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West End Homes  Picture: Rettie
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A breath of fresh air ... making the most of outside

Exploring our outer spaces

Recent times have made us appreciate our open spaces. With summer here, Gillian Welsh explores how we can live more outside and make better use of what we have

We all know that being close to nature is the key to a healthier and happier existence.

The West End has an abundance of parks and communal gardens, but if you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, you’ll know it isn’t just for hanging out the washing or where the kids can let off steam: it can also be an extension of your home, where you can think and dream and recharge your batteries.

High living with added outdoor space
High living with added outdoor space

That’s the ideal, anyway. For a lot of garden-owners, the reality is a muddy, ramshackle mess where nothing thrives except weeds. But if a makeover is on the cards this summer, there are endless ways to transform an unpromising backyard into a Utopia.

Could you convert an old shed into a garden room? Yoga retreat, art studio or home office – we’d all benefit from a bit more elbow room.

If a makeover is on the cards this summer, there are endless ways to transform an unpromising backyard into a Utopia

Could you ‘erase’ the boundary between inside and out by laying the same stone or tiled flooring in the kitchen as on the terrace? It’s a clever visual trick to link the two together. Could you create a lush ‘jungle’ in a basement patio? Fill it with big pots of ferns and shade-loving plants, light it with lanterns and you’ll be out there day and night.

Acres of room to live outside
Acres of room to live outside

A tenement garden needn’t be just a boring green square either. Join forces with your neighbours to build raised beds and seating areas and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to bring colour, birdsong and fresh homegrown veg into your life.

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