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As the leaves fall, and the weather gets colder, those colourful, light additions to your garden space that you put into place in the spring and summertime can rapidly deteriorate and look worse for wear if not effectively weatherproofed. To avoid your garden looking neglected and beaten down during those chillier months, it’s important to consider investing in garden features designed to last the entire year. From long lasting furniture, weather-proof balustrades to maintenance free fencing and fire pits, these simple changes can remove the burden of intense outdoor labour, provide you a place to relax, and afford you more time to enjoy your garden with ease. In this article, we have listed some of our favourite garden addition ideas designed to last the entire year, from the heat of the summer to the biting chill of the winter. Let’s take a look…
Long Lasting Garden Furniture
Garden furniture is a quick, easy fix to transform your surroundings from an untamed wild space into more of a domestic setting. With garden furniture, you can create an outdoor seating area, perfect for entertaining guests with evening drinks and al fresco meals all on your outdoor decking space. Many homeowners opt for timber furniture, only to be disheartened in the colder seasons when their wooden tables and chairs succumb to mildew and mould growth. This can leave your furniture not only looking worse for wear, but also can massively impact their overall structural integrity, and could fall apart with the demands of any pressure of weight. But what’s the alternative?
Brushed metal garden furniture conveys a classic, understated look for an outdoor seating area, and are much longer lasting than their timber equivalents. Though you may need to occasionally check your chairs and tables for rust, metal chairs are generally easier to maintain. If you’re opting for a less industrial look, rattan furniture is another ideal alternative. The material is easy to wipe down after rainfall and light enough to move around should you want to change the layout of your garden. For both strength and ease of maintenance, recycled plastic furniture is an ideal choice. The compacted surface gives it a bark-like natural texture, and the strength of the material keeps it from splintering or scratching.
There’s no point investing in long-life garden furniture unless there is a clear focal point to grab attention in your garden space! The inclusion of a fire pit is a fantastic way to create a sense of primal togetherness, serving as an ambient natural backdrop for an evening spent with friends and family, or a quiet private moment. There are many kinds of fire pits available on the market, including gas burners and large, metal dishes for woodburning. These bespoke, often intricately designed items can serve as decorative ornamental pieces, even when not in use. Fire pits are a great excuse to use more out of your garden the whole year around, especially in the cooler summer evenings or chilly winter nights.
If you are looking for a way to save money, or to create something that feels more organic and natural to your space, you can build your own fire pit with some careful planning. Simply dig a small hole and build a ring of stacked stones to make a chimney, lining the base with a flattened layer of gravel and sand. Top this layer up with large stones. Make sure not to use stones that have been in water, as they may explode with the prolonged heat of the fire. You can then use this base to stack kindling on top of, before setting alight.
With any border for your space, it’s important to consider something that will be as long lasting as the designs you implement into your garden. Sadly, like with timber furniture, as visually attractive as a timber fence can be when it is first installed, the effects of weathering can leave it rapidly looking worse for wear, with most timber fences eventually collapsing or decomposing entirely. The natural surface is prone to warping, splintering, and snapping, and the lightweight nature of the panels leaves it prone to uprooting completely in high winds. Whilst there is the option to replace a timber fence with one made from concrete, these leave a lot to be desired in the looks department, appearing more functional and industrial as opposed to decorative.
For a long lasting but still visually attractive fencing solution, composite material is a fantastic choice for bordering your garden space. Some composite fencing options are modular, and component based, meaning you can build your fencing to the exact specifications of your space, and even retrofit the panels between pre-existing timber and concrete posts. The capped polymer surface also protects the material from the decomposing effects of moisture and weathering.
Outdoor Rooms & Shelters
With the rise of hybrid or remote working, many homeowners have opted to create outdoor rooms, to separate their living and working spaces. Converting old timber sheds with a new and improved cladding fascia, fully working plug sockets and indoor heating is a fantastic way to make an area to work, helping to transform your home into more of a relaxing space. But all work and no play make jack a dull boy; outdoor rooms can also be great places to work on a hobby, entertain guests or simply enjoy your garden space in the warm evenings. Why not get creative, and build your own outdoor kitchen or bar space? These can be as intricate as a fully installed oven and grill, or as simple as a freestanding brick pizza oven.
However, if you are on a budget, it is important to remember that an outdoor shelter does not have to be a completed fully furnished room. For example, a pergola can prove a welcome addition to any outdoor seating area, and decorated with hanging lights, can help to create a perfect illuminated space for those darker evenings. You can purchase retractable metal pergolas, that are easy to assemble, meaning you can lower, raise, or put them away entirely depending on your preference evening to evening.