I love this time of year. Everything is just so alive. It’s a time when I hate to be inside and yearn for a walk in the park surrounded by the lush green trees, an afternoon spent lying in a field or simply just sat outside drinking a cup of tea or glass of wine. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden – whether it’s large, small or London-sized postage stamp (that’s me folks), you’re bound to be spending quite a bit of time in it over the coming months (fingers crossed). Which means it’s time to get decorating…
Just stringing up a row of fairy lights can instantly transform the plainest garden into something pretty, making the slide from dusk into evening just magical. Winding them around a flower box also looks lovely. I’m also a big fans of lanterns and tea lights in jam jars, either strung up in trees (as in the top picture) or just scattered around on different surfaces.
Rattan lights, £10, Wilko; White Festoon Lights, £45, Cox & Cox (not available until July); Solar-powered lights (also available in white), £10, B&Q
Hanging teardrop votive, £7, Garden Trading; Brenton copper lantern, £26.95, Broste; Aged metal lanterns, £26.50, Nordic House
So, you’re probably not going to do this when a friend’s popping over for tea, but isn’t this votive surrounded by lavender just the prettiest thing? By tying springs of lavender around the candle with twine, you’ll not only have a beautiful light, but also the scent of lavender enhanced by the heat from the candle. Heavenly.
It’s worth thinking about seating when you’re planning your outside space. Obviously, being Britain, you can’t leave rugs, cushions and chair covers out all summer (or even overnight), but I love the idea of bringing the inside out and creating another room in your garden. While, personally, I love a mismatched look, this simple grey seating area (below) looks very chic. I would just add a brightly coloured cushion or crockery and some candle lanterns to brighten it up.
Inside/outside Nirvana rug made from recycled plastic (4ft x 6ft), £40, Green Decore; Cushion cover, £5, Ikea; Iron brazier, £95, Cox & Cox
Banbury ceramic stool, £89.95, Joss & Main; Indoor/oudoor Birdcage mirror, £40.95, Joss & Main; Saraille Cobalt linen throw, £150, Designers GuildIf you’re going for more of a country look, then how about bunting? It speaks of summer fetes, Miss Marple mysteries, country weddings and gold-tinted days of years gone by. It’s just so English and summery, and yes lovely. It’s also a great way to easily ‘prettify’ a small space. If you have the creativity and the time, then make your own out of old bits of fabric, but if that’s too much of a faff then you can easily buy some here. I also adore tipis, so much so we slept in one on the night of our wedding. These children’s tipis would be a much-loved edition to any garden (and can easily be brought inside when it rains).
Wigwam, £60, Great Little Trading Co.; Plain tipi, £120 and decorated tipi, from £150, My Wee TeePee; Play tipi, £99, Strawberry Hills