Outside in

Whether you’ve an acre or two, a bijou balcony or a modest city garden, it’s possible to create a gorgeous outdoor sanctuary you’ll want to spend time in

We cherished our gardens during lockdown. We prioritised and craved outdoor space like never before recognising the holistic benefits for mind, body and soul. We treated the garden like another room bringing the outside in and that’s exactly how to squeeze the most out of your outdoor space whatever the size.

The bleakness of winter is hopefully behind us, so now’s the time to plan. If you’re after horticultural advice, Adam of View From the Potting Bench fame has got you covered on page 48. As well as considering planting decide what you want from your garden. Obviously, you’ll be guided by the shape and size – don’t fight with it, rather create different zones for different activities like entertaining, dining, relaxing, cooking, playing, etc. That might just mean re-evaluating the space and moving your existing furniture and pots around to create zones or you might need to invest in some new additions.


Put dining areas nearest the house for ease and if you’ve the space, think about an outdoor kitchen for the ultimate in entertaining prowess. Apart from practical food prep and cooking areas, add extra storage for housing outdoor tableware and if you’ve space for a drinks fridge, happy days.


Create an area for lounging in a sunny spot. Add squishy low furniture or loungers for maximum comfort. Garden furniture is probably the most important and expensive purchase largely driven by your space. Choose quality furniture that can live untarnished outside all year round. Prolong the length of time you spend in your garden by adding in a source of heat such as a chiminea or fire pit and add in a few cosy blankets and you‘ll easily enjoy the garden well into the autumn.


Festoon lighting and hurricane lamps give a gorgeous glow after dark creating a magical ambience. Solar powered lights are increasingly efficient – Lights4Fun have some great, reasonably priced examples that stay illuminated for eight hours or more.


If you’ve a balcony or small space, the same principles apply with the exception of zoning. Add comfortable furniture, attractive planting – work with the space so grow up, not out and add magical lighting for after dark.