As the start of summer arrives most of us are thinking about the coming months spent outside. Whether you have a large garden, urban courtyard, balcony or terrace, now is the time to spruce up your outside space. With some clever tricks you could be lounging in your garden, sipping a cocktail or two with friends and family next weekend.
Hot news in gardening this year is to create an outdoor ‘room’, providing a natural flow from house to garden. Blurring the boundaries with clever planting and the use of raw materials. This year’s top trend is ‘urban’ with concrete being used on the walls, pots and flooring. Get the industrial look in outdoor furniture with the MILTON concrete garden set or TICO range. Garden sheds and fences are being painted in matte black, all softened with green planting. This look can be easily achieved with little or no cost at all.
Shop the look: MILTON garden set
TAKE A SEAT
Garden furniture has evolved. Gone are the white plastic garden chairs, making way for stylishly cool low slung seating, like the KOBA rattan chair, that will look great in both the garden or in the conservatory.
Shop the look: The KOBA rattan chair
One of the great summer pleasures is to dine outside, be it a lavish BBQ or a simple picnic. Really think about how you will use the space, is there room for a permanent table and chairs, if so what size. Do you have room to incorporate an outside kitchen, a pizza oven or perhaps you have space for a portable BBQ.
Once the ‘bones’ of the garden has been completed, next turn to the planting. Whether you are green fingered or not, there are plants for everyone. Simple evergreens will look great all year round, such as box balls or bay trees. Or if you can afford it, a large olive tree looks incredible in a huge terracotta pot. Depending on your own personal taste you could go for minimal plants or create a green oasis, the choice is yours! Remember, someone has to water all those plants so perhaps don’t get too carried away!
Personally, I have to have scented plants in my small urban courtyard. Old English roses, tall foxgloves spikes and honeysuckle climbing the fence. I also love to introduce a small amount of edible plants too, I always have herbs growing in an old tin bath (think about planting a herb windowbox using Holt placed within easy grabbing distance of the kitchen window), climbing cucumbers up the sunny south facing wall and cherry tomatoes in a pot by the back door. There is nothing like freshly picked tomatoes in the summer.
After all of your hard work, relax on a simple deckchair and enjoy your hard work. In the evening add some festoon lighting or lanterns to use the space well into the night.
All images are Habitat’s own or taken by Lou Archell | Littlegreenshed.
Lou Archell is a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer. Littlegreenshed, which Lou started in 2010, is one of the UK’s leading blogs encompassing travel, lifestyle, plant life, family and the great outdoors. She lives in Bristol with her partner Dan and her two sons Charlie and Rufus, in a small Victorian terraced house which is in a constant decorating flux.