The days are brighter, the weather is warming and flowers are blooming; spring is officially here. And whilst the weather may not be on our side (just yet), there’s no better time to get your outdoor space ready for summer soirees, eased restrictions and lazy afternoons catching those rays. From tables and chairs, to planters and accessories, we’ve got everything you need to prepare for summer living...
Dining Al Fresco
Whether it’s a sizzling barbecue, patio picnic or sunset nibbles, dining al fresco is a highlight every summer. An instant way to get a coordinated look for your outdoor space, a dining set is the place to eat, drink and enjoy the company of friends and family in the comfort of your garden.
From simple bistro sets to sprawling dining tables and benches, there’s plenty to choose from. Whilst it’s important to take into account the size of your space and how many people you want to cater for, you should also keep in mind how will this set up complement your outdoor area. The easiest place to start is with colour, match or contrast with other parts of your space, such as a fence, wall or other furniture.
Turning your garden into a home away from home (at home) isn’t as difficult as you might think. Want a cosy corner? Invest in an outdoor beanbag for guests to laze on. Sunbather? A hammock or lounging bed will be your best friend this summer. Comfort is key when it comes to relaxing, so ensure you stock up on outdoor rugs, cushions and blankets too. Don’t forget that getting some shade is important, so if your garden isn’t blessed with breezy trees a parasol is essential to keep you protected from the sun.
Spring is busy in the gardening calendar as the ground wakes up after a long winter and there’s plenty you can do to your garden in April to prep it for the season ahead. From planting bulbs and sowing seeds to weeding, tidying flower beds and dusting off your furniture; here’s a few top tips to kick-start your garden for spring:
- Take a moment to inspect your garden and see what’s happened whilst you were indoors all winter. Make sure you check any frost damage to plants, flowerbeds that need clearing and any evidence of new inhabitants that may have moved in.
- Before your spring bulbs begin to burst into life give your garden a thorough spring clean. Remove any plant debris, such as fallen branches, leaves and foliage; maintaining good hygiene in your beds will ensure pests and diseases are kept at bay.
- Whilst it’s the safer option to ensure there’s no more risk of frost before planting outside, some cool weather loving plants can be planted in early spring. However, be ready to take cover if a late frost does arrive, old sheets, towels and rags make good last-minute covers if you’re taken by surprise.
- Spring is the perfect time to give your lawn some love. Rake the ground gently to loosen the soil, spike with a fork and then sprinkle in some fertiliser alongside a handful of grass seed. Give it an additional rake and ensure it stays well-watered and new grass will quickly fill any patches.
Deck Out Your Space
Furnishing a larger space can seem a little daunting and sometimes patios and decking can be a tricky space to complete. Start by choosing the largest furniture first, usually a modular sofa or dining set and then you can work around this focal point with accessories like pots and planters. If your patio is on the larger side you can arrange pieces into areas based on relaxing, eating or playing and easily create a room-within-a-room feel with rugs, lighting or even screens.
No outside space is too small for cloud-watching or ray-catching. The only thing you need to consider is asking yourself what you want to do in your compact space; will you be napping, reading, exercising, eating?
A comfy seat is key for those looking to kick-back in style and don’t forget an outdoor cushion or two to ramp up the comfort factor. Foldable chairs and stackable stools are perfect for guests if space is tight too. Thanks to their compact size, bistro sets are ideal for dining al fresco in smaller space, alternatively stools and side tables make good alternatives if you’re just looking for a place to perch and graze.