I’ve always been a firm believer that gardens are to be enjoyed, not just worked in – and the last few months have brought home just how valuable they can be. With restrictions easing and indoor visits allowed from this week, lots of us still won’t be comfortable with visitors indoors, especially if someone in the house is vulnerable from a health point of view. So this summer more than ever, we need to get good at gathering in the garden. Here are a few hints to help you make it happen.
Gardens, of course, are not about plants, but about people – so the first thing you need to do is make things comfortable for your guests. I’ve yet to meet a garden chair that wasn’t improved by the addition of a cushion – and they’re a great way to brighten up the space and add a pop of colour, especially if your flower borders are more Les Miserables than A Chorus Line. Showerproof versions are increasingly available if you’re inclined to forget to bring them inside.
Cosy blankets are another handy addition to your garden décor, adding comfort and looking inviting, as well as allowing you to stay outside when evening chills descend.
A source of heat can make cooler evenings more comfortable, and a fire pit or chiminea offers an inviting focus to gather around as well as giving out warmth. Built in versions can be integrated into your seating area to create a focal point, while portable ones offer flexibility. If lighting a fire seems like too much work, the newer garden gas heaters are a huge improvement on the tall flying saucer type used by restaurants.
For a quick floral fix, try grouping summer flowering plants together in baskets, old wine crates or whatever pretty boxes you can get your hands on. You can always plant them into the borders afterwards. Now let’s just hope the sun decides to keep us company for a while longer…….
Garden gatherings look likely to be a feature of this summer
Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.
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