Date: 8 July 2005
Originally published in: Various local newspapers (UK)
Written by: Kim Wilde
With all the work that I put into my garden throughout the year to make my little bit of paradise, the summer months are a time for me to really reap the benefits of my hard work throughout the year. It is a time to see my ideas and plants fulfilling their potential and showing their full glory.
For you in your own garden, now is the time to really enjoy the fruits of your labour and take time out to enjoy and be proud of what you have achieved. These days, our gardens especially during the summer months, have become an extension to our homes, where we can spend time with our families, entertain our friends and enjoy the long warm summer evenings ahead. After all your hard work, you now need to ensure that you are providing the right relaxing environment for your friends and family to appreciate and enjoy your garden.
If you have not already done so, it is time to bring out your garden furniture and barbecue and check they are in good condition for the next few weeks ahead.
If you have wooden garden furniture that is looking tired, why not spruce it up by giving it a coat of preservative or oil. Hardwood and Softwood furniture should be sanded down to remove any old paint, preservative and expose the clean wood, before painting with a suitable wood stain or oil that is formulated either for hardwood or softwood garden furniture. This treatment will not only enhance the appearance of the wood, but will give your furniture many more years of life.
Resin garden furniture can quickly become dirty and stained if not cleaned regularly. To refresh for the season ahead, either thoroughly wash with warm soapy water, or use a specialist resin garden furniture cleaner, which will help to remove stubborn stains. Damaged, faded and worn cushions can often be replaced, so it is worth enquiring with your local garden centre, to see if this is possible to obtain replacement cushions for the make of your garden furniture.
Barbecues should be thoroughly cleaned and again in some cases you can purchase replacement grills and ash dumps if required. If you wish to replace or purchase new garden furniture, then these days there is a huge selection of styles and materials for you to choose from, to suit any garden or budget. You may decide to choose practical softwood or traditional and durable hardwood garden furniture, or enjoy the new ranges of stylish contemporary metal furniture that is both practical and eye catching. Resin is always a good favourite and provides good value for money.
Barbecues give you the excuse and provide the opportunity to eat alfresco. The taste of fresh food cooked under an open sky is a highlight of the summer months and you can choose from a huge range of gas and charcoal barbecues to suit your pocket and will also help you make the most of every opportunity to eat outside.
If the weather is cool or inclement you may wish to invest in a gas patio heater or wood burning Mexican chimenea, which not only provides warmth for you and your guests, but also will give an attractive focal point for entertaining outside.