Hayes Garden World’s online columnist Angela Slater looks at how you can ‘holiday at home’ and make the most of your garden this summer.
Here Angela shares her expert tips alongside product recommendations to recreate popular holiday dining destinations, from sunbathing on the beach on a tropical island to sipping coffee in a quaint cafe on the Italian Coast.
UK Countryside: Garden benches and swing seats
“Wooden garden benches are the very epitome of an English country garden,” Angela explains. “Scattered throughout the garden, sited in various spots to take advantage of the shifting sunshine. Why not relax and take a book and a refreshing drink? There are wooden benches to suit any garden style from a traditional Lutyens style to a more minimalist model to suit a contemporary urban outdoor entertaining space.”
“Bring a little of the heat of North Africa to your outdoor entertaining space,” says Angela. “Outdoor fires with a grill plate and suspended cooking pot can not only be used for all the usual barbecue fare of bangers and burgers, but you can also rustle up a fragrant Moroccan style tagine cooked instead in a cast-iron casserole suspended over the hot coals. All you need to complete the authentic look are a few rugs and some big lounging cushions, add a multi-coloured throw and you have all the ingredients for an evening outside around the fire chilling out in the company of family.”
Maldives: Lounge Sets
Angela comments: “Investing in a chic stylish set of resin weave garden furniture gives you not only somewhere comfy to relax but also an excuse to close your eyes and imagine the gentle breaking of crystal clear, turquoise Indian Ocean waves on a white powder sandy beach. Complete the picture with a fruity cocktail and pineapple and peaches seared on the barbecue and made into an intoxicating sundae with prosecco sorbet and fresh coconut shavings.”
“Nothing says relaxing summer holiday like a comfy sunlounger,” Angela says. “The beauty of having your own at home is you don’t have to get up at 2am to place a towel on the best spot. Plus, most garden sunloungers are light enough to move around the garden to follow the sun. Pair them with a small side table for your book, cocktail, sunscreen and sunglasses and you’re all set to make the most of the summer sunshine.”
Italian coast: Bistro Sets
“Bistro sets are light enough to move around your outdoor space, so you can have breakfast and lunch in the sunshine,” Angela tells us. “These small contemporary sets are ideal for a light meal or just relaxing with a refreshing drink and the morning paper. Fire up the pizza oven or barbecue and make your own delicious wood-fired authentic Italian pizza, they’re much easier than you think. Pair with a glass of crisp white wine or an Aperol spritz and when the sun shines you could be anywhere from Siena to Sicily.”
South of France: Parasols
Angela explains: “Even though the British sunshine is not as intense as in the South of France, it’s still important to keep out of direct midday sun. A cantilever parasol gives you a feeling of lazing outside a pavement cafe watching the world go by with a cappuccino or sitting sketching in the manner of the Impressionists and creating your own unique work of art. Parasols are available to cover the smallest bistro set or the largest lounge set, just make sure the base is on wheels so you can move it easily as the angle of the sun changes.”
“If you want something a bit more substantial than a parasol to shelter from the sun, then a gazebo can give your garden that feeling of an elegant Roman villa – all that’s missing is a couple of classical statues and a soothing fountain,” Angela states. “Something the size of the Trevi fountain may be a bit excessive but there are plenty of classical self-contained fountains to soothe in the heat of the day. Add a couple of standard rosemaries, a lavender edge to your borders and some simple elegant Italian cypresses and you’re well on your way to your own version of a stylish Roman garden.”
Transfrom your garden this summer by shopping online at hayesgardenworld.co.uk.