For those of us lucky enough to have a garden canopy or veranda, dining under it in the summer with friends and family, sitting out in the morning with a cup of coffee or watching the light fade in the evening comes naturally.

However, there are plenty of other ways to use your outdoor space to inject some variety into your routine and take joy in the small things — something that might be especially valuable in the UK’s post-coronavirus lockdown-lite.

Sleeping Outdoors

Feeling a little domesticated, but don’t have time to get out into the countryside? You can get a midweek slice of the great outdoors the easy way by making up a bed under your canopy, and falling asleep to the sound of leaves in the wind – or youths on mopeds!

Sleeping outside is a great way to shake up a working week or break out of a funk, with all kinds of associated health benefits. You’ll almost certainly wake up feeling refreshed and at peace — or, at the very least, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for your bed and a set of curtains!

Working in the rain

While it might sound silly at first glance, working in the rain is a brilliant counterintuitive sort of fun. With you and your electronics safe under your garden canopy, a dusting of rain becomes a pleasant cacophony of sights, sounds and smells you just can’t enjoy inside.

Either way, whether you’re ploughing through your to-do list or sitting through interminable video meetings, your garden is far easier on the eyes than the inside of an office cubicle.


With many of us struggling to adjust to the new normal, cancelling holidays or feeling the strain, we’re all looking for a way to get a fresh perspective. Stargazing late at night lets us remember where we came from, where we’re on our way to, and what really matters.

Sitting out on the veranda with a mug of hot chocolate, a friend or loved one and a star map is a way to take joy in the small things, reconnect with yourself and learn something new.