The A - Z Guide of Garden Essentials - PART ONE

Following on from my previous column– ‘Celebrate Summer in an Outdoor Oasis’, today’s post provides a further insight into the world of outdoor living. 

One’s outdoor space is no longer thought of as being just a ‘garden’, when the good weather is upon us most people will prefer to be outside as much as possible.
Gardens today are treated as multi-purpose areas that reflect personal interests and personalities, now used for the same every-day activities that we normally perform inside the home. For example, this post was written sitting at my terrace dining table rather than inside at my office desk!
A garden can serve as a much needed retreat that when well designed and decorated can really help to increase the liveable space of a home. This A-Z guide is jammed packed full of smart and stylish outdoor decor ideas, along with many useful and unique garden elements. Use this ‘backyard bible’ to help transform your outdoor area into a relaxing personal sanctuary that can be enjoyed all year round.

A – Alfresco Dining: As social creatures is so important to have a place to encourage conversation, laughter, entertain friends and enjoy a family meal. An outdoor setting can act a focal point when themed or dressed with colour coordinated décor.
For everything else you need to know about Alfresco dining visit this article ‘Dine Alfresco’.




B
Bunting:
Bunting is the best little accessory for the garden to add a splash of colour and create a touch of Shabby Chic.



C – Cinema:
Create a private screening in your own garden! This can be done as easily as just suspending a white sheet (as long as you invest in a HD 3-D projector). Add floor cushions, pillows or bean bags for comfort and string up some fairy lights to create a cozy ambiance.




D – Day Bed: Perfect for pool-side bathing bliss, catching up on R&R and Nana-napping. The daybed does it all and what could be more heavenly than basking in the sun on a delightful daybed? They are available in so many different styles, shapes and sizes there’s one to suite any outdoor space. The most popular brands are Dedon, Kettal and Ego or you can make your own!        

E – Eco Garden Room: Much more than just a glorified shed and a great alternative to a home extension. Garden rooms are quicker, easier and less expensive to construct and may not require planning permission. They come fully insulated and just as sturdy as a traditional house. Plumbing can be connected to the mains water supply and the electrics routed directly from house. A garden room can be utilised as a home-office, granny-flat, art studio, gym, games room, outdoor kitchen and more. 



F – Fire Pits:
 Unfortunately it isn't always enough to throw on a jacket once the temperature drops in the evening. Fire is a fantastic, natural element to add to any outdoor design plan. You can create warmth and beauty or just enjoy the ambience of a gentle blaze with a custom fire feature such as a fire pit.



G – Glow in the dark elements: Create a brilliant outdoor scene with glow in the dark furniture and planter pots. Perfect for pool sides or to create a unique focal point within the garden, these elements will provide a beautiful soft glow and funky ambience. There are three different ways to achieve this is look.
Option 1: Incorporate L.E.D lit furniture. It’s durable, scratch / scuff-resistant, 100% waterproof /weatherproof, glows wirelessly and turns on with the flick of a switch.

Option 2: Decorate with solar powered pots. These pots work by absorbing the sun-rays to charge an internal battery, which then powers built-in LEDs when the sun sets.


Option 3: Paint some pots using Rustoleums Glow in the Dark paint; the pots will absorb sunlight during the day and glow at night. This is a very easy and cost effective option.


Useful Resources:
Below are some websites worthy of checking out where you will be able to find some of the products I have listed above.

Alfresco Dining: West Elm
Bunting: Etsy
Cinema: Pillows & Cushions by Joss & Main
Bean Bags by
Fat Boy
Outdoor Projectors by
Best Buy
Eco Garden Rooms: The Garden Room Guide
Fire Pits: Paloform
Glow in the Dark Elements:
L.E.D Furniture by
Patio Things Solar Powered Plant Pot by Firebox
These are just a few initial ideas to get you started and to stimulate the creative juices. Be sure to check back in a fortnight when I reveal the second part of this A-Z guide!
For more inspirational ideas visit my Pinterest board ‘Secret Gardens & Outdoor Living’  
Images Sources:
A – Alfresco Dining 123   
B – Bunting 12, 3
C – Cinema 123 
D – Day Bed 123  
E – Eco Garden Room 123  
F – Fire Places 123   
G – Glow in the Dark Elements 12, 3


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