Going alfresco: get your garden ready for outdoor living

Going alfresco: get your garden ready for outdoor living

We all love our gardens, and with summer around the corner, now is the time to invest in al fresco living with some garden essentials.

Did you know that almost two-fifths of people in the UK have changed the way they use their gardens? 35% of those asked said they have transformed it into a place for relaxing and 11% had even made theirs into an extra living space! So, what garden trends are in for 2018 and how can you make your backyard a fantastic place to spend time?

Going alfresco: get your garden ready for outdoor living

What plants do you need?

Your first step is to brighten up your garden with nature — which means choosing a few of your favourite flowers, shrubs and garden plants.

Unless you have plenty of spare time, you may want to go for flowers that are easy to maintain. A plant that is perfect for this type of gardener is the shrub. You can use shrubbery to line the pathways of your garden and the lawn edge, filling in a space that might’ve been left bare. When planting shrubs, remember to plant them at least half the width of the shrub apart from other shrubs and boundaries as they can grow outwards.

The grow-your-own trend is set to become even more fashionable from 2018 onwards — why not get involved? When cooking for your guests, you can head to the bottom of the garden to gather some fresh herbs and vegetables to go with their meal.

What furniture will spruce up your garden for summer?

Of course, plants and flowers are only part of the strategy to a beautiful garden fit for outdoor living this year. Sales of garden furniture, barbecues and accessories are expected to grow by 3-4% annually up to 2021 — so get searching for top deals on a range of tables, chairs and more.

Brits have always enjoyed al fresco dining, but is there a way we can make this a touch more enjoyable and even on-trend? Forget plastic chairs and paper plates; why not create a sunken fire pit in your garden, surrounded by some cosy cushioned seats and colourful plastic dinnerware for snacks and drinks? With a comforting source of heat in your back garden, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself outdoors more than you would have thought.

We’re truly a nation of barbecue-lovers, as long as we get the weather to enjoy them! In fact, between 2006 and 2016, the average number of barbecues held per family each summer rose from 2.5 to 10 — demonstrating our growing love for outdoor dining. Of course, you can go as premium or as basic as you like with your barbecuing, depending on the size and features that you’re after. More people are making purchases of verandas now too, allowing them to spend time outdoors despite what the weather is like!

Many people think that they need a large garden to enjoy time outdoors dining, drinking and socialising; however, that’s not the case. If you have a small garden, you can be space efficient and keep clutter out of the way by building a shed. The Posh Shed Company saw a massive 300% increase in sales of its Chelsea shed in 2017. This type of shed is all about space-saving and has features such as built-in shelving on the outside so that internal space isn’t compromised — great for keeping your garden clear and looking nice.

Sprucing up your garden with fresh plants, hanging baskets and trendy furniture is a simple way to get in on the al fresco living trend and make the most of your backyard. Spending more time in the garden is guaranteed to lift your mood and stop you getting cabin fever — so give it a go.

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