Make the most of your garden! « Vanessa Arbuthnott

Make the most of your garden!

Hard to believe, given the wet weather we’ve been having recently, but summer is fast approaching! It’s
time to sweep the patio, uncover the garden furniture and dust off the BBQ. However, creating a
beautiful outdoor dining and entertaining space can be daunting, especially if you’re starting from scratch,
so Vanessa has drawn up a helpful list of inspirational ideas and top tips, as well as advice on colours and

1. Invest in a good furniture set: wood is ideal for all styles of garden as it’s durable and timeless. Maintain its good condition by keeping it undercover in the winter months and protect it with varnish or paint. For added zing, why not cover some director’s chairs in fabrics such as Stockholm Stripe in Teal, Lime and Winter.

2. If you don’t have trees to provide shade, try adding a parasol. You can find these very easily at garden centers or, if you want something really special, have your own bespoke parasol made like ours from Sunbeam Jackie (we chose a selection of our Artisan fabrics)

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3. Have a variety of scatter cushions on hand for your chairs and benches. You can order these made to measure through us or try making them yourself in a mixture of patterns and colours. If you go for a neutral furniture set, your cushions can easily be changed from time to time to ring in the changes.

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4. Have some oilcloth handy for lunches outside meaning you can easily clean up spills and crumbs. A top tip – if you aren’t using your oilcloth all the time, keep it rolled onto a cardboard tube to make sure it is crease free next time you do.

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5. In a neutral colour scheme,  plant pots are a good way adding a splash of colour. Try growing wildflowers or a selection of herbs you can use for cooking.

6. If you have an outside wall to incorporate, try painting it in a cheerful colour or decorating with vintage signs, lanterns or even artwork.

7. Have plenty of candles, blankets and throws handy for when the sun goes in.

8. If you are looking for bright, cheery colours that work well together, one of our favourite colour combinations for using outside is a Sunny Saffron calmed with Duck Egg and Smoke blues.

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9. When space is limited, for example a small patio, just a fold-able table and chair set with a beautiful tablecloth and some fresh flowers is perfect for making somewhere to have your morning coffee, read your book or have a laid back evening meal ‘al aperto’.

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10. Keep your little adventurers happy by creating a teepee, using colourful fabrics, bunting and plenty of cushions. Hours of endless fun for the children, or a sophisticated retreat for a grown-up (or two)…

11. Create a breezy, seaside feel for your outdoor space, with runners and napkins in Scandi Stripe in Cool. You can feel as though you’ve gone to the beach without ever leaving your garden!

12. What could be more quintessentially English than a cosy garden hut: the perfect retreat from the stress of everyday life, and a welcoming bower even when it’s raining outside! Banks of cushions in a variety of vibrant colours and uplifting motifs will brighten the dullest of English days!

5 comments on Make the most of your garden!

  1. Emmerey Rose says:

    Wow. Those are cool outdoor ideas Vanessa! I love an outdoor dining area on patios too. I think it’s a perfect way to make use of the space. And it’s great to eat outside. It gives a different feeling and experience. But I was wondering, how do you take care of the outdoor furniture? Would love to know. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Vanessa says:

      Thanks for your comments Emmerey Rose and that is a great question! Depending on what your furniture is made from there is a few things you can do to keep them looking their best – for wooden furniture use a hardwood oil for a natural look (which will age nicely over time) or you can stain or even paint the wood to protect it. It’s also a good idea to keep it covered in the winter to stop any weather damage. Rattan and resin furniture generally just needs to be kept clean with warm soapy water (take care of any metal frames within the rattan), you can also wash metal furniture but some types will rust so always check the care instructions beforehand : )

  2. Helen Nash says:

    Hi Thank you so much to Flora for our printing workshop yesterday. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Have never done anything like this before. Flora was so patient and supportive !! A great day. X

  3. Helen Nash says:

    Thank you to the Vanessa girls for your friendly advice and chat when I popped into the shop on Saturday. Always so helpful and lovely a pleasure to travel all the way from Weymouth to visit you. X

    • Vanessa says:

      Thank you Helen so lovely to see you in the showroom again! Glad you had a fantastic weekend, hope you’ll be down to visit us soon again : ) x

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