With Spring coming in slowly (it is, believe me!) it is time to start looking at how you are going to use your garden in the Summer. Most clients that I see, have a busy life at work in the week and want somewhere to relax when they come home or at the weekends. But, more often than not, the seating areas in their gardens are woefully too small, in the wrong place or the actual garden furniture is uncomfortable and impractical. If I ruled the world, I would ban all white plastic garden chairs! A huge amount of thought goes into buying your sofa and armchairs for the house. Why not put equal thought into what you are going to use in the garden? It is worth giving it time and paying out for something comfortable.
Firstly, look at your seating area you have already in the garden. Is it in the right place? Does it catch the sun at the times you are able to use the garden? Is it in too much sun? Maybe you could do with an area of shade to sit in? Is it big enough to get the chairs and possibly a table on? It is my experience that people underestimate the size of paving needed to use for 'alfresco' eating or lounging. Imagine a group of people around for a summer meal or drinks and decide whether your space is adequate.
I often design more than one seating area into a garden, even a small one, so that you can change your viewpoint during the day. Don't always think that a patio has to go next to the house. Add a small seating area where you can look back at your own house rather than looking over the fence at your neighbour's house!
Next, go and look at chairs, loungers, outdoor dining tables and choose something practical which you can keep maintained but, also aesthetically pleasing and ABOVE ALL, comfortable!! You can soften a hard wooden bench or chair with cushions covered in durable outdoor canvas. I love wooden garden furniture and, if you can afford hardwoods such as oak, they age to a wonderful silvery patina. A quick pressure wash and oiling at the beginning of the season will keep them looking good. Enjoy your garden in comfort this Summer!
I have been looking through the Hayloft selection of plants to see what I could recommend to you for this article. What better plant than the trusted Phlox? It flowers and flowers, is scented and comes in a fabulous selection of pink, purple, white and even red hues.
I particularly took a fancy to Phlox paniculata
Classic Cassis. What a beauty! A new varietiy from breeder Janus Verschoor. when seen at twilight, really do seem to radiate light. Clouds of perfume are released from their gorgeous blooms from summer to mid autumn, which can be brought into the house as they are ideal for cutting. Slug resistant and attractive to bees and butterflies. Tolerant of soil conditions in sun or part shade, in border or container. A all round perfect plant to add colour to your borders for a long time.
I hope you will be sitting comfortably this Summer in your garden!