Dining out in the garden is one of the pleasures that we have to look forward to over the coming months. It’s a nice way of enjoying your garden, being outside and relaxing with friends. Your garden is probably bigger than any room in your house, so these are my tips to help you make the most of it.
1. Have enough room on the patio for your table and chairs, allow at least a metre beyond the furniture to move chairs back from the table.
2. Position the seating area so that you have enough shade, or sun, depending on your preferences. A parasol is a good solution as it allows you to have a bit of both.
3. Make sure it’s a nice flat area, grass gets easily worn and it’s awkward to have to move furniture every time you mow the lawn.
4. Be reasonably close to the kitchen so carrying food and drink outside isn’t a real chore.
5. Have some nice subtle lighting installed so that you can enjoy evenings outside.
6. Having some form of heating means that you can stay outside longer. Please don’t buy patio heaters they are so unfriendly to the environment and seem to mostly heat the air above you. Buy a brazier instead, click here for a bit more about these.
7. Metal furniture doesn’t need maintenance, but you may need a cushion or two?
8. It’s nice to have the option of a couple of seating areas if you have enough room. A small cafe type table near the house when you have five minutes to pop out and have a cup of tea, and a larger table in the garden can work well.
9. Wooden furniture blends into an informal garden nicely, but needs storing away in the winter. Look on the label for F.S.C. (forestry stewardship council) to make sure it’s sustainable.
10.Have some comfortable, folding chairs that can be stowed away and used when you have a gang of people over.
My extra tip is to make sure you have a plant with fabulous perfume that flowers in the summer right near where you’re sitting.
Enjoy your garden, it will get warm eventually.
images: Jill Anderson.