What good is your garden design investment and your annual struggle against the British weather – if you’re not able to enjoy all of your hard work?
Choosing the right type, style, material and arrangement of your garden seating will be crucial to creating the right space. Are you looking for the best view, or the most sun? A dappled corner or the most comfortable position? There are lots of decisions to make regarding how your choose your furniture, but there are a few key questions that are relevant across the spectrum.
Indoor vs. outdoor
This isn’t a battle between your suede sofa and your plastic patio set – but rather a question of weatherproofing and storage. It has become popular to bring some indoor luxuries, like cushions, outdoors – but this needs considering. Firstly – your outdoor furniture must be weatherproof or it simply won’t get used. Hauling it out of the garage or the shed rather spoils the spontaneity of dashing out to enjoy the ten minutes of sunshine you’re going to see in April. Cushions aren’t out of the question – though bear in mind that you’ll need somewhere to store them for the majority of their lifetimes. It should be convenient and close to hand, therefore probably outside, and should be perfectly weatherproof.
Modern vs. classic
Wicker and rattan are iconic materials in the world of garden furniture, but they don’t resist the environment like some of the more modern materials can. There are now almost identical alternatives when it comes to aesthetic, but they are made of woven plastic that is entirely weatherproof. Can you put this to the back of your mind for longevity and cost? Also for wood – consider some of the manmade strains that lack the weaknesses of natural timber. If you’re in love with your mahogany or pine, make sure you give it the right treatment and move it indoors during a frost.
Sunshine vs. shade
Less of a question and more of some advice – having shaded and sunlit options will keep you outside earlier and for longer. Much like a swimming pool whilst on holiday, you can alternate between the heat and the cool throughout the entire day. Look for sheltered corners which will resist any breezes from disturbing you whilst you take a minute from the sun’s rays. For the sunlit seating, look for open spaces that don’t have any overlooking trees or fences to disturb the light.
Finally, any furniture that is left out (or indeed stored away) should be properly treated in spring. Give it a good hose down and then depending on the material, apply something to increase its weatherproofing and maintain its life. There’s no reason why good quality garden furniture shouldn’t last decades. And with that, here’s to hoping for some imminent sunshine and chances to use the seats…
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.