Many people are looking forward to being able to welcome friends and family back into their gardens, and spending time together. Now is a great time to make sure your garden is ready for entertaining and picture perfect by the time the warmer weather arrives.
I usually focus on the practical side of gardens – growing food and other resources. But a good garden delivers far more. It offers a range of intangible yields as well as tangible ones. In short a garden can be a beautiful and relaxing place to spend some time. And a garden can be beautiful and fun, as well as useful.
So today, I thought I would share a few tips for creating the perfect ambiance and setting to dine outdoors.
- Creating an area with light/ dappled shade often means you can use your outdoor dining area comfortably more often. You might have a covered area, a pergola covered with vines and climbing plants, or simply the perfect place below a mature tree.
- Create a patio, deck or paved area on which to place your table and chairs. Uneven ground can be irritating at times, and a nice smooth surface can make things easier. But remember, paving does not need to be expensive. Consider reclaimed options before buying anything new. Even broken pavers or tiles can become a beautiful mosaic.
- But keep the paved area relatively small, and plant densely around it to give it an enclosed and intimate feel. A table perched in the middle of massive decking will not often be the most welcoming place to eat.
- Consider curves and more natural shapes, so the dining area blends in with surrounding areas and does not stick out too starkly.
- Place trees, shrubs, tall grasses, taller perennials or other plants for privacy, thinking about sight-lines and sunlight and shade.
- Think about shelter too – the right plant choices can make a big difference to mitigate chilly breezes or windy conditions.
- Add solar powered lighting or lanterns so the space can be used after dark.
Place a dining area where it can easily be reached from your kitchen – or even next to an outdoors kitchen area. Integrating a space for al fresco dining with a barbecue or fire pit area, or even an outdoor pizza oven or smoker, can be a great idea. This combination outdoors cooking and dining area should feel like an extension to your home, as well as an integral part of the garden.
If you would like some help to integrate outdoors dining/cooking into your garden, please get in touch to discuss a design. I’d love to help you get you ready to make the most of the sunshine, and your garden.