If you have a garden that really comes into its own in the summer months then making it like a part of the home is as desirable as keeping it in bloom. The best way of encouraging you to use the garden as an extension of your living space is to invest in some high quality outdoor furniture. Good garden furniture need not be expensive. Indeed, you can get some great seating that integrates into the garden year round and that is maintenance free.
Making your own table is perfectly possible with some thoughtfully arranged materials. Costly external furniture, that can be left outside over the winter will usually look great in most gardens. However, you can get a great look more cost effectively if you are simply prepared to store your furniture indoors over the winter. And it is by arranging your furniture in a way that suits the rest of your garden that will mean that, even with less expensive choices, you can get an inspiring look.
To get the most out of your furniture, use it in spring and fall, not just in high summer. Offer yourself and your outdoor furniture some protection from the elements by creating a covered seating area. Perhaps this can be as simple as a traditional porch, but if you want a seating area further into the garden this can be easily achieved, too. A simple canopy, with your furniture set underneath it, will mean you enjoy the outdoors even if the weather is less than perfect. Install some dimmable lights into the shelter so that you can keep using the space into the evening.
Create a sense of a room in your garden with seating. Many landscape designers take ideas from interior design nowadays by creating room-like zones from beds and planting. Add some benches to a garden room to develop the sense of a constructed living space. If you take this idea further, to its logical conclusion, you can create a second living room outside – perfect for enjoying a summer cook out.
Individual seats are fine outdoors, but there is something about the informality of al fresco living that lends itself to shared seating. Banquette seats are perfect for use in gardens, therefore. Banquette seats come in many forms and look ideal when used to create a division between a decked are and the rest of the garden. Like an outdoor sofa, they create a visual divide, so work well in places where you might have a balustrade in place, for example. Set them around a table or a fireplace for the best results and use removable cushions so that they don’t get damaged if it rains.
Stone seating is the perfect option for year round external furniture. Making your own is a great DIY project for even novices with mortar and construction. If you are planning on building a wall to break up a garden space, or retain some earth, consider making a stone seat as an integral part of it. That way, you will have created a permanent place to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Stone seats look especially effective in a curved design if set next to planters, constructed from a similar matieral.
Get your table right and the rest of the garden furniture should fall into place. A simple table can be created by upturning some garden stools and setting a flat surface on top. If you want something more permanent and stable, a few slabs of concrete look good, though you will not have the flexibility of being able to move them, like a wooden table. Garden chests make for ideal occasional tables. And if you like water features why not combine one with your choice of an outdoor table?
Lazing about in the summer with a cooling drink is made all the better by the addition of a swing seat in your garden. A high frame will allow the seat to swing gently, but make sure that it is suitably strong. Single-seater swing seats are perfect for curling up in with a good book. Or, for the ultimate in outdoor relaxation go for a hammock, slung near to a summer house or a pool.