Hazy, lazy days of summer are upon us, drawing us into the garden for the coolest hours of the day.
Whilst I am the greatest ambassador for gender equality, I am worried about our menfolk! With suicide identified as the highest cause of death in under 45-year-old men, I believe that gardening can help. Our natural Circadian rhythms would have us enjoying outside from dawn to dusk and a bit of hard graft will give us natural endorphins, helping ease pain and giving us a huge sense of well-being. In winter, natural daylight will raise vital Vitamin D, improving our mood, and any gardener will attest that a day outside, even in the worst of British weather, will feel a rewarding day.
Those of us who have office jobs can still enjoy chopping logs, lighting fires, cooking outside and reconnecting with nature.
What better way to spend a summer’s evening than to head outside and harvest, prepare, cook and eat dinner as the sun dips below the horizon?
Many of us are fortunate enough to have a space to grow veggies and fruit and even those of us who only have flower borders can harvest a good dinner with careful planning. Fronds of fennel, mint leaves and rose petals make the most delicious additions to a green salad, topped with toasted pine nuts and crumbled Roquefort, washed down with a glass of Pinot or home squeezed apple juice…. heaven.
But how many of us build these treats into our everyday schedules – not just the weekend but maybe every Tuesday and Thursday for example?
Kadais are the best way to cook outside in my opinion, made as traditional Indian braziers, they are perfectly designed to draw the heat out of the wood. Light your Kadai an hour early and cook food on scorching embers. We have fed over 100 people from our Kadai and there is no cleaning afterwards, which is such a happy thought!
Getting together with family and friends with the unpredictability of the British weather is always a treat. We Brits thrive on the unknown (as evidenced by Brexit!) and are always at our happiest when against all hope, the sun shines and we can venture out as planned. At Rosara, we have worked very hard to offer furniture sets that will give the most use and my favourite is the Verona, designed with sleek Italian style and made from aluminium, useable in all weathers, and so comfy it needs no cushions! To me, it is best to be impulsive when eating out and having somewhere to go on a whim is the best way in our unpredictable climate.
After the feast - like a Roman - I like to collapse, but much as I am a nature lover, I have gained some ‘friendly’ grass snakes in my garden. As a result, far from my childhood idyll of collapsing on the lawn on a woolly blanket, I am now a complete Hammock convert. We have pretty macramé hammocks at Rosara and I enjoy precious snatched moments swinging in the hammock with our border terrier Molly, just watching the clouds….
With summer holidays nearly upon us, how many kids would love a hammock sleepover?
Written by: Liz Nicholson