1) Fill your outdoor space with flowers
Create a beautiful setting with blowsy blooms and sunny displays. But don't worry if you're not very green-fingered, get yourself a few pots and arrange them artfully around the garden. This is a great way of adding some colour and finding out what grows well where.
If you're unsure which flowers to buy, keep to a limited colour palette, such as white and green:
Be creative with your choice of pot too!
Why not try....
These apta planters, produced in conjunction with the RHS, would be a beautiful addition.
2) Let your garden glow
It doesn't have to be complicated, nor very elaborate, but lighting up your garden is the best way of enjoying those summer evenings. Solar-powered lights are fuss-free as are collections of candles and lanterns. Group candles together on a table for flickering light as you eat. Use light strings for illuminating dark corners, whereas individual lamps can be used to highlight architectural features or hidden away in foliage to magical effect.
Emphasise the curve of a path or wall with a string of light:
Often the simplest lights create the most beauty:
The Seta Windlight from Lombok is perfect for a collection of candles or containing a string of battery-operated LED lights. Easy to move around the garden too for flexible lighting when entertaining:
3) Indulge in a well-loved theme
When gathering ideas for plants in your garden or for decorating your seating areas, the choice of colour and item can be overwhelming. For this reason it can be much easier to stick to a certain theme.
These colours also work well on planters, stone work, lighting and flowers in your garden:
Why not try...
The dreamy Nordic Sea tableware by Broste Copenhagen is like looking out to sea:
4) Create a welcoming table
One of the best things about summer and moving your life more outdoors is the entertaining you can do in your garden. No more confinement from four walls, you can throw open your doors and embrace the blurry edges that plants and lighting can create outside. Whether an intimate dinner for two or a party for many, key is to create a welcoming table and atmosphere for you and your guests.
Start by choosing furniture which can stand the variability and rigours of the British climate so that you can enjoy dining al fresco year after year. It's wonderful to have a large table, but if space is not sufficient, don't overlook extending tables and folding chairs which are great for impromptu gatherings and can be safely stored away when not in use. Be bold in your choice of material too. Wood is always classic, but stone and concrete are big this year and work well outdoors.
Accessorise with comfortable soft furnishings such as cushions and throws to create a relaxed area for dining and socialising. There are lots of home ware items such as rugs and lights which can also be used outside. Continue the decor colours of your house and you'll feel right at home!
Or take advantage of not having to sit on chairs at all and create a picnic or film night!
In terms of tableware, melamine is child-friendly and making a come-back with retro inspired designs, geometric patterns or adorned with fun slogans. Alternatively mix and match with whatever you have around as the variety will bring charm.
Why not try...
To keep you warm as the sun sets, use this lovely orchre Diamond Knitted Throw:
And this Two-Tone Zinc Vase would look lovely as a vase for cut flowers or as a water pitcher on the table: