushes and existing plants. 

You can also use lighting to highlight tall features like trees and hedges or spotlights around flowerbeds to light them up in the evenings.

Brian Davenport, Co-Founder
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