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Blog posts tagged with 'furniture'

Look after your garden furniture

 

 

Now that we have had our first frost it is time to protect your garden furniture. Outdoor furniture that’s left outside in freezing conditions or in snow will suffer. Here are some steps you can take to prevent this:

  • Wooden furniture will expand if it’s exposed to moisture and freezing conditions. You can find treatments for your wooden furniture at a local DIY store. It will protect it from moisture and in turn prevent it from warping.
  • Purchase some waterproof furniture covers. They will stop water from getting to your furniture and also add a layer to stop the cold getting to them.
  • Try and raise your furniture from the floor. If you place each table leg on a brick for example, you will avoid the legs sitting in water.
  • If you have space in a shed, try and bring the furniture inside. This is the easiest way to avoid water and temperature damage.

-- Gemma Dray

What’s orange and boring and lives at the bottom of the garden…?

Answer...a garden shed! When we moved house four years ago I needed one to store my tools and do a bit of potting while I transformed the wilderness that accompanied our new home. I built the shed equivalent of Dale Winton. Why do all commercially bought sheds look as if they’ve been ‘tangoed’?

My previous shed had been tucked away under a huge lilac tree. Fragrant roses and honeysuckle scrambled over it and mature shrubs almost hid it from view. It was my little sanctuary, a den to which I could flee and where, while transplanting seedlings and potting up bulbs, I could forget the stresses of the day. My new shed was the only vertical feature on an otherwise bleak landscape of stony soil. I couldn’t live with it but how could I disguise it? Shrubs would take a few years to establish, as would climbing roses. In the meantime it leered ‘orangely’ at me and looked...hideous.

I applied logic and a large gin and tonic to the problem. If I had already had mature shrubs I could simply have painted it black or very dark green so it would have blended with the shadows. No such luck. There was nothing for it, I’d have to make a feature of it. I hit the garden centre to check out colours. I was amazed. Timber preservative manufacturers now produce a vast range of beautiful tints. I could have painted my shed almost any shade I chose.



I toyed with a jolly red and white striped beach hut idea for a while, then spotted a jaunty yellow which I thought might be a laugh. There was also a gorgeous blue. For every colour I could imagine choosing plants to complement or contrast. In the end I settled on a soft sage green, to complement the silver leaved plants which I knew would do well in our dry, stony soil. I also indulged myself by painting the inside a light cream, which is so much brighter on overcast days.

Four years on, the heavily scented, pale pink rose New Dawn scrambles up the trellis attached to the side. The shrubs I planted to the front are beginning to provide cover and the nearby Eucalyptus provides a bit of height. My mother was inspired to paint her shed after seeing mine. Her garden is so tiny that disguise wasn’t an option. She went for vivid blue with a stained glass window! It looks stunning surrounded by vibrant pots and hanging baskets.

Why not get creative this month? Say no to orange and yes to red, blue, yellow, grey and lilac!

-- Rob Amey

Inspired: Gardens for Play

In celebration of the beginning of the summer holidays and finally seeing some sun I have decided to do an 'Inspired' post this week. I've always loved playhouses and after having three daughters that all LOVE playing outside and getting dirty I'm currently longing for an awesome playhouse for them to spend more time outside come rain or shine.

 
 
I know this isn't something 99% of the population can afford, never mind fit into their suburban garden but Oh My Lord it's the most amazing structure I've ever laid eyes on.
 
 

This one reminds me of all the Enid Blyton books I read as a child. It has a thatched roof, which as a grown-up I know it is impractical yet I still want! The size and shape is more fitting to a UK suburban garden, if not made from totally the wrong materials for our climate, but I'm sure you can all take inspiration from this and build something amazing for your children!

Now the obvious course of action here is to follow on to games you can play in your garden, and I don't mean tennis or football but indoor games... MEGA sized for the garden.

Twister has to be my favourite by far, ideal for a children's party or even a wedding reception! And here is it in all its garden sized glory...
 
 



The possibilities are- of course- endless and I'm sure the children would enjoy painting the spots on as much as playing the game with their friends and family. The special garden games spray paints are available from garden centres and don't damage the grass. Instead you could cut out fabric or card spots and simply lay them on the grass, or you could chalk the spots onto the patio.

Another family favourite is Jenga and what garden should be without a giant-sized version?


Of course you don't need to buy one this enormous! Argos and other retailers sell a garden version for not very much money but you could always- if you're crafty- make your own. There are many, many others, such as chess and draughts which are also great for garden fun and simple enough for children to understand and take part.

I'm a sucker for pretty things whether clothing, homewares or gorgeous things in your garden and the following pics are no exception! Maybe one day I'll get it looking like this!

I love arches and this is totally beyond belief! 'The Secret Garden' is an amazing book and inspiration just flows from it. This would be an amazing entrance to any garden, secret or otherwise! The possibilities are endless in regard to what you have climbing up and over your own archway. There are plenty of frames or shaped metalwork out there to achieve a fabulous shape for any archway.


I love our garden at night, you can't see the neighbours and we get a great view on the sky but my trouble has always been making somewhere amazing to sit and spend an evening. I long to create a space like this and it's easy and low cost to do. Most importantly, you need trees or a structure to sit beneath for your hanging lanterns, etc.


I challenge you this summer break to create something amazing yet family friendly for your garden, ours is in progress!

-- Liz Longworth