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As the summer approaches, you might be looking forward to leaving work and life worries behind for a week or two of relaxing and exploring.
Whether you're going on an exotic beach break, a city escape or a camping holiday in sunny Britain, leaving your home unattended is something that many people worry about doing.
Here we give you a few tips on how you can look after your house and your garden whilst enjoying your time away:
1) Leave a Key With a Neighbour
You may get on really well with your neighbours, go for drinks or dinner together and speak regularly in the street, so if you trust them enough with a key to your house, this is perfect. You can ask them to watch your house for you whilst you are away and let you know if anything untoward has happened.
2) Find someone to water your plants
If your neighbours have older children who are always out to help (or just make a little bit of pocket money!), why not ask them if they want to water your plants for you whilst you are away. Leave the hosepipe plugged in and ready for them to use each evening if it's warm, or every couple of days if the weather has been miserable. As a thank you, give them some money and a token gift from your travels.
If you don't have anyone to ask to water your plants, put your containers and planters together in a shady corner and just before you go away give them a good water before covering them with a horticultural fleece or shade netting.
3) Store away your furniture
When it comes to garden furniture, there are two things that can make you worried – it getting ruined, or getting stolen.
Put any furniture which is smaller and easier to move such as this Rimini Mosaic Steel Patio Set indoors, either in a porch, the kitchen or your hall way, as this will keep them safe. For any bulkier items, try to store them away in a garden or shed.
If you don't have the storage to do this, your furniture mainly needs protecting from the elements, so invest in some furniture covers. Our covers are tailor made to fit the individual sets and keep your tables and chairs in pristine condition. They are made from durable polyester fabric, are PU coated and are water repellent. Each piece also has a drawstring and toggle to keep it secure and protect from dirt, weathering and discolouring.
4) Deterring Break Ins
There are a number of ways in which you can easily deter any break ins during your time away and they're not as difficult as you would think.
If you have a neighbour going round to feed your pets or water your plants, ask them to open your curtains each morning and close them each now to give the illusion that someone is in. Robbery's are usually targeted, not random, and if you are going to be broken into, they may be watching the house over a couple of days to monitor any activity.
Leave a landing light on. Using a low energy light bulb will ensure you won't have a huge bill to come home to, and a little light inside during the night will make people think someone is home. Just don't go overboard and leave every light in the house on – it won't be believable. You can also buy smart LEDs which let you control your lights from an iPhone which would be perfect whilst you're away.
Ask someone to pick up your post. Whether you have a separate box to collect your letters, or they are posted through the door, if there is a build up of packages, burglars will notice that no one has collected the post for a while. Ask your neighbour to pick the post and junk mail up daily and store it in a drawer – leaving it in a pile on the side will just have the same effect, especially if there are windows into your hall.
Leave a car on the driveway – the added layer of security will make people automatically think that someone is home and will ward off any potential break ins.
Don't post anything on social media! If you advertise the fact that you're going away and post pictures of the full family enjoying a sunny climate and fun holiday, it is letting people know that your house is empty and ready for a potential undisturbed break in.
5) Don't Worry!
Having a garden that you're proud of is something that many people strive to have, especially in the summer months when you like to relax in the warm weather, have friends round to socialise, host BBQs and let the kids play with outdoors toys and games.
If you do go away and can't preen it to perfection, don't worry. Plants can be revived after just a few days of no water, and hopefully (for you, not so much for everyone you've left behind...) the British weather will prevail and you'll be lucky enough to have some rain.
If any of your teak furniture does get damaged, our Teak Renovation System is water-based and contains both teak cleaner and renovator.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other ways of keeping your house or garden safe and looking great while you are away!