If you are going to take your garden seriously, there are a couple items that you have to do. This first thing to do is work out a plan of how you want your garden to look like. This is easily done using graph paper or the more artistic may choose to draw it. Then you have to landscape your garden according to your plan, although you can adjust your plan as you go. After all, you are the boss. Put in any electric leads and water pipes that you might require. Erect your shed and greenhouse, if required then you can begin planting and start to choose your garden furniture.
The purpose of this article is to help you choose your garden furniture. There is so much diversity of garden furniture that it can be quite difficult to make up your mind. Do you go for hardwood, softwood, metal or plastic?
Which colour and which style? Some of your choice will be restricted, if you are on a budget, but in reality, over the long term of twenty or thirty years, hardwood is the cheapest alternative and plastic the most expensive. Over the short term, two to five years, the opposite is the case.
Whether you want armchairs or recliners is certainly up to you and so outside the scope of this piece, so is the style that you prefer, although I will say that the most successful choice of garden furniture should blend in with the garden rather than stick out like a sore thumb. Plastic tends to look OK on a patio or deck, but rarely goes well with a garden full of pretty plants and bushes, whereas hardwood garden furniture tends to fit in well everywhere. You need to be a little careful with softwood and metal.
In a way, it is a decent idea to tackle choosing your garden furniture in the your same way that you would select the furniture for inside your home. It has to blend in with your general style.
Therefore, you might want to put off purchasing your garden furniture until you get your first crop of flowers up, unless you can imagine it in your mind. The only problem with waiting for Spring is that that is when garden furniture is at its most expensive.
Ask yourself what you anticipate doing in the area where you are planning having your furniture. Are you and the family just going to collapse there after work and on weekends or are you going to hold more formal garden parties there? If you are going to have guests, it ought to be big enough for the number you expect and the furniture should be strong enough so that it will not give way under some of the larger guests. If it is just for the family at least you are dealing with known information: how big they are and how many of them there are.
Another aspect to bear in mind is maintenance. Plastic does not have to be taken care of, but it will perish – become brittle – after a few hot summers and cold winters. You can prolong the life of your plastic garden furniture by keeping it in a shed when not in use. Metal garden furniture might need anti-rust treatment from time to time and if the seat is made of cloth, you should also check for signs of rot, which could lead to someone falling through the chair.
Softwood needs to be treated with preservative, paint, varnish or oil fairly frequently and you should check for signs of rot or splitting, which can still occur no matter how much you take care of it. Hardwood garden furniture needs to be treated once a year as well, but it is by far the most robust material used for constructing garden furniture.
Plastic and metal furniture come in many colours; softwood can be painted or stained any colour you like and hardwood is available in all shades of brown from light oak to rich dark mahogany, but it should never be painted only oiled and stained, if you want to.
If you select hardwood, it can be a bit hard on the backside after a couple hours, so buy a few cushions that match the colour and style of your garden furniture as well. These can be stored inside when not in use or they will become unbelievably dirty and if they get wet it can take days for them to dry, during which time they might start to rot and smell. Removable cushion covers are a good idea.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on a range of topics, but is now involved with large dining tables. If you would like to know more, please visit our website at Solid Oak Dining Tables.