More than ever before, we are coming to realise how important our homes are in terms of creating a safe, relaxing space that we like being in.
One great benefit of the lock down period has been ensuring that we slow down our pace of life. This has meant enjoying the little things we might have previously overlooked - such as relaxing in our gardens and reading a book.
Creating a little haven requires a little bit of attention, but can be done on a variety of budgets, and just because something looks to-die-for on Pinterest, doesn’t mean you can't create a version of that for yourself.
Gardening can seem like hard work and a lot of effort, and it can be! But it doesn’t have to be. It is possible to create a beautiful, low maintenance garden if you want to spend your time in the garden for relaxing, rather than weeding. Here are a few suggestions of attractive and hardy plants to consider for your garden.
Lavender is a great option, as it is easy to grow, has foliage all year round (although flowers in late spring and throughout summer) and thrives in full sun. It can cope with drought, so if you forget to water it, it won’t immediately perish. It’s also very attractive to bees and other pollinating insects - so your garden will be not only a haven for you, but also some amazing and important wildlife.
There are many different types of lavender, and it’s the English varieties which are more hardy. They smell fantastic, and they won’t die over winter. For more tips on when and how to plant, visit the RHS website.
Ornamental grasses are great, because they are hardy, resistant to pests and diseases and they grow quickly. You can plant them from March right through to September, so it’s not too late to improve your garden this year. There are loads of different types, and although they are best known for their greenery, their flowers can be stunning. Have a look on Gardeners’ World for more information.
Thyme is not just a herb, it is also a really attractive plant which flowers in summer with pink and white flowers. Like the ornamental grass, it doesn’t suffer from pests or disease, and it likes being in full sunlight! It’s great for plant pots too, so perfect for urban gardens.
Thyme isn’t just used in cooking either - it goes great in bourbon cocktails. An excellent choice for a garden designed with enjoyment in mind.
You can’t relax in your garden without having some luxurious seating to stretch out on. Deck chairs just aren’t cutting it anymore, with people leaning more towards a true outdoor living feel.
The retro hanging egg chairs are huge this summer, selling out at retailers all over the country. They are fun, stylish and relaxing - perfect for chilling out with a good book.
Our hanging egg chairs come in two sizes, the traditional single-seater (£249) and a larger two-person loveseat (£399). Picture it now, snuggled up with your partner on a warm summer’s evening, glass of wine in hand, watching the sun go down. Perfection.
If you really want to feel like you’re sunning yourself in Ibiza or Marbella, you need a day bed. A staple in the beach clubs of the Mediterranean - your holiday plans may have been scuppered this year, but you can make up for it, in part, by lounging on a sunbed in your garden. Cocktails optional.
Our stylish rattan-effect day bed (£499), is made up of four separate seats, which can be pushed together to make a lounger, and a table - perfect for those aforementioned optional cocktails.
Once the sun goes down, you’re going to need some mood lighting in your new and improved outdoor living area. Warm nights mean the party can continue into the night, so what are your options for unique and atmospheric lighting?
String lights, which are essentially outdoor fairy lights, look beautiful no matter where they are put. If you are lucky enough to have mature trees in your back garden, why not hang some lights in the branches, for a whimsical effect? Or if your garden is bordered by fencing, you can hang the lights along the tops to create a beach-bar feel in your backyard. You can get string lights from a variety of outlets, so have a search on Instagram for some inspo, and make some magic!
Lanterns are fantastic for creating a bohemian feel, and are often used in Moroccan-style designs. They are cosy, romantic, and produce a gorgeous light.
We have a range of lanterns, depending on your own personal style. Our wicker lanterns give a more beachy feel, whereas our chic silver cube lantern suits more contemporary styles.
There you have it, a quick guide on how to make your garden summer-ready, now - grab that book and a chilled glass of white wine and enjoy your outdoor space!