Do you pack your garden seats away every winter? I don’t. The thing is, winter’s not that clear cut in these parts - it doesn’t have a fixed beginning and end, tending to show up, uninvited, at intervals throughout the other three seasons. The upside of this is that summer gets a crack at it too, with still, balmy days possible any time from February to November, and it’s a real shame not to take advantage of these to snatch a few welcome minutes in the garden, so I like to make sure there’s always somewhere to sit. By the time you’ve hauled your furniture out of storage and brushed the cobwebs off, the window of opportunity might have closed.
In even the tiniest of gardens, you can fit a seat or two, and if you’d like to have it always at the ready, choosing the right material can make this easier. Hardwoods are always popular – although please do make sure they are sustainably sourced – and weather to a lovely silvery grey in time, but will take a while to dry out during wet periods. Painted softwoods or metal might need more frequent maintenance but will dry off more easily after a rain shower, allowing for more frequent use in our uncertain climate.
Steel and iron will have to be repainted regularly to prevent rust, but if you’re after a low-maintenance year-round solution, you could consider cast aluminium, often available in powder coated finishes. It’s rust resistant – at least in theory – you might find that the screws and fixings rust a little – and is one of the best solutions for furniture that’s left outside all year round. It works best in sheltered areas as it tends to be quite light, so if you’re very close to the sea or subject to strong winds it might not be the best option.
Now, if only spring would stick around, I’m ready to head outside with a cuppa, a cushion - and this week’s Advertiser, of course!
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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