The garden's the place to be this bank holiday. So enjoy longer days outside with our guide to getting the most from your outdoor space.
Create a special space that sits between your home and garden with a decked area, giving you a place to sunbathe, relax, barbecue and entertain. Just open your back door and step out onto a naturally-beautiful area. Decking boards are designed to blend in with any style of garden – choose from wooden or composite decking, with a smooth or grooved finish. Wooden boards need to be treated and looked after to avoid them warping whereas composite decking only requires cleaning but both make stunning decking areas. Ensure you choose outdoor furniture that complements your decking and create an outdoor look that blends into your home, by using the same colour and style of furniture and accessories you have indoors. Love bright cushions or big pot plants inside? Then use the same outside on your decking.
Stay outdoors longer
No need to pack up and go indoors once dusk falls, just ensure you have the best garden lighting where it matters most in your outdoor space and you can enjoy the whole of the day outside. Insert deck lights into your decking boards and your decking area will light up and become an area to enjoy long into the evening. Bollard lights can highlight a pathway to the house while spotlights look great highlighting your favourite places in the garden. Outdoor lighting should be soft and subtle, not bright, so hiding the lights behind seating or under leaves works really well. The right outdoor lighting creates the right mood, makes your garden look stunning and invites your guests to stay that little bit longer.
3. Eating al fresco
Food tastes better eaten outside! Whether you're laying the perfect table for a romantic meal for two or firing up the barbecue for a big group of friends and family, outdoor furniture that looks good and is comfortable is a must. Choose high-quality wood so it blends beautifully and naturally into the garden and, with a little care, ages beautifully too. If you're celebrating a special occasion like a birthday in your garden, a few simple ideas will make all the difference to the day. Why not create your own gin cart with a decorated table to hold your bottles, glasses and mixers? It'll make guests feel at home and encourage them to get creative too. Candles or LED lights dotted around look your garden great once night falls. Then add blankets to chairs for when it gets chilly.
Add an extra room
A beautifully-constructed wooden pergola may be a simple structure: just four vertical posts with horizontal posts making up the roof, but they will transform your outdoor space. You can choose from simple, modern styles or more ornate and shaped designs. Whichever you pick, stand your pergola in your favourite spot in the garden or against the house over decking to create a special area that will give you both privacy and shade. Climbing plants can also be encouraged to grow up the pergola to create your own Italian-style space in your garden. And you can also add lighting and enjoy your new structure into the evening.