Outside Interests


Outside InterestsIt’s time to emerge from our indoor cocoons and step out into the sun. Foreign hotspots are all well and good, but where better to enjoy the outdoors than right at home with none of the fuss that accompanies taking trips away. Enjoy a mini break out the back of your house every day of the week, that’s as good looking as it is relaxing, with our guide to creating the perfect outdoor room.

Orient Express
Gravel is a super handy covering that masks an unattractive ground surface in a handy and refreshingly straightforward fashion. This bright-as-a-button haven shows just how easy and inexpensive a gorgeous garden can be. If you’re not up for investing in a hardcore garden furniture artillery, you can just as easily achieve a friendly and inviting look that’s ideal for entertaining with the help of some eastern-style throws and cushions. And of course, what orient-inspired garden would be complete without some Bamboo (Phyllostachys)?

Laying Low
When the sun shows its face, why take naps indoors – prettify a camping mattress with the help of some simple white linen, the perfect accessory for your colourful garden blooms. Don’t use your favourite sheets though, as grass stains can be tricky to remove. Maintain a healthy burn-free complexion with the help of a pretty parasol – after all, a snooze in the sun isn’t quite so reviving if you wake up with scorched skin. But of course, the ultimate accessory for such pretty lounging around is the right selection of pretty blossoms and plants House and Home suggests: Fatsia japonica (Castor Oil plant), Fuchsia; Roses and Erigeron (daisy).

Potter About
This little refuge for a plethora of potted plants has adorable English country spot written all over it.  Terracotta pots, an exposed redbrick wall, a sweet table with a lace cloth covering and, the ultimate cutsey garden accessory, the essential gnome, all combine to create a space that’s laden with chintzy charm. The real beauty, however, lies in the fact that it’s a straightforward, low-maintenance look to create and maintain. Potted plants allow you to enjoy greenery without the hassle of tending to a lawn. Container gardening is also the smart solution to urban areas that are low on outdoor space. Plan your plants in accordance with the amount of time and effort that you are willing to spend maintaining them. They couldn’t be easier to find; either your local DIY store or garden centre will be chock-a-block with options. Choose the size of your pots in accordance with the plants, and when you’re seeking the advice of your  retail expert be sure to give details of the size of your garden space, as well as the type of light it receives and where it lies in relation to the sun. In terms of plants, here we have White Pelargoniums in the pots, Purple Lobelia above and Hosta leaves on the table.

Magic Carpets
Who would have thought that the humble rug could be such a versatile accessory? It adds a totally foreign feel to this back yard, bringing colour and pattern to the expanse of concrete underfoot. We totally approve of the tall canopy towering overhead – so you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’re protecting your skin from dangerous UV rays while still enjoying a healthy dose of vitamin D. With the appropriate print cushions, you can take your garden from pretty-but-regular outdoor space to an exotic safari-style haven with not too much effort. To recreate this ethnic look you’ll find some great pieces in World Design, Powerscourt Centre, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 613 9032. The plants shown here are Clipped Box in the pots (Buxus sempervirens), and Rambling Rose.

Asian Essentials
This extremely chic, petite garden is a very restrained take on Asian style. Neutral colours and fresh greens are a soothing combination that give off a zen vibe, with a simple dash of pink blossoms on the table to add just the right amount of colour. To get the look from your local garden centre, go for Clipped Box in pots (Buxus sempervirens), and Japanese maple (Acer).

Accessorise All Areas
Take that ubiquitous look from your decking with the aid of some bright colours and the appropriate accessories. If it’s warm and dry it’s perfectly safe to bring out a rug to add cheer.

Indian Summer
The right accessories in the right colours make a world of a difference when you’re dressing up your back garden. The typical garden pallette of greens, browns and neutrals isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and unfortunately it can have a drab effect when used in a flower-free back garden.

  • Distract from a lack of greenery with right, jewel-like colours, and treat your yard as you would your living room before a fun and informal cocktail party. Don’t worry too much about a favourite table getting damaged, if you place a protective covering on the ground beneath it (an old rug or length of carpet is a handy option) and a simple linen tablecloth on top, then it should be safe from any spills or knocks.
  • After that, it’s time to have some fun! Bring out your prettiest glasses, plates, napkins and trays, and don’t forget little vases filled with bright flowers.
  • Make an easy ‘peasy’ canopy using some saris, and pin saris together to make your canopy as big as it needs to be
  • Seating is a no-brainer – pop a bamboo mat on the ground and cover it in cushions. If you’re feeling particularly creative you can try making your own cushion covers from saris.
  • Since you’ll be making your space so very inviting, you and your guests are likely to linger into the evening, so make sure that your lighting is well taken care of. Lots of tea lights will add to the romantic feel, so use pretty little colourful jars and exotic-looking lanterns to make sure that they won’t cause a conflagration, and if you’re feeling more cautious then there are plenty of options when it come to outdoor-friendly fairy lights.


Source: House & Home Magazine

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