Garden Gains – Fast

Quick hacks to prep your garden ready for summer entertaining

So….after many a sun salutation and a few false starts, the weatherman reckons that June is set to scorch in a mid-month heatwave! We all know how volatile the British weather can be, but just incase the forecasts are true, we wanted to share some inspo and ideas on how to prep your outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing this Summer.

Quite often, we don’t have time to dedicate a whole day to a thorough de-weeding and gardening sesh, and don’t even get us started on painting fences. It. Takes. So. Long.

So we have rounded up a few suggestions on how you can update your outdoor space quickly, because let’s face it, at the first glimmer of sunshine we are creating a WhatsApp group called “I’m Walking On Sunshine” and inviting our friends and family over for an impromptu BBQ, so we need to have a few tricks up our sleeves for a little garden whip around.

Lighting

OK so the summer evenings are fairly light until about 10pm, but lighting is a great way to add a welcoming vibe and decorative flourish. We love stringing up some battery powered Festoon Lights across fences, sheds, playhouses or from one corner of the house to something else of height – like a tree – anything really!! These ones are in the sale at Festoon Lighting Shop right now – so head over to grab a bargain!

If you don’t have outdoor Festoon Lights and you are in a rush – get up those ladders into the loft and grab your Christmas lights – fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas! (A lot of Christmas tree lights are suitable for indoor and outdoor use)

Liv

If you do happen to have an outdoor power source and want to make a big impact you could bring indoor lamps outside, string up a chandelier in a tree, or use tiny garland lights as a table decoration.

Pots

You may already have some potted plants and shrubs outside, but we always think more is more when it comes to greenery – so supplement what you have with more. You don’t have to go out and spend a fortune – some local garden centres sell grasses and shrubs for a reasonable price.

When I get bored on my faux house plants, I transfer them outside – it means that I don’t have to spend a fortune on outdoor plants and don’t have to spend the time growing, maintaining and nurturing them.

Liv

We have a big range of pots online and instore, and we just can’t get enough of this aged, reclaimed terracotta pot, to add muted colour and loads of texture.

Candles

We just love a candle, especially a scented candle . . . especially and outdoor scented candle! Consider investing in some large outdoor citronella candles – not only do they smell amazing, they ward off pesky insects that usually cause one of your guests to start flapping and shrieking all over the garden! We love this one by one of our sustainable Cornish suppliers St Eval.

If you have little guests in attendance, perhaps use some LED candles for ambience and place some oil burners containing citronella oil up high in a safe place.
Try dotting a range of multi-sized candle lanterns around the garden space too – there’s something magical about the glow of candle light in a large glass lantern. We like to mix it up and place these ones on the floor and hang these smaller tea light lanterns from hooks, branches or wire.

IMAGE: PINTEREST SOURCE UNKNOWN

Floor Coverings

How infuriating is it when you’ve spent a back breaking day weeding the slabs or decking on the patio and a week later, they’re popping back through again?! There are lots of products on the market to keep those naughty weeds at bay but most take time to work and contain chemicals which isn’t ideal if you have small children or pets. So our trick is to cover unsightly areas of the garden patio with rugs. Rugs are fab for more informal dining situations, and perfect for children to sit around in a picnic set up, but they also add colour texture and comfort when creating an entertaining space outside.

You could even make floor coverings outside a more permanent feature by opting for some outdoor rugs. Most are made from woven plastic which means that they are weatherproof, easy to clean and won’t attract bugs. They are super lightweight too, so if you are off to the beach for the day they are easy to transport and make an ideal beach mat.

Serve and Dinnerware

We love nothing more than a big serve yourself feast, where everyone helps themselves and continues to graze throughout the day. This no fuss method means you can serve up on larger platters or boards like this reclaimed beauty. If you are really out to impress you can channel your inner creative, and design some beautiful grazing boards. Check out the wonderful Gather & Graze for some stunning inspiration! We like to treat our guests to a zingy little cocktail like this a-mazing Floradora gin cocktail by Hendrix served in our help-yourself water (or booze!) dispenser decanted into a pretty heavy cut glass tumbler.Cutlery in (easy to shuttle from kitchen to garden) caddy’s work well, and means you don’t need to spend time laying the table, as it is grab and go.

Throws & Cushions

When the sun has set and you’re braving the mossies for a few sundowners, the temperature may drop, so have a basket full of throws and blankets to hand, so that guests can wrap up and get super relaxed and cosy whilst still enjoying the great outdoors – this monochrome blanket marries cozy and boho together perfectly. Don’t forget to bring out all the cushions too – again you can opt for all weather cushions or maybe some from inside (depending on how civilised your guests are) like these gorgeous tasseled boho cushions of dreams.

If you do have the luxury of time and can be a bit more planned ahead of a scheduled outdoor event, why not look at taking on a DIY project that is a little more substantial. We love the idea of creating and building an outdoor Pizza Oven. Head here for a step by step tutorial – it will take roughly 2 weekends and a bit of muscle – but just think of those amazing homemade pizzas – we love this meaty offering from Jamie Oliver.

Now we just need some sunshine!!