Planning the perfect outdoor relaxation spot
Create a haven of relaxation in your garden with a variety of attractive plants, well-chosen garden furniture and clever accessories.
With summer almost upon us, we all start thinking about spending more time outdoors. If your garden could do with an upgrade we’ve got some hints and tips to help you create your very own outdoor oasis, whether you own a large country garden or a bijou balcony in the city.
Choose your plants
No oasis is complete without greenery and the plants you choose to introduce to your garden can make a big difference to the overall look and feel of the space. Take inspiration from nature with a cottage-style garden that combines traditional British flowers such as roses, daisies, lavender and honeysuckle with fragrant herbs such as thyme and sage. Or, if you prefer a more ordered look, borrow from the Japanese with a Zen garden of simple evergreen plants. If a tropical jungle look is more your aesthetic, try incorporating plant varieties such as bamboo. If your garden lacks green space, don’t despair. Even the smallest patio can be transformed into an oasis through the addition of potted plants, hanging baskets and wall planters
Whatever look you go for, remember to layer your plants in a range of colours, sizes and textures in order to add variety and interest to your own private oasis.
There’s no point creating a relaxing garden oasis if there’s nowhere to sit and enjoy the view, so be sure to put some thought into your garden furniture. Natural materials such as rattan, bamboo and wood look great in gardens, but be aware that any wooden furniture will require some extra care and attention to keep it looking at its best.
Stylish and easy to maintain, metal and mesh furniture is also a great option, especially in rocky gardens or in paved areas. It also comes in a wide range of different styles and designs, offering a high degree of choice and flexibility, whether you’re looking for a modern finish or something more traditional. To add interest and an air of playfulness to your summer garden, try painting metal patio sets in bright pastel shades.
For gardens that are on the ‘petite’ side, stylish bistro sets or foldable furniture can offer seating options without taking up too much valuable space.
If your garden lacks shade, it’s also worth considering adding a colourful parasol or two to protect you from the worst of the summer heat.
For pure relaxation, look beyond traditional garden furniture and think about introducing some more unusual pieces to your garden oasis. A swing could be a perfect addition to your outside space and there are lots of exciting new designs and structures available in today’s market. The hanging egg-shaped swing chairs are currently very popular and are great for chilling out and getting away from it all – try lining it with blankets and cushions for additional comfort. To really go all-out on the relaxation front, why not install a hammock in your garden? They offer the perfect hideaway in which to while away a summer’s afternoon with a book and a cool drink.
Once your furniture and plants are in place, don’t forget to personalise your outdoor oasis with those all-important finishing touches. The sound of running water is proven to aid relaxation so, if you have the space, consider adding a water feature or two. If you plan to use your garden for evening entertaining, you will also need lighting. Solar-powered fairy lights are great at adding atmosphere to your garden, and a chiminea or fire pit will help to keep you and your guests comfortable long into the evening.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of accessories. Adding colourful or unusual plant pots, outdoor shelving, and luxurious throws and pillows can all help to create a comfortable, attractive outdoor oasis that you and your family can enjoy all summer long.