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Garden Decor Ideas to Get the Most from your Outdoor Space

We take so much care with decorating the interior of our homes, however, the back garden often gets ignored. It doesn’t need to be that way, here are our top tips for decorating your garden to turn it into a relaxing haven, which you can use all year round.

1. Back to Basics

Just like you would with your living room, you need to get rid of all the clutter. Have a good tidy up of your garden by getting rid of any weeds, mowing the lawn and discarding any old garden furniture or accessories that you no longer need.

2. Define your look

English cottage kitchen with comfy armchair and wooden furniture

To make your back garden a true extension of your living space, it needs to reflect your personality and individual style. It doesn’t have to look the same as your living room, but by having the same theme it will truly ensure you can bring the indoors feel, outside. If your home is styled to look like a traditional English cottage, you may want to include quaint furniture with a weathered look in your garden.

View the RHS Garden furniture, which boasts a classic style ideal for the traditional English garden.

3. Focus

Create a focal point to direct the eye, as without a focus it is difficult to draw your attention to one area. Decorating outdoors can be exciting, as there are so many opportunities. Your focal point could be anything from a dramatic ornament, a water feature, or even a tree. If you pick one unique element and design the rest of the garden around it, this will ensure your garden is slowly discovered rather than being swept through.

The important thing to remember is to make sure it works for the style you’ve chosen and the space you are in. Be as bold or as subtle as you want, but a focal point will provide you with a great foundation on which to base your other design elements.

4. Make the most of the natural features

The beauty of the back garden is that there are already so many great features, which you can utilise. Whether your style is modern, rustic, or something in-between, the trick is to make the natural features of your garden work for you.

Do you have a nicely groomed shrub you’d like to show off, but don’t know how? Drape it with fairy lights, to transform it into a standout feature. How about those old trees that need to get some attention? DIY some paper lanterns and make them part of a whimsical backdrop.

Seven colourful, lit lanterns hanging in garden tree

5. Make your garden useful

Garden patio decked out with sofa, colourful cushions and floral materials

A stylish garden is great, but it will be even better if it’s practical too. Especially if you enjoy having family and friends over. If you are thinking about using your garden as an outdoor dining and entertaining area, then you need furniture that is fit for purpose. Carefully consider where you want the garden furniture to go and what you want it to look like.

If you want to create a relaxed feel, then garden benches make an excellent alternative to chairs. For a versatile seating option, you may want to consider Menos pouffes, which can be used for extra seating, as a coffee table, or even a footstool. It doesn’t take a lot to make a space comfortable, cushions and throws will make a great addition to any garden furniture.

6. Get year-round use from your garden

The unpredictable, British weather can be off-putting, but by adding outdoor heaters you can enjoy your garden all year round. With a wide range of outdoor heating available, including traditional fire pits, tall heaters, and electric tabletop heaters, you can enjoy your garden, even when the sun goes down. The Kalos floor standing and pendant heaters feature LED Lighting, allowing you to add warmth and lighting in one go.

Back gardens are often untapped treasures that can be moulded to fit your wishes and needs. All it takes is a little bit of planning and imagination to turn your outdoor space into a haven, as well as a useful extension of your home.

 

And the winners are…

Thanks to everyone that entered our competitions to celebrate the launch of the new Kettler Indoors Outdoors hub!
We’re happy to announce our lucky winners are:

Summer house living

Pale blue woodpaneled summer house in a garden with plants and flowers in forefront

There are many ways to enhance your garden and turn it into a beautiful living space but the ultimate outdoor area should look and feel like an extension of your home, while adding functionality.

A summer house offers the perfect solution, marrying style and comfort with the added benefit of another indoor room to enjoy.

What is a summer house?

A summer house is a freestanding, roofed building or structure, usually in a garden. Depending on how it’s set up and decked out, it could potentially be used all year round.

Why get a summer house?

Ever fancied your own pub or a craft room to paint and get creative in? Perhaps your house is too small for the epic man-cave you’ve been dreaming of, or a mini-library full of books and a large, comfy chair?

A summer house could be anything you want it to be, and you can easily put your own, personal stamp on it, when decorating. By styling it to complement the rest of your home, you’ll create a lovely garden feature that you can show off to guest and the perfect hub for outdoor parties.

Table set for outdoor dining with dessert course of strawberry flan, creme fraiche and pink champagne by candlelight in the evening

If you’ve been thinking about extending your house with a sunroom or converting the spare room to a home office, a summer house could be a good alternative. It’ll save you using up existing indoor space, and could significantly increase the value of your home.

Have you considered…

  • Will you buy or DIY your summer house?
  • Could an existing shed/outhouse be converted?
  • What will you use your summer house for?

Ready to get inspired?

There’s a million and one ways to use a summer house; from a modest but quaint garden shelter to protect against rain and sun, to a fully powered, insulated and connected living space.

The hideaway

Why not create a safe haven for when you need to escape chores and unwind? Furnish with a lush mattress, futon or sofa, and lots of cushions. Add dimmed lighting or lanterns for a peaceful atmosphere and play some relaxing music. If you’re into yoga or meditation, it’s the perfect venue for some tension-releasing exercise or mindful reflection.

The guesthouse

Turn a good-sized summer house into a cosy garden bedroom providing friends, extended family or teenage kids with their own sleeping quarters. It doesn’t have to include facilities, but having an extra bedroom is always handy, especially if you are pushed for space in your home.

Summer house bedroom with white bed and big window with view of forest

The private bar

Fancy yourself a bit of a mixologist? Your summer house could become an elegant cocktail bar, full of your favourite spirits, mixers and garnishes, that reflects your personality. Tall bar stools, coloured spotlights and drinks menus will help add to the fun factor. Or turn your outdoor space into a beer garden, complete with a summer house microbrewery!

Eight beer samplers lined up on a table
Sunlit whitepaneled summer house with flower boxes, and a fence and forest behind it

The play room

Have you considered an adventurous play room for the kids? Young children will love having their own domain, especially on rainy days. Use it as a handy place to store the overflow of toys cluttering up your house. For older children, a summer house could be converted into a cinema, study or games room.

The social space

Whether it’s morning coffee, afternoon tea or an evening martini, a more conventional summer house can be a great social space for relaxing with your partner, or catching up with a few close friends. Think of it as an extra lounge or dining room, with all the fresh air you could ask for and a lovely garden view.

Interior with colourful curtains in lounge with cushion on deck chairWhat’s your style?

Whatever you decide to use your summer house for, take some time to think about how to decorate it. There’s no reason your summer house and garden can’t be just as stylish as the interior of your main house. Ideally, they should complement each other and show off your personality.

If your home is full of colour, quirky ornaments and unusual pieces of furniture, see the eccentric style through in your garden and summer house with the likes of low-level seating, outdoor rugs in a mixture of patterns, and bright fabric sails.

If your home has a country house feel to it, House to Home recommends combining rattan furniture with floral accessories. This extends an informal and conventionally stylish look to the outdoors.

For more summer house and garden style ideas and inspiration, have a look on Pinterest.com.

Hosting the perfect garden party

People enjoying a party in a garden with drinks.

Garden party planning

Organising a garden party takes careful planning and some creative thinking. There’s a lot to consider like what to put on the menu, setting the tone with music, and how to style your garden to impress your guests.

Arriving in style

First impressions count. Let your guests know they’re in for a fun time the second they arrive. Set out a path of flickering lanterns and greet party goers with flutes of bubbly, charming cocktails and mouth-watering nibbles.

Fire up the BBQ early and slow cook chicken souvlaki on a rotisserie. Guests arrive to the smell of your delicious garden party food, and cooking on the spit gives them a spectacle.

Create an enchanting atmosphere

Draw inspiration from your surroundings and the seasons to create an outdoor party theme; in summer, make the most of the colourful flowers, warmer nights and go for a bohemian feel. Enjoy a garden party all year round and on a crisp winter evening, wrap up warm for Bonfire Night and stoke up the fire pit.

Garden party table with tapas, breadsticks, red wine and yellow flowers

Music is important for setting the mood, so why not get your guests involved? Send a party invite or email, asking for everyone’s favourite tunes and set up playlists for the event. Dancing in the garden is a necessity at all garden parties and a simple way to keep guests entertained. Attach a wireless speaker to your parasol pole to have the music at the centre of your party.

Once the sun sets, use fairy lights to add ambience and place candles on stairs and outdoor furniture to add dimension to your garden. Lights are a great way to combine functionality with style, creating a cool and intimate atmosphere in the evening.

Summer garden party decorations and lighting

Food and drink

Summer cocktails with herb garnish on a rustic wooden tray

ho said fine dining’s for indoors only? True, finger food is easier to snack on while mingling, but there’s more to party nibbles than sausage rolls and quiche.

How about delicate and healthy caprese skewers with mozzarella, tomato, avocado and fresh basil eliminating the need for cutlery? Or tempt kids and adults alike with home-made sweet potato and parsnip chips, accompanied by spiced mayonnaise.

When it comes to drinks, let your imagination run wild. Give classic cocktails a fresh twist by flavouring and garnishing with home-grown herbs, straight from your garden; or create a signature cocktail for the party. Ask the mixologist at your local bar for tips on flavours that work well together, or check out TheBar.com for inspiration.

Ready for anything

The Palma Corner Sofa with a lit Palma Fire Pit Table and 3.5m Free Arm Parasol with LED Lighting and Wireless Speaker on a patio at night.

As long as you’re well prepared, it’ll take more than a bit of wet weather to get between you and a good time. Put a canopy or parasol up in the garden and deck it out with chairs, throws and lights to create a comfortable spot to host your garden party.

If you don’t have space outdoors for a canopy or parasol, why not extend your party decorations to an indoor area, dressing it with plants, wildflowers, leafy branches and bunting, to evoke a garden atmosphere?

After all; the best parties are often found in the kitchen so if the weather does turn on you, crank up the music and move the fairy lights and the party indoors.

Garden-fresh gin cocktails

Blueberry gin mojitos with mint garnish in glass jam jars

Great gardens call for great drinks, and nothing beats the zingy freshness of ice-cold, al fresco gin cocktail on a sunny day or any day to be honest. But when was the last time you got creative with your gin?

The G&T is a classic favourite, but we’re in the midst of a ‘ginaissance’, and with so many exciting gin flavours and recipes to try, why stop at tonic?

Classic gin and tonic with lime and a mint garnishLet’s get mixing

Gin gets its name and zesty flavour from juniper (the essential ingredient) and is complemented with a range of rich botanicals, like coriander seeds, angelica and orris root making it a perfectly crisp and flexible base for cocktails

We asked John Burke from the Craft Gin Club to pick his top three recipes for lounging outdoors, including herbs to garnish with. Check them out, then wow your friends with some mean mixing skills and freshly picked ingredients straight from your garden!

Classic Gin Martini

What’s in it?
Your favourite gin, vermouth and ice.

How do you make it?
Pop the vermouth and ice in your stirring glass or shaker, stir and strain. Add gin, stir and then strain into cocktail glasses. Start with 1 part vermouth and 45 parts gin, but feel free to experiment.

“It depends on how you like it; wet, perfect, dry or dirty with decreasing amounts of dry vermouth as you work your way from left to right.” John Burke, Craft Gin Club

And to garnish?
Instead of the usual olive or lemon peel, add some rosemary for a distinctly fragrant martini.

Gin martini with rosemary garnishNegroni

What’s in it?
Equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth.

How do you make it?
Add gin, Campari, vermouth and ice to a glass, stir and enjoy.

And to garnish?
This drink is traditionally garnished with orange peel, but for an alternative citrus flavour, try it with some lemon verbena.

Pink gin with lime and rosemary garnishPink Gin

What’s in it?
Gin, Angostura Bitters, ice.

How do you make it?
Pour gin over ice cubes and add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters it really doesn’t get easier than this!

And to garnish?
Try it with some thyme, rosemary or star anise, and a slice of your favourite fruit.

Cutting out alcohol? Try this mouthwatering mocktail.

Mint Mockito

What’s in it?
Mint leaves, apple juice, lime juice, soda water and ice.

How do you make it?
Crush a small bunch of mint leaves at the bottom of a glass, add juices and some crushed ice, then top it up with soda water.

And to garnish?
A fresh sprig of mint.

Mint mockito with fresh mint

Tasty tip

Accessorise your cocktails with flower and herb ice cubes. Simply add your favourite herbs and edible flowers to an ice tray, pour over water and freeze.

Fruit cocktail with mint garnishExperiment with flavours

Not that you’re armed with some delicious recipes, it’s time to get creative with your coWhat makes the perfect gin cocktail? Impress your friends with delicious recipes this spring and summer, using fresh ingredients straight from your garden.cktails.

Find inspiration in your garden and grow your own fresh mint or rosemary for added aroma; try some fresh basil or coriander leaves for a peppery twist; or if you have lavender growing outside, pop a stem in your gin for a sweet, flowery taste.

Options are endless, so don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients. For more expert tips on both conventional and exotic gin types and toppings, have a look at The Definitive Gin Distillers Garnish Guide.

Top Tips to get your garden ready for Spring

Watering can, plant pots, spade, hat, gloves and flowers on garden lawn

Spring-cleaning your garden is a lot like personal grooming – if you do the basic maintenance regularly, you’re laying the foundation for something that looks inviting and is easier to care for in the long-term.

Putting a little bit of work in now will pay off when you’re having fun with family and friends in a lush, green extension to your living space.

1. Clean Up

Winter can be unforgiving on your outdoor space, so it will appreciate a helping hand getting ready for the warmer months. Clear away anything that’s dry and dead, to allow the underlying glow to emerge and blossom.

The first thing to do is “exfoliate” the garden by trimming, pruning and weeding (easier in spring than summer, thanks to shorter roots), and removing dead matter from your ornamental grass before the regrowth starts. Woody herbs can be lightly clipped, but pruning times for other plants vary, so don’t get too scissor-happy.

Dead leaves, twigs, and mulch will stop sunlight reaching areas that might need it, so get to work raking any debris up.

“It’s important to burn any diseased material if you’re able to.”
Professional gardener Tom Watson, Edinburgh

Consider hiring tools to help cut back damaged trees and turn discarded wood into mulch. This prevents having to send unnecessary waste to a landfill site.

Homemade mulch also tends to be slightly heavier than what you might buy in the garden centre, which means it’s less likely to get blown around.

2. Hose down and spruce up

To make the most of your garden, give grotty old paths, paving stones and patios a good scrub down, and hose away slippery, unsightly dirt and growth.

Do the same for birdbaths and water features, checking for cracks that might have appeared during winter. Be honest with yourself: if these items still don’t look good, consider scrapping or replacing them – it’ll make such a difference to the space.

Wooden birdbath in garden with male house finch in it

There’s a lot to be said for organising your garden tools and supplies too. Scrub off the rust, get rid of any caked-on mud and check the blades on mowers and trimmers. It’s a dreary job, but now’s the time to make sure your drainage ditches are clear.

Spring is also a good time for repairing fences and trellises, as there is less vegetation to work around.

3. Give your lawn a makeover

Well kept lawn and flower bed full of different types of colourful flowers

A nice-looking lawn requires a fair amount of care and attention, but the reward is worth the effort. Start your lawn spring-clean by raking away dead grass and other organic junk, trimming (not too short on the first cut of the year, though, particularly as it won’t have grown much over winter), and applying moss killer where required.

Check for bare and damaged patches, reseed these areas and aerate the whole lawn space. Fertilise with a liquid feed that’s rich in nitrogen except if you’re planning to plant a wildflower mini-meadow. Keep the edges trim and tidy.

4. Time for bed

Your flower beds are where the real magic happens, so it’s worth treating them right. Start by removing all the old mulch, or working it back into the topsoil if it seems well composted.

Poppies and other wildflowers in lush, spring gardenIt doesn’t hurt to add some good compost or well-matured manure at this point.

Tidy up the edges of the beds, take a step back and perhaps consider adding a new border for some definition.

“You can bring the growing season forward by a few weeks, if necessary, by warming up the soil; just cover it with clear plastic or horticultural fleece before sowing.”
Professional gardener Tom Watson, Edinburgh

5. Delicious compost

If you don’t already have a compost heap, consider getting one going. The variety of compost bins on the market means you don’t need a massive garden, though bigger ones are more effective.

Ideally, you should position it in a shady area as the micro-organisms that turn waste to compost work best when conditions are constant. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends a blend of 25% to 50% green materials (lawn cuttings, kitchen waste, or manure) with the rest being woody, brown material, such as wood chippings, paper, straw, and dead leaves.

Avoid letting anyone material dominate the compost heap as it might get slimy. Turn it once a month to keep it well aired.

6. Enjoy your space

Table set for an outdoor meal in garden and decorated with flowersThis is the best bit. Never stop thinking about the fun you can have in your garden. If looked after properly, it can be used year-round as a tranquil oasis to relax in, a family playground, or the perfect venue for an outdoor party. Think of it as your stylish second living room, or a lounge under the stars.

Whether you’re starting from scratch, considering a redesign or simply looking for inspiration, the Royal Horticultural Society’s design advice section has lots of great tips and ideas to help get you started.

 

More Information

Follow our Spring Gardening checklist to have your Garden Summer ready in no time.

Guide to Buying a Garden Fire Pit

Black metal fire pit bowl with burning twigs

It’s nearly time to say goodbye to winter and give a warm welcome to spring. A time to get outdoors and start entertaining in the garden. By investing in a fire pit, it is a great way to spend more time in your garden with friends and family, even when the sun has set for the day.

What is a fire pit?

A fire pit is like an outdoor “fireplace” that doesn’t require any installation. Portable and easy to clean, a fire pit offers the perfect combination of a permanent outdoor fireplace and a grill.

Things to Consider before Buying a Fire Pit Table?

Pick a Style
Fire pits come in a variety of styles, including small, portable metal bowls to large stone or stainless-steel models. The popular choice of garden fire pits can also be used as coffee tables. Like the Palma fire pit table, which allows you to put a lid on the fire pit when you want to serve up a meal.

Consider your outdoor décor, whether it’s sleek and minimalist, charmingly eclectic, or rustic in style. Think about the look and feel of your gardens and find a fire pit that adds to the atmosphere. For a modern garden, our top pick will be the Kalos Universal Fire pits with a smooth stylish finish.

Close-up of marshmallows being roasted over a fire pit table

Pick the Perfect Size
Fire pits range in size from 52cm to 132cm. Choose a size that fits your budget and location. If you are limited for space, then a wall standing fire pit would be ideal. If you want a fire pit that will allow you to rest your feet on the lip of a fire pit, then choose a model that’s slightly lower than a standard seat height so you can get more heat to the body.

Decide on Fuel
With fire pits, you have the choice of either wood-burning or gas/propane. One of the biggest benefits of a wood-burning fire pit is that it’s cost-efficient. Whereas propane and natural gas fire pits offer the advantage of being faster to light, which creates instant warmth. They are also smoke-free, easier to clean-up and control.

Close-up of fire basket with burning logs in it

Think of purpose
Ask yourself what you want to use the fire pit for? If you fancy the idea of cooking on the heat of a real fire, then a wood-burning fire pit will be the best option. Maybe you want to add a fantastic design feature to your outdoor space? In which case a gas or propane fire pit would be the better. Also, look out for features that fit you and your family. If you want the option to rest a drink on whilst you relax in the garden, then look for a fire pit with enough lip.

Other Considerations
It’s important to consider fire-safety standards when operating an outdoor fire pit and take measures to reduce it. Ensure that your fire pit is at least 10 feet away from buildings and fences. It needs to be placed on a level, hard ground such as hard-stone, cement or tile.

Ensure everyone in the house knows how to turn off the fit pit, and never leave young children unattended around the flames.

Kalos Universal fire pit table

Top tips for your fire pit

  • Add a sprinkle of sage to your fire pit to help keep mosquitoes and other flying nasties away.
  • Fill apples with granola or crumbled oatmeal cookies, wrap in tin foil and cook in the embers of your fire pit for a delicious, warm dessert.
  • Put a grill on top of your fire pit and transform it into a barbecue.

The new Kalos gas fire pits are available in a choice of styles and sizes, with something to suit all tastes. Your garden is sure to become your favourite hangout spot, providing a great opportunity to get family and friends together.

 

Herbs at home

Herbs, flower seeds and gardening accessories on table in garden

Being able to pop out and take a snippet of something fresh to cook with, or make tea from, is a simple pleasure. Homegrown herbs look and smell great, and they could help attract some garden wildlife.

Herbs are pretty resilient, and many of them don’t need much attention.

Getting started

If you’re starting from scratch, it’s worth doing a bit of research to make sure you’re planting in optimal conditions: while many herbs are tough and will flourish just about anywhere, others are quite fussy about the amount of sunlight they require. They all, however, require a degree of shelter.

Herbs that prefer sun

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Oregano

Herbs that prefer partial shade

  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Tarragon
  • Parsley
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Anise hyssop
  • Lemon balm
  • Angelica

Pots of herbs on indoor window sill

Quick Tip

If you’re new to herb gardening, a great shortcut is to start with seedlings rather than seeds. That way, you’ll get a clearer idea of what each species should look like, and how they should grow, as a young plant.

Soil

Small mint plant growing in soilMost herbs prefer soil that’s well drained and fertile, with plenty of organic goodness. If yours is clayheavy, incorporate some compost or grit to improve the drainage. Or get round the problem of dense soil by creating a raised bed.

Herbs tend to be happier in soil that’s neutral to alkaline, but can take a little bit of acidity. If there’s too much of the latter, counteract it with some lime.

Annual, biennial and perennial herbs

If you are growing from seed, you should first distinguish between annual/biennial herbs.

Annual and biennial herbs

As the names suggest, annual herbs have a life cycle of one growing season, and for biennial herbs two growing seasons. They tend to grow fast and might need to be resown regularly.

Both annual and biennial seeds can be sown from March to August, and can be resown every few weeks to ensure a fresh regrowth.

Perennial herbs

Perennials have a much longer life span, consisting of multiple growth cycles. These grow more slowly and need a more permanent home.

Most perennials, should be sown in covered seed trays and then planted in their final positions when their roots seem strong enough. Some need a transitional period of getting used to lower temperatures outdoors, so it’s best to follow the instructions on the seed packets.

Annuals and biennials

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Chervil
  • Chamomile
  • Marjoram
  • Borage
  • Lemongrass
  • Rocket

Perennials

  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Comfrey
  • Sorrel
  • Russian tarragon
  • Hyssop
  • Fennel
  • Lovage
  • Horseradish

Where to plant

If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of space, you can plan a traditional herb garden with gravel walkways between sections and raised beds. This will require more of your time as you’ll need to plan your design carefully, use the right type of herbs, and ensure raised beds are kept in tip top condition.

Herb wheels, a multicompartmental planter, and raised beds are useful for keeping species separate, and you can also plant herbs as borders in existing flower beds.

Small mint plant growing in soil

If you’re pushed for space, you can plant straight into grow-bags, set up a mini in-kitchen
herb garden or make the most of your windowsills (south-facing is best).

Growing in popularity, micro-herbs, also knows as micro leaves, such as coriander and basil are harvested a week or so after germination and are flavoursome and easy to grow; all you need is a windowsill in a warm room that gets plenty of daylight.

Popular cooking herbs

  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Mint
  • Tarragon
  • Sage

Basil and other herbs on and next to a chopping board

Herbs for attracting wildlife

  • Borage
  • Catmint
  • Chicory
  • Chives
  • Clover
  • Comfrey
  • Cornflower
  • Echinacea
  • Evening primrose
  • Fennel
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Wild clary

Herbs with edible flowers

  • Lavender
  • Pot marigold
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Borage
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Rosemary

Basked of lavender

Pruning

Woody herbs need a light pruning in the autumn or after flowering to prevent them from getting even more woody. Softer ones should also be cut back after flowering to encourage more growth.

Grow a wildflower meadow

Poppies and other wildflowers growing next to building

Grow a wildflower meadow

There’s more to wildflowers than just their beauty. Planting these pretty and fragrant flowers will not only add colour to your outdoor area, but it’s also a great way of attracting bees and other important wildlife to your garden.

The good news is that you don’t need acres upon acres of land to make a minimeadow. Any patch of lawn in a sunny position can be turned into a rich wildflower meadow that’s easy to maintain.

Minimeadow quick facts

  • Suitable for gardening amateurs
  • Plant midspring or early autumn
  • Remember; wildflowers like sunshine

For the love of bees

Sadly, many bee species are on the decline globally. By cultivating a good mix of nectar and pollenrich wildflowers, you can turn your garden into a haven for these useful little critters helping turn around the steep decrease in their numbers.

“In the last 80 years, we have lost over 97% of our wildflower meadows in the UK, leaving our bees with little to feed on. Gardens and urban green spaces can help fill this void by providing the flowers that are essential to support bees throughout the year… especially between the critical months of March and October.”
Darryl Cox, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

When and where to sow

Most seasoned gardeners will tell you that it’s best to sow wildflowers during March and April, or in September. Autumn sown seeds are usually quick to sprout, especially on light soils although there are always some slower seedlings that won’t come up until the following spring.

On heavy soils, you’re best off waiting until spring to sow because seeds and seedlings can rot during winter if the ground becomes oversaturated with water.

Don’t have a garden?

Different wildflowers arranged in five glass vases

You can sow wildflowers in pots or planters for patios, balconies and doorsteps. The roofs of garages, garden sheds, bike boxes and wood stores also make good places for minimeadows.

After sowing the seeds, make sure the soil remains moist, or water if dry. You only need to water seedlings occasionally the great thing is they don’t require a lot of attention; they’re wild.

Lawn preparation

Wildflowers like natural soil that hasn’t been fertilised. To create a wildflowerfriendly lawn, stop using fertilisers and weed killers, and mow it regularly, making sure the grass stays short.

Growing tips

  • Rake the soil if it’s lumpy, the seeds may get buried and if it’s too hard, the wildflowers won’t be able to root properly.
  • Don’t sow wildflowers into areas in heavy shade.
  • Combine wildflowers, native herbs and ornamental grasses for a hardy but beautiful meadow.
  • For additional colour and interest, add rockery and alpines to your garden.

Quick fixes

Wildflower turf

Quick and easy to lay, wildflower turf is a nifty little cheat for making your garden colourful, beautiful and a haven for wildlife. Made up of 50% wildflowers and 50% grasses, it’s also an excellent way to avoid weed invasion.

Seed bombs

Neither explosive nor edible, seed bombs are little balls made up of compost, clay and seeds. They’re very straightforward to use simply scatter on top of soil or compost and let nature do the rest. You can even get special varieties of seed bombs, filled with wildflowers favoured by bees and butterflies.

Summer meadow full of colourful wildflowers

Maintaining your meadow

  • Cut or trim the grass in August.
  • Leave it until September if you want species such as Agrimony and Betony to get a hold.
  • Leave the grass that has been mown where it falls for a week, turning it over while it dries, to allow seeds to drop down into the soil.
  • Keep on top of weeds; wildflowers are tough and grow fast, but it’s important to get rid of any unwanted plants that threaten to take over.

Why not try these wildflowers for starters?

  • Cowslip
  • Milkwort
  • Oxeye Daisy
  • Sorrel
  • Ragged Robin
  • Red Campion

Garden furniture buying guide

As summer is approaching, make the most of the good weather by dining and relaxing outdoors. Here are our top tips for buying garden furniture, so you can create the perfect outside space in no time whatsoever.

Things to Consider!

Before you begin, here are the things you need to ask yourself to ensure you buy the garden furniture that is right for you.

How much space do you have?

One of the most important aspects to consider is how much space you have to work with? Is it a garden or a balcony? Whatever outdoor space you have, at Kettler we have an option to suit all sizes. At this stage, it’s important to get a general sense of space, rather than exact measurements.

How will the Garden Furniture be used?

You need to consider what purpose, the garden furniture will be used for. Do you want to enjoy eating al fresco, so looking for a dining set? Or maybe you want to relax and lounge in your garden, so want the comfort of a sofa or armchair. By thinking in advance about how you plan on using your garden furniture, you get a better idea of the types of furniture you require, whether it’s casual or dining.

Have you got somewhere to store the furniture?

It’s important to think about where you plan on storing your furniture when it’s not in use. Do you plan on bringing it indoors when the weather changes, or do you have enough space to keep it outside all year round? Most of the Kettler furniture is suitable to be kept outdoors all year round. Although, it’s worth noting that during the Winter, cushions need to be stored in a dry, well-ventilated environment.

How Much Maintenance does the Garden furniture require?

Before purchasing anything, it’s worth considering how much effort you want to put in caring for your garden furniture, as certain materials require more work than others. Would you like to give your furniture a lick of paint every year, or do you want something less demanding? This is an important consideration, as you want to be able to enjoy your furniture for years to come.

Types of Materials to Choose From!

Garden furniture is available in a whole variety of materials, including Wood, Metal and Rattan.

Rattan Garden Furniture

Rattan is available in two options – Natural and Synthetic. The Kettler wicker garden furniture is made from synthetic rattan, as its environmentally friendly and durable, so can be left outdoors all year round. Whilst visually, it is almost impossible to tell the two apart.

Kettler rattan garden furniture is handwoven to give it the quality that it deserves. Made with resin weave, which is hard-wearing, yet lightweight. Not only is it resistant to mould and mildew it is also UV resistant, so the colour won’t fade.

Wooden Garden furniture

Wooden garden furniture is ideal if you want to add a natural and timeless look to your outdoor space. The Kettler RHS wood garden furniture boasts beautiful raw material with a stylish, traditional design.

All the wood that we use is Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC®) approved, which means the wood is responsibly sourced.

We offer furniture in 3 different types of wood: Teak, Acacia and Eucalyptus.

  • Acacia – Acacia wood naturally weathers over time, so is recommended that protective treatment is applied, at least once a year, to keep it looking its best. The durable wood is highly resistant to the elements, so the furniture can be left outdoors all year round.
  • Eucalyptus – Used in our RHS garden furniture, eucalyptus is an excellent hardwood with high oil content, so it is naturally resistant to decay and rot. To maximise its longevity, treat the wood with a high-quality, water-based acrylic sealant.
  • Teak – Used in the popular Elba Collection, teak is a dense wood with high oil content. Teak is more water-more resistant than other woods, so it won’t rot, even in the dampest conditions. To maintain its beautiful colour, you can sand it down and apply wood treatment, once a year. Alternatively, if you choose to leave it untreated, the wood will turn to a silver-grey colour.

Caredo 4 Seater Dining Set with Stone check seat pads from KETTLER's Classic metal garden furniture range on a patio.

Metal Garden Furniture

If you want garden furniture that is sturdy, and easy to care for, then the metal furniture is a great option. At Kettler, we have Metal furniture to suit all styles – from classic to contemporary. Apart from being highly durable, metal garden furniture is low maintenance, only requiring an occasional wash with soapy water.

Choosing the Right Type of Garden Furniture

Kettler has garden furniture to suit all occasions, whether you want something for dining and socializing to lounging and relaxing.

Garden Furniture sets

If you enjoy al fresco eating, then our practical and stylish dining sets will be the perfect option. We offer large dining sets, which can accommodate 6 to 10 people, or compact bistro sets ideal for 2 people. Space will have a big influence on the furniture set you decide to buy. Use your space wisely and if you’re limited for space, a stylish, compact and easy to store table and chair is a good choice. You don’t even need a garden, as bistro furniture sets can also fit on a balcony.

The next consideration is the shape? Round, square, rectangle and even oval tables are available and in many cases, the table shape is simply a matter of taste and space.

The Kettler garden dining range offers innovative features, such as the Palma height adjustable table, which can be set at two different heights, perfect for any occasion. If you just want to lounge you can lower the table into a coffee table or adjust it to its taller height for dining.

Casual Lounging Sets

The Kettler Casual lounging sets offer a sophisticated, luxurious and contemporary option for your garden. With the stylish lounge sets, you can enjoy all the comforts of indoor lounging, outdoors. Our collection includes armchairs, sofa sets, coffee tables, pouffes and, so much more.

Kettler’s Casual lounging ranges feature bespoke-sized outdoor tables, which are positioned at a lower height than regular garden dining tables, so ideal for lounging around.

Sun Loungers, Chairs and Tables

The Kettler sun loungers and chairs come in a wide choice of styles, making the perfect addition to any garden. The ergonomically designed loungers, not only create additional comfort but can reduce tension in the back and neck.

 

The rattan wicker loungers come complete with sumptuous cushions included, for added luxury. There’s a choice of multiple positions for complete comfort and a stylish look. If wicker loungers aren’t your style or too big, then its worth considering metal-framed sun loungers. They are fully adjustable, foldable and often have wheels, so they can be easily moved around.

Check out the Palma Hanging egg chair for a truly eye-catching statement chair, which is suitable for outdoor and indoor use.

If you’re more inclined to sit upright, then deck chairs and armchairs, are a great option – especially if you’re limited for space.

Garden Benches

Nothing quite beats a classic garden bench in a beautiful traditional garden. With a choice of contemporary and timeless benches, we offer something for all tastes.

You might also need

Complement your garden furniture with a few extra pieces so you can enjoy the outdoors in comfort.

Parasols and Parasol Bases

Add some shade and stay protected whilst enjoying the summer sun with a parasol. We offer a choice of parasols, including wind-up and cantilever parasols.
Parasols are not only for large gardens! If you are limited for space, then a wall-mounted or Menos ½ balcony parasols are available. These can be placed against the wall, so it doesn’t take up too much space.

Soft Furnishing

To add a bit of brightness and extra seating, why not add the versatile Menos Pouffes. Pick an option that will complement your colour scheme so you can enjoy the outdoors for longer.

Garden Furniture Storage

You need to consider where the furniture will be kept, when not in use. Although some furniture can be left outdoors all year round, most would last longer if it’s stored out of the elements. Kettler protective covers are tailor-made to provide a snug fit to the furniture. It is advised that during the winter period you bring the cushions indoors or store them in a dry and well-ventilated cushion box.

Garden Furniture Maintenance

If after a while your furniture starts looking a bit dirty, then a damp non-abrasive cloth and soapy water are usually enough to clean most materials, like rattan and metal.
Wood garden furniture requires more specialist care. We recommend, firstly using a hardwood cleaning fluid, then add further protection by applying a wood protector or oil. This will keep your furniture looking its best for the summer ahead.

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