Your garden is an extension onto your home and we’ve been lucky enough to be graced with a beautiful summer. We put time into maintaining and improving our gardens but it’s often not until you have people come around to see your beautiful garden, you realise it’s not the idyllic social space. We’ve gone through our favourite ways to create a sociable garden that your guests will love hanging out in.
English weather can be very unpredictable. If you get a downpour of rain the night before your guests come around, the ground may still be wet. Decking is great for all types of outdoor entertaining.
Decking lights can add a warm glow to your decking area. It also creates safe footing as you can locate them on the stairs and surrounding whilst also creating a soothing light as opposed to a harsh spotlight.
Seating is highly important if you want your garden to be a sociable space. The type of seating you choose will depend on the space you have available. Picking furniture that is the correct size for your garden space is crucial and you’ll need to measure it properly before purchasing.
If you have a smaller garden you may want to consider folding chairs. They can easily be stored away and taken out before your guests arrive.
If you have the luxury of a spacious garden you could invest in an outdoor sofa set. They look super stylish, especially the corner sofa style. They are extremely comfy and will help in creating a cosy atmosphere.
What’s great about garden furniture is you can personalise your seats with the cushions you use. Even if you have a wooden or steel frame, asking some colourful cushions and throws can completely transform the look and feel of the seating.
Fire Pit Focal Point
Once the sun sets and the temperature decreases, it’s often tempting to move things inside. Although, you don’t want to feel like you have to. Fire pits are the perfect solution. They’re not only aesthetic but they also create a warm and homely feeling. Not to mention it will keep you from getting cold and having to go inside.
As well as being warm, practical and acting as your centre social piece of art, you can also use the fire pit to cook and toast marshmallows. Whether you want a fire pit for cooking or keeping warm, it will compliment your garden all year round.
Having a dedicated space to serve drinks outdoors makes entertaining just that bit easier. There are multiple ways to get creative with an outdoor bar. You may invest in a shed like bar that you can purchase from most stores. However, if you’re looking for cheaper options or a D.I.Y project, the possibilities are endless.
Have a look what’s around; is there anything you can use to create a quirky bar? You can use anything from crates or timber to create a really simple but edgy bar. You could even turn the kitchen window leading to the garden into a breakfast bar. You can do this by opening up your windows fully and placing the bar and stools directly underneath it.
There is so much inspiration for these kinds of designs on Pinterest. If you’re looking for something on a smaller scale you can always create a mobile garden (a drinks trolley on wheels).
An outdoor dining table on stable ground can provide great foundations for alfresco dining. If setting up for a BBQ isn’t your thing, alfresco dining can serve those looking for a bit more glam. Eating in the garden during good weather conditions is blissful, something that makes us Brits feel as though we’re on holiday.
We also asked Alexandra to share her top tips for this piece. She’s a talented woman that shares her wisdom through her blog, The Middle Sized Garden.
“My number tip is to create a private spot with shade where you intend to eat. In today’s town gardens, it’s often unrealistic to expect complete privacy in the garden, but you can create a private corner with a mix of tall plants and trees, screens and pergolas or gazebos.
Tall bamboos in big pots can create a contemporary look, while a screen made of an espaliered fruit tree is suitable for a traditional garden. There are also some beautiful laser-cut garden screens today – they are almost sculptural and will act as a windbreak and increase privacy.
Shade and protection from a sudden change in the weather is important. We’ve had some wonderful meals outdoors with friends since we put a roof (made of corrugated iron!) on our pergola. We wouldn’t eat there in really bad weather, but it does mean that we don’t have to go inside if a few spots of rainfall during lunch. And, although some people love the sun, most people prefer not to eat facing blazing sunshine.
We have a large parasol, but the angle of the sun means that it only shades two or three people after midday – at one lunch we ended up with all six of us squashed into one half of the table. If you don’t have a covered area in your garden, then I’d suggest two parasols – one in the centre of the table, and one free-standing one that you can angle or move as the sun changes position.
They will also make your outdoor eating area feel more private, too’
We hope that we’ve inspired you to start using your garden as a sociable space that you can enjoy with your friends and family. No matter the size, area or weather; there is always a way to work around and transform your garden into a place where memories and laughs will be shared.
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