Glowing globes and cherry furniture – how to make your garden stylish
Gardening is the purest of human pleasures, according to artist Francis Bacon. Not that there seems to be many horticultural references in his paintings.
I suspect he might have had a lingering affection for weeds and, if so, he would approve of the consensus among top gardeners that the wild, natural, look is in. Here are our top picks on how to make your garden glorious.
Add a touch of glass: A Victorian lodge glasshouse by Hartley Botanic is a stylish space in which to grow plants and enjoy your garden on chillier days
RECLINE AND RELAX
Garden furniture this year is exuberant, jauntily painted and intricately patterned. M&S has a hand-cut marble tiled table and four chairs at £419.30 (Petra round table and four chairs, marksandspencer.com).
John Lewis is shedding its slightly staid image with a cafe-style table and two chairs in gleeful vivid greens or shocking pinks for £69 (Brighton Bistro, johnlewis.com).
This summer’s must have is a firepit. It’s like installing a hearth outside. They prolong the evening, letting you sit comfortably by a roaring fire. Firepits are essentially steel bowls in which fire is contained.
The pricier firepits are works of art. The Firepit Company sculpts steel into intricate patterned spheres, like the Tree of Life Ellipse, pictured right, (£1749) which act as outdoor log burners and sculptures. Prices from £949 to £5,000, thefirepitcompany.co.uk.
Fireball: The Tree of Life Ellipse firepit is an intricate work of art and it will keep you toasty too
For a more affordable option, Argos offers steel firepits from £19.99, argos.co.uk, and John Lewis has a selection from £3,000 for a sandstone and stainless steel Foras bowl to a more modest £79.99 steel bowl.
Modern glasshouses and conservatories are stylish, contemporary additions to the home.
‘Our glasshouses are used as summer houses and garden rooms as well as for growing tropical plants such as orchids and even bananas,’ says Christine Jackson, of Hartley Botanic (hartley-botanic.co.uk) who have been building glasshouses since 1938.
‘They aren’t as heat efficient as conservatories, but lots of people are using them as a way of extending their living space in the summer,’ she says.
Cheery summer style: The Parc red and yellow bistro by Habitat sets will perk up your garden
Furnished in stylish rattan, surrounded by olive and orange trees, you can enjoy a glasshouse for a good eight months of the year.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The cottage garden, packed with favourites such as foxgloves, lupins and hollyhocks, is experiencing a revival.
‘Some of the most popular plants this year are, like poppies, self-seeding and found growing in the wild,’ says David Mitchell, outdoor plant buyer at Wyevale Garden Centres. ‘These plants are happy in an English garden. They come back year after year.’
WORKS OF ART
It’s not all about greenery. ‘Hard landscaping using gravel and stone is gaining popularity because it’s low maintenance and can look stylish,’ says David Mitchell.
We’re seeing a lot of limestone paving, paths and steps as well as iron and metal sculptures. If you can’t run to bronze, try a metal obelisk — rusted metal is fashionable, according to Rosemary Alexander, principal of the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden.
You can buy obelisks from Muntons Traditional Plant Supports from £115, muntons.net.
Lighting your garden is key to creating that serene vibe we all hanker after.
‘I use lanterns to light the nooks and crannies,’ says designer James Basson.
Inspired by Chelsea Flower Show? Here are the top tips for how to transform your garden this summer.