The birds are singing, the plants are growing – even the sun is shining! It’s finally starting to feel like spring, and your garden is coming back to life. So let’s get outside and make the most of it! After a long day at work, there is no better place in the world to relax than your own garden.
Easter is usually the time of year when people start visiting the garden centre looking for new plants and shrubs to revamp their garden. Then you’ve got the rest of the summer to get outside and enjoy it. And for that, you need good patio furniture.
Often, people spend loads of time planting the perfect garden, but don’t put a lot of thought into finding the right furniture set. One that complements your garden style and design, and works best for you. Here are my top tips for integrating your outdoor furniture into your garden.
It sounds obvious, but make sure you take into account the right size table and chairs for the space available. If the set is too big it will make your garden look cluttered, but too small and it will feel awkward and out of proportion.
Before you go shopping, measure the space, building in extra room to comfortably pull out the chairs without falling off the edge of the patio.
If you have any doubts about a furniture set you’re thinking of buying, take the table and chair measurements home with you. Then cut the same shapes out of old cardboard or newspaper and place them on the patio so you can see the set dimensions. Et voila, no expensive mistakes!
Make it intimate
Unite the different areas in your garden by creating an intimate seating area for dining and relaxing. This works well in big gardens with room for multiple seating areas. But if you have a small garden, be a little creative!
Nestle a bistro table and chairs at the foot of a tree or large shrub for atmospheric privacy. Or create your own instant hideaway by arranging large pots of tall evergreens around a bench. Simply half-hiding your garden furniture will make it feel like part of your garden, rather than an add-on.
Illusions of grandeur
You can also create the illusion of more space by choosing a furniture set with an open design. This directs the eye through the furniture rather than to it, making your garden feel bigger. It will also subtly harmonise the set with your garden plants and flowers by allowing their colours to show through.
Storage space is at a premium for most of us, so outdoor furniture should be fully weatherproof. This means you can leave it outside all year round, rather than bundling it into a shed when the weather turns. You also won’t need unsightly covers that turn your furniture into an eyesore!
Choose something waterproof like resin weave, which fits in with wooden garden features like trees and fence panels. Or try a rust-proof metal like aluminium, which blends in with any garden style.
Secondly, if you’re garden is small, look for stackable or foldable chairs so you can reduce the amount of space your furniture takes up. And make sure all soft furnishings like cushions and covers are neutral-coloured and detachable, so you can wash them.
Follow these tips and find your perfect furniture set. One that fits in with your garden and even makes it look bigger! After all, outdoor living should make your life easier, not harder.
Now get out there and enjoy it!
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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