Inspiration

It’s time to refresh your garden furniture

0 Written by Lisa on 21st Apr 2017 in Design Tips, Garden accessories

After a few weeks of dry, sunny days, I can safely say that the world has woken up and started to think about their gardens again.  It’s funny how we “park” all the jobs outside over the winter months, even if we didn’t really intend to.

One of the things I was reminded of when we sat outside last weekend is that our garden furniture is really on its last legs.  But it’s lasted 12 years so I don’t think it’s done too badly considering.

The furniture you choose for the garden can really change the way it looks and feels and there are so many options to choose from now that you’re almost spoiled for choice.

One thing I am clear about is that garden furniture should be on show at all times of the year. Sure, put your cushions away when you’re not sitting out, but it’s important that your terrace has a sense of purpose, even on rainy and wintry days.

I understand that it’s important to preserve your furniture for as long as you can, but you have to remember that it’s made to be outdoors and will be pretty robust. Timber furniture may need a bit of TLC every now and again, but if you buy a decent hardwood set then it will last for years without treatment.

One of my bug bears (up there with leaving the rotary washing line in the middle of the lawn!) is covering the furniture with tarpaulin over the winter – who wants to look out of the window and see a big green lump on their terrace. You need to see the essence of the garden all year round otherwise you just won’t want to venture out in the winter at all.

Essentially your garden furniture acts as a focal point. It entices you outside and makes you want to venture out into the garden. A bench at the end of the path or under a tree may rarely be sat upon, but if it draws you outside then it’s absolutely done its job.

What furniture you choose will obviously come down to personal style and the size of the garden. Remember if you’re choosing a table and chairs set for dining that you need to allow 1.5m around the table so that you have enough room to navigate around the terrace when people are sitting there.

If you’ve got a really small garden, but still want to entertain large numbers, think about a flexible arrangement of furniture. For example, if you regularly need to seat 4 people, but occasionally 8, then why not have two smaller tables which can be moved around. Extending tables are also available so this can be useful.

More and more I work with clients who have opened up the back of the house with bi-fold doors or lots of glass and often the dining table is positioned just inside them. When the doors are open, it feels as though you’re sitting outside anyway so it can make more sense to choose some more comfortable seating for the terrace.

The key really is to think about how you’d like to feel when you’re sitting outside. A simple wooden bench against the house wall could be all you need to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning sunshine, but if you want to sit out and read a book for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon then you’ll probably want to feel a lot more comfortable, much as you would if you were spending time indoors.

 

(Images: Lisa Cox, Oxenwood)

 

RHS Cardiff Flower Show – Best In Show

0 Written by Lisa on 11th Apr 2017 in Inspiration

I can’t really believe that it’s two years since I built my show garden at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show.  This year’s show took place over the weekend and, as if by magic, the Amelanchier that took pride of place on my garden, came into full bloom. Read more

A spring visit to Allt-y-bela

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Mar 2017 in Inspiration

It’s a while since I visited Arne Maynard’s garden with my some of my garden design peers last year, but we were all so inspired last time that we decided to arrange another visit. Read more

Inspiration from the Cornish Coast

0 Written by Lisa on 13th Mar 2017 in Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but I love being by the sea in the winter.  Somehow the rugged landscape is much more invigorating and the beaches are often deserted. Read more

Snowdrop season is just around the corner

0 Written by Lisa on 11th Jan 2017 in Inspiration, Plants

January is always a long month, especially after the festivities of Christmas, but it won’t be long until the snowdrops start to emerge and I always think their arrival promises that spring isn’t that far around the corner. Read more

Some grassy inspiration from Barn House Garden

3 Written by Lisa on 8th Dec 2016 in Inspiration

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I was very fortunate to be introduced to Kate Patel this year who, as it happens, lives just up the road on the other side of The Wye Valley. Read more

Canary Wharf Part 3 – The gardens

0 Written by Lisa on 14th Nov 2016 in Inspiration

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You may question what the image above has to do with gardens, but as we were about to go up the escalator to the Cross Rail Roof Garden, this was the scene out of the window. Quite dramatic don’t you think? Read more

Canary Wharf Part Two – Black & White

0 Written by Lisa on 8th Nov 2016 in Inspiration

canary-wharf-lisa-cox-garden-designs

I don’t normally take pictures in black and white, but I think sometimes they can be more dramatic than colour photographs, especially when the architecture is strong. Read more

A trip to Canary Wharf with my camera

0 Written by Lisa on 3rd Nov 2016 in Inspiration

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I’ve never been to Canary Wharf before, quite amazing really considering that I lived in London for 8 years and worked in the City for most of that time. Read more

Grab your wallet, there are some bargains to be had

0 Written by Lisa on 27th Sep 2016 in Garden accessories

Barlow Tyrie furniture Chiswick Garden Lisa Cox Designs

I popped into our local garden centre last week and was horrified to see that they were already clearing the shelves and getting ready for the Christmas decorations.  In September, really? Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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