The British weather seems to have gone rather strange – as a child I remember from at least the beginning of May and well into September long hot days of sunshine but now we have hail, wind, rain and even frost in the middle of May!!
Even since we have moved into our house of 20 odd years – gosh have we really been here that long, we spent most of the summer evenings sitting outside with a glass of wine, eating al fresco and entertaining friends but recently the garden has gone unused and unloved very much due to the rubbish weather but also due to our crazy lives that involve working weekend so this year I am determined to get it back looking fabulous again and lets hope the weather is kind and we can get to spend time enjoying our labours.
Living in the centre of town we don’t have much outside space but we are lucky enough to have a south-facing garden so when the sun does show its face it is very hot so we need to create some shade so we can do as Noel Coward would say “Mad Dogs and Englishmen sit out in the midday sun!!”
A few years ago I bought a stylish awning from The White Company – the advantage of working there with staff discount!! But as yet has only had one outing to see how it went up!! So this is going to be part of my inspiration for the garden re-vamp.
Fresh flowers – I love them and would have vase upon vase of them all around the house but it can get very expensive so with the help of one of my friends who is an expert in these matters I am planting a plants and flowers that I can cut and use in the house so I my reading material of choice now is gardening magazines and seed catalogues – one that I can’t get enough of is Sarah Raven – I just want everything!!
I am not a gardener – I know what I like and what I want the space to look like but my knowledge is limited to pottering and picking flowers!! What I want from an outside space is to have an extension of my house – a place to sit and drink cocktails, entertain and chill – talking of cocktails on the advice of my green figured friend I am planting a “cocktail herb garden” so we can create some fabulous and stylish drinks.
A place to sit, read and chat, a place to eat and entertain is what I am planning – again with the house I like the idea of a relaxed zen like environment but somehow it never seems to work out that way!! The same happens I see stuff I like and it seems to find it’s way into the décor with that in mind here are my ideas and inspiration to get the garden looking fabulous again – let’s hope the weather is kind to us this summer!!
The idea is to have two defined areas – firstly the “sitting” bit – I want to bring the “inside out” – love the idea of pieces that should be inside are outside – such as standard lamps and lampshades, upholstered chairs and chandaliers!!
One thing I really want is faux grass – I saw it in one of my favourite bars – 5th Floor Harvey Nicks.
Moving on to the “dining” area – bearing in mind the size of our garden they will be right next to each other but I like the idea of two separate spaces!!
This is wear I do minimal with white table cloths, napkins and china, interspersed with vintage cutlery, glasses, candles and flowers.
Cocktails feature a fair amount in our summer entertaining and so this year I am going to take inspiration from one of The White Company Gin and Elderflower limited edition candle for summer that mixes juniper (gin) with elderflower and peach blossom so my creation – gin obviously, peach schnapps, then depending on how alcoholic we want it St Germain a fabulous liqueur in the most amazing Art Deco style bottle or elderflower cordial topped up with soda water or prosecco – I will let you know how it tastes!!
So work in progress first steps to clear out the mess, rubbish and get the soil prepared and ready for planting – we are on hols next week so lets hope the weather gives us at least one day that we can get stuck in and make ready for getting it back to fabulousness again!!