Create a Fabulous Outdoor Living Space

Over the last few years, more than ever, being outside has been proven to be hugely important for our health and wellbeing and many of us have taken the opportunity to create outdoor living and entertaining spaces - summer evenings with friends and family are the perfect way to extend your living space, appreciate the garden and enjoy the fruits of your labour - literally!

Planning your planting, getting out to do some digging or harvesting the crops from your garden are all things to look forward to, but it’s also good to make time and space to enjoy a moment of peace and calm - use these tips on how to create an outdoor living space where you can take a break to relax your mind and body.

Choose An Area to Enclose

It could be a space close to a wall, or a fence, or under a mature tree - perfect to create the feeling of a ‘retreat'.

Round Arbour & Gothic Gazebo

A Round Garden Arbour would be perfect in a smaller garden tucked into a quiet corner - all arbours within the Agriframes range are designed to accommodate a bench and some of the larger sizes will easily provide a sheltered area in which to place a table and chairs for entertaining.

Where space is at a premium the Harrogate Arbour has a flat back allowing it to be tucked in close to a wall or fence - maximising the room you can use inside without encroaching too much on the garden.

While an arbour has a distinct 'entrance', a gazebo allows you to enter the enclosed area from all directions - perfect if you want to create a centre piece to add drama or use your structure to define a distinct al fresco dining area of your garden - perhaps alongside a pizza oven or barbeque.

If you would like to create a seating area close to the house or other building, a Wall Arch is an ideal way to extend your living space allowing you to open the door straight into a convenient area for dining or relaxing within arms reach of the fridge - use a Tiered Plant Stand to make sure you have a few herbs and edible flowers to add to drinks and salads - nothing says summer to us like fresh mint in a glass of Pimms!

Wall Arch

A Garden Arch over the path leading to your chosen area can give the sense of entering into a different ‘room’ in the garden and curving beds either side of your retreat give you the chance for more aromatic and scented planting. Used in series, arches can create a sense of 'direction' in the garden - leading the eye and inviting you to explore beyond - or define an outside 'dining room' - compete with chandelier!

Monet Arch

Illuminate Your Space

Adding lighting to your outside space is an easy and effective way add interest, create a cosy ambience, and extend your summer evenings outside. Solar-powered lights are environmentally-friendly and work especially well during the summer when there is plenty of sunshine to charge them during the day - in the winter they can be given an extra boost via the USB charging port to ensure a festive twinkle even in the darkest months.

Along with traditional Fairy Lights our retro-style Vintage Festoon lights are a popular choice and look stunning suspended from a structure or hung across your garden on Festoon Poles to create a vintage fairground feel - perfect for  weddings or summer garden parties. Add impact by illuminating your trees and borders with our spot and ground lights - the result will be perfect for a romantic dinner or magical entertaining under the stars!

Vintage Solar Festoon Lights

Remember - entertaining in the garden is not just for summer and mulled wine at winter celebrations, marshmallows round a fire pit and warming hot chocolate after a frosty walk all somehow taste better outside - so select planting to lift the spirits all year long.

Plant for year round colour & scent

The heady scent of winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) or Christmas box (Sarcococca confusa) will fill the garden in the colder months and make sure you include some aromatics such as Lavender and Rosemary that will release scent as you brush past them on warm summer evenings. If you are looking for year round colour and scent these reliable favourites will quickly cover your structure and provide you with cover, flowers and perfume

  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
  • Honeysuckle (Lonicera Serotina)
  • Climbing roses (e.g. Rosa Gertrude Jekyll)
outside livingRoses, jasmine and honeysuckle and clematis are all fabulous plants to showcase on an arbour or gazebo - offering some shade too - but don't forget scented annuals such as sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) - an obelisk will help support them above the herbaceous planting - or night scented stocks (Matthiola longipetala) which can be sown for delicate fragrance after a hot summer day.

Define Areas for Added Interest

Create some separation through the garden by using a series of screens and careful planting so that not all areas are visible from the house or gateway - it creates a sense of curiosity to discover what lies beyond. Screens can also be used individually to add a little privacy from you neighbours at the side of a terrace or to hide anything (like the bins!) that might distract from the look you create.

garden screens

Enhance with Container Planting

Even if you don't have the space for a structure you can still create a sense of occasion with some stand out Decorative Planters filled with colour and placed at the front of a terrace to welcome your guests - try repeating the same planting in a series of containers to echo the formality of grand houses or stylish venues and use different colour palettes to denote different parts of the garden.

Whether you are entertaining in style or just relaxing after a busy day, take a break to enjoy your garden - and plan your next project!


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