Decoration, Garden Furniture, Outdoor Living, Stuart

Hadleigh Garden Furniture, Cosy at night

Let’s be honest – it’s too hot. We love the summer, but 33 degrees celsius is too high for these British Isles. So, we look to shade and the cooler evenings to make the most of our gardens. Then we add an ironic firepit when it gets too cold.

Coretn steel firepit, aflame
Toasty irony

Here’s some tips on how to upgrade your garden dining game, creating a cosy outdoor dinner party your guests will remember for ages. Until the next time you have them round at least!

The set in these shots is our reclining Hadleigh 6 seater – this one’s grey, but it’s available in several different colours to suit your style. And the fire pit is corten steel, but there’s plenty of others that will give the same effect.

1. Throw Shade

It’s easy to set up for dining outdoors, but a bit of preparation is key. A parasol is a near necessity if you’re day-dining into the evening, unless you can guarantee shade, as otherwise your guests or family are going to be served a side of sunburn along with whatever delicious meals you’ve cooked. 

Hadleigh Parasol above a garden dining setCool(ing)

Several of our dining sets have a parasol included so you don’t even need to think about where to get one. If you’re in the mood for something fancier a sail shade’s also a great solution for broader shade. There’s loads of sail solutions – read on here for a comprehensive shade solution list!

2. Let there be light

If you’re going to avoid the sun like the opening of this article suggested, then add a bit of boho to set a charming scene as the light gets lower. Table lanterns, string lights and candles are all great options to line up for longer evenings, and go for something solar to have them turn on automatically when the sun’s almost gone.

Hanging solar light on a string of lights
Beautiful Solar Boho

Candles are perfect for a touch of twinkly light, and candle holders will keep guests safe from brushing against any flames. With these ones we repurposed some battery-powered imitation candles to hold the real deal, but the electric ones provide a similar amount of light. Just remember the battery situation – you don’t want the lights to go out before you’re ready.

Candle holders with candles in them
It definitely wasn’t because we had no batteries to hand on the day

3. Creature Comforts

Throws will turn from decoration to cosy blankets for guests to use as they choose once the summer heat evaporates into the night, while adding a bit of extra comfort during dinner. You can go for complementing or contrasting colours (as we’ve done here), but try and avoid clashing colours. Most guests won’t care and just be thankful for the later warmth, but you just know someone’ll walk away thinking about your style instead of your meal. And do the same with any scatter cushions you add too.

Throws and cushions on hadleigh garden dining furniture
There’s no such thing as ‘too jazzy’, Barbara

4. Coaster-ing through

If your tabletop’s glass (as it is across the entire Hectare range), you’ll want to get some coasters and placemats out. (We don’t sell them, but any number of homeware retailers will see you right). They’re still a classy touch on wood and other tabletop surfaces, but you’ll be glad to get them involved during dinner. The tempered glass is designed to resist shattering, but that doesn’t stop it making a clattery sound every time someone puts their wine glass down or moves their plate a bit. 

Trust us on this one – this photoshoot would have been a much louder affair if we hadn’t!

Wine being poured into a glass on a coaster on an outdoor dining table
Wine optional, and also great

All together now

Put all the evening bits together and you’ve got an effect like this, a cosy garden dining room to keep guests cosy through the evening and into the night. We’ve got the seats upright for stimulating conversation, but you could just as easily recline back for some nightly stargazing. Just go easy on the wine if that’s your plan – it’s a bit hard to focus on them after a glass too many.

Hadleigh furniture set up in style around a lit firepit

The morning after, once all guests have gone and you’re feeling like continuing the vibe for yourself, grab a coffee table and a couple of chairs and get yourself a slice of cafe chic in your own garden.

Hadleigh chairs set up in a bistro-set style (a chair either side of a coffee table)

Lovely.

Want some garden dining for yourself? See the whole Hectare range at Primrose.co.uk

Decoration, Guest Posts

How to Up Your Garden Decor Game

Planting a few different breeds of plants for a change-up isn’t enough anymore. If you are really serious about upping your garden décor game, then it’s time to get adventurous! In this article, we’re not just talking about a few solar lights shoved haphazardly into the ground or settling for your faded seat cushions for yet another summer. 

Instead, discover creative lighting that a fairy princess would approve of, bright cushions bursting with fruity colours, ultra-stylish metal prints for the wall, and even more! Before you know it, your garden will be so gorgeous you won’t be able to stop yourself from sitting in it all year round – even when the snow starts to fall! 

Get creative with lighting

spiral dangly lights in a tree

First of all, lights, lights, lights! It’s surprising how just a few lights can make ALL the difference in your garden. From warm gold glows, bright white tones and even multi-colour options, you can really go to town when it comes to garden lighting.

Instead of opting for a few fairy lights hanging chaotically from your exterior wall, get creative! Experiment with shapes such as these Spiral Lantern LED Lights by Solaray. Spring-like and utterly twinkly, these round abstract lightbulbs remind us of cute beehives. Perfect for hanging in any tree or hooked onto hanging lantern hooks arranged in a row down your garden path.

If you are lucky enough to have a veranda seating area, why not get creative and twirl fairy lights above you so that you always feel like you’re enjoying a beautiful starry night sky? Or, why not dot a few unique lanterns around such as a solar metal elephant, faux lit branches, pink naked bulbs and more?

Install beautiful prints onto the walls

wallsauce metal print

Are you a huge fan of artwork and stunning prints inside your home? Don’t just limit these to the indoors. Instead, why not show your sense of style outside with a gorgeous metal print from Wallsauce.com? Choose from vintage-inspired illustrations of jungles, white-sanded tropical beaches, whimsical tree folk, utterly pretty florals and much, much more. Whatever the theme of your garden, you can really bring it to life with outdoor wall art. We think that this Elephant Elegance metal print from their Sir Edward range brings a gorgeous vintage factor to this garden…

Perfect for any sheltered outdoor area, place a metal poster on your exterior wall next to your al fresco dining area. Bring to life a blank space on your garden wall or create a style statement underneath your weatherproof veranda! All of Wallsauce.com’s fabulous metal prints are currently only available in the UK but come in a wide range of sizes and finishes for a high-quality custom finish. Where will you install yours?

Keep things private with screens and fencing

papillon willow screening

If you really value your privacy and have been socializing with your neighbours a little bit more than you’d like to, then screens and fencing are key. And we’re not just talking about your typical panel fencing. We’re talking about on-trend, rustic screens like this gorgeous Willow Fencing Screening Roll

Totally on-trend with the ever-growing popularity for all things organic, this beautiful willow screen perfectly mirrors more of a natural and sustainable lifestyle. Simply roll it out between you and your neighbours so that you can achieve that all-important sense of privacy. 

Why not install screening in one section of your garden to create a room within your outdoor space? Place rolled out fencing in a circle and place a seat in the middle for the perfect reading nook! Or section off a corner of your garden for the children and place a mud kitchen in there!

Make your own water feature

bamboo dripping onto a rock

If you have the space to have a water feature in your garden, do it! Whether you have a small backyard or a humongous football pitch of land, a water feature will notch up the relaxation factor in your outdoor space. Did you know that just looking at or being near water can aid towards a wide range of health benefits such as reducing anxiety and stress? Not forgetting lowering your heart rate and increasing your happiness. If that hasn’t persuaded you to get a water feature, we’re not sure what will!

There are so many beautiful water features available to be purchased, from quaint birdbaths, rocky cascading fountains and totally zen water spheres… 

Are you DIY friendly? Then why not have a go at making your own water feature? With just a fountain pump, plant pots and pebbles, you can create your own mini fountain.

Splash in some colour!

Orange and white patterned cushion

Many of us have dreary garden seat cushions that are so discoloured and ragged that they look like they’ve lasted since the 1980s. Well, it’s time to scrap those and repurpose them as gardening knee pads. Instead, it’s time to inject bright and bold colours into your garden! From funky patterned throws that you can cuddle into when the breeze gets chilly, bright yellow shade sails and fruity-orange cushions such as this retro Scatter Cushion in Orange! Placed on a bench, a swinging chair, on your picnic blanket or bistro chair, you won’t be able to stop yourself feeling cheery when you see this gorgeous orange cushion!

In conclusion

When it comes to garden décor, you can really go as big or as small as you like! Remember to choose things that make you happy, suit your sense of style and bring your outdoor area to life! By following these 5 steps, your garden will go from workable to wonderful in no time!

 

About the author

Written by Amy Hillary. Amy is a Freelance Writer as well as the Content Creator at Wallsauce.com. Her work consists of creating website content, writing blogs as well as product descriptions. Her most popular topic focuses are interior design, lifestyle, education and retail.

 

 

 

Header photo by Jacob Thomas on Unsplash  

Decoration, Indoor, Stuart, Water Features

April’s a big month for events, with April Fool’s Day and Easter taking place in quick succession along with all the garden tasks that can be started now the weather’s warming up. With all that going on, it’s no wonder that it’s also Stress Awareness Month, a chance to increase public awareness about the causes and solutions to the stresses of the modern world.

This past year we’ve spent more time inside and cooped up than most of us have in our entire lives, and stress has been on the rise in these unprecedented times. We’re starting to move away from lockdown and being forced to stay indoors, but as life is likely to continue within your four walls, there are still things you can to do improve your indoor space to make sure it’s the most zen and relaxing place it can be.

Look after your plants

Lavender and Chamomile

Soothing Lavender and Chamomile

Taking care of plants can have a calming effect, regardless of the kind of plant you’re looking after. Take a few minutes each day to look them over and forget everything else that’s going in your life, watering and trimming where needed to take a break from the world for a spell. It can give you a chance to arrange your thoughts, as well as ensure that an upsetting wilting is out of the question. If you get yourself some smelly plants like lavender or chamomile you can also de-stress by taking a good sniff whenever you need a moment.

Don’t let it become a chore, just take it easy and keep your plants in easy view so they aren’t forgotten. If you’re going to put a plant on a high-ish shelf, make sure it’s a dangler so it catches your eye and you can enjoy the greenery.

Clear the air

Monstera Adonsii, Philodendron Scandens and Alocasia Zebrina

Monstera Adonsii, Philodendron Scandens and Alocasia Zebrina

We don’t mean getting into arguments with the people you live with about peeves and irritations, but rather improving your air quality indoors. Temporary stress can cause you to breathe more shallowly as you tense up in the moment, slightly lowering the oxygen in your bloodstream which your brain sees as more stress, compounding the problem. When just opening a window isn’t an option, a broad-leafed indoor plant with good access to sunshine can really increase the O2 and help you breathe easier when life gets you down, stopping those temporary moments from getting out of control.

Water feature white noise

Two Indoor Water Features

Two indoor water features

You’ll have heard that silence is golden, but just as good is a bit of constant, hushed sound for focussing the mind. White noise has been proven to help (the second sentence of that article is a belter), and to get some without getting a single-purpose noise box you can hark back to ancient Japanese tradition with a water feature for water-based sound-making. Though admittedly in that tradition they weren’t powered with electricity, and they were for scaring deer first before meditation and zen.

The sound of running water can help you relax, likely speaking to that animal part of our brains that knows you need water to live. Unfounded claims suggest it can also help reduce blood pressure, but we just think it’s nice to sit and listen to.

However you prefer to keep the stresses of the world at bay, April’s the month to take stock of all those things that get you down to see where they can be overcome. The Stress Management Society has lots of tips and advice to help wherever you may be struggling, so check them out if you’d like more information on stress – its causes, effects, and how to help deal with it all.

Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Decoration, Indoor

Your choice of tree is one of the most important decisions you will make at Christmas, It will be the centrepiece of your home for the festive season so getting the right one is important. This guide will help you choose the perfect tree for you and your home.

Artificial or Real?

A real tree is a traditional choice for many, but they may not be practical for all homes and lifestyles. A good quality artificial tree is a good alternative to a real tree in some homes. When making this choice consider:  

Real trees: 

  • Traditional smell and look 
  • Use less plastic 
  • Are grown in environmentally friendly ways 
  • Can be recycled after use 
  • Drop needles so may not be suitable for small children and pets
  • Can carry allergens
  • Can be difficult to transport

You can shop our full range of real Christmas trees here

Artificial trees

  • Reusable – saving money in the long term 
  • Easy to assemble and store 
  • No dropped needles
  • Carry no allergens
  • Take up space
  • Made of plastic
  • Can become damaged if not stored correctly 

You can shop our full range of artificial Christmas trees here

Environmental impact

Artificial Christmas trees are often seen as the environmentally-friendly option. However, this is not always the case. Most artificial trees are made of plastic, not all of them can be recycled and most will end up in a landfill. You can find trees made from recycled plastic, and if you maintain the tree well it may last for years, which will have a net benefit.  Real trees can be easily recycled and provide a boost to local ecology when grown. They can also be grown in soil that is unsuitable for other crops and for each acre, provide enough oxygen for 18 people every day. Each tree will also absorb around 1 tonne of carbon in its life. 

Species of Christmas Tree

Like all plants, there are a few species of Christmas tree. Each one brings something different and plays a different role in your home

Nordmann Fir

The most popular Christmas tree. Has a pyramid shape made of defined layers of straight twig-like branches. The glossy dark needles have a thick, waxy coating which makes them softer to the touch; better for households with children or pets. These trees don’t shed needles as often as other varieties, making them a great lower-maintenance option.

View Our Range Of Nordman Fir Trees

Norway Spruce

More commonly used in eastern Europe, the Norway spruce has a rounder shape with a pointed top. The foliage is a bit thicker and the branches point at a slight upward angle which makes them better for decorating with heavier decorations.  The short green needles can be spiky, so it may not be the best option for families with young children or pets. They may also shed more if your home is particularly warm.

View Our Full Range Of Norway Spruce Trees

Fraser Fir

Named after the botanist John Fraser, his pyramid-shaped tree has strong upward-turning branches which are great for holding decorations. It has a pleasant scent and good needle retention, making it a great addition to your home. The dark green, flattened needles have a silvery underside.

christmas tree buying guide

View Our Full Range Of Fraser Fir Trees

Cut Quality

Christmas trees have different grades of cut, which affects the look of the tree and the price point.

Premium Cut

Also known as 1st grade, premium cut trees tend to be bushy with medium to high-density foliage. They are very symmetrical and have up to only one industry-recognised cosmetic flaw, which is not usually a concern to customers.

Standard Cut

Standard cut, or 2nd grade, trees are still healthy and satisfactory to customers, but are less symmetrical and have two or more industry-recognised cosmetic flaws.  These trees tend to be around 30% cheaper than their premium counterparts.

Other Considerations

Before buying a Christmas tree, there are other things you should consider:

  • Allergens: according to Haymax, one-third of the UK population suffers from an increase in itchy skin and cold-like symptoms, known as “Christmas Tree Syndrome”. If someone in your household is allergic to Christmas trees, an artificial tree could be a better option.
  • Size: make sure to measure the height of the room of the tree is going to be based in before you buy, and factor in the size of the tree stand to make sure it fits!
  • Fire safety: if you choose a real Christmas tree, keep it away from direct contact with a heat source, such as a fireplace or heat vent. If you are using fairy lights, make sure to switch them off when you are not at home or buy lights with a timer so they are off when you are asleep. 
  • Buy online: sometimes buying your tree online is the best opinion. If you don’t live near or have access to a farm and want a good quality tree delivered to your door within 24 hours then it might be perfect for you. We have an extensive range of real Christmas trees this year, all cut and wrapped in order, to ensure they reach you in the best quality.

Alice at PrimroseAlice works in the Primrose copywriting team. She spends her days here writing gardening product descriptions and cracking blog posts.

Outside work, Alice is writing a fiction novel and runs her own blog. She also enjoys travel, good food, and tarot reading.

See all of Alice’s posts.