AdviceGardening

Party proof your plot

It doesn’t take much to get us Brits out in our gardens for a BBQ wearing shorts and t-shirts; double figures and it’s an excuse for a party! Sadly this summer has put a halt to even the maddest Englishmen’s garden parties. The only option is of course, to keep calm and carry on (and weather proof your garden).

We’re optimistic that the summer will arrive. No doubt it won’t be around for long, so there’s never been a better time to start party proofing your garden. The perfect party garden should include: a hard-standing area, shelter (should it rain) and plenty of seating.

Image: Pinterest

Before you start think carefully about how you want to use your garden. Do you do most of your entertaining in the evening? Do you prefer alfresco afternoon teas or bouncy castles and clowns? How you want to use your garden will influence its design.

Unless you have a large enough garden to include 2 entertaining spaces, one to enjoy the daytime sun and another to catch the evening rays, think about how you would like to divide your garden between entertaining space and planting. This is where a garden designer can really come in handy. It’s not uncommon for people to lay a patio only to discover that when they want to use, it it’s in the shade and their shed is enjoying bright sunshine. A garden designer can help you plan your garden based on how you want to use the area and within your budget, whilst making the most of the space available.

Hard standing area

Summer time events in Britian are notorious for sinking stilettos and muddy ankles, don’t let your party be remembered for this reason! With a dry area (not grass) to entertain your guests it will take more than a few showers to rain your party off.

Decking is an ever popular choice. DIY kits can be bought for as little as £300, while larger decks can cost more in the region of £2000. If you’re a dab-hand at DIY a small deck on level ground is doable, but for larger projects or sloping ground – which will require foundations to be laid to support the deck –  it’s best to call in an expert to ensure you get a quality finish.

Most decking planks are pre-treated, so you won’t need to treat the deck for a further 18 months – this needs to be done regularly to protect the wood. An alternative to traditional wood is composite decking, made from a combination of wood and plastic, it looks like wood but requires less maintenance. Just be careful not to spill anything that may stain as it can’t be rubbed back like solid wood can.

Patios are the traditional garden entertaining area – just remember to tell your guests to bring a brolly. This is a project you can do yourself, a lot of DIY-ers lay slabs on sand, it’s quick and easy but a landscape gardener will have the skills and materials needed to lay a patio that will last. If your patio is just looking a bit tired, a clean up with a pressure washer could be all it needs.

Image: Pinterest

When deciding where to place your deck or patio, bear in mind what time of the day you want it to catch the sun, the ground you are building it on and privacy, after all you won’t want your neighbours peering out of their kitchen window at you while you’re catching some sun!

Shelter

Let’s face it, it’s likely to rain and in between showers your guest are likely to get sunburnt! Here are a number of options your guest will appreciate come rain or shine.

The pergola, it’s great for providing natural shade from plant foliage and after a few decades you should have enough of a canopy to provide shelter from a shower or two – an investment piece that’s sure to pay off.

Image: Pinterest

Outdoor rooms, once an Americanism are becoming more popular. A solid structure with exposed sides means you can enjoy all the benefits of alfresco partying without having to check and double check the weather forecast.  Remember to check whether or not you require planning permission, before commencing any work.

Image: Apartment Therapy 

A conservatory is the answer for those who just don’t trust that the summer will arrive. A well planned conservatory will add value to your home and mean that you will be able to enjoy your garden regardless of the weather. A specialist conservatory fitter will be able to fit and advise you on the best conservatory solution for your home and garden.

Conservatories are a popular way to increase your indoor living space and add value to your home, as long as they don’t eat up too much of your garden in the process. In many cases you don’t need planning permission, but you should always check in advance with your local planning authority.

Image: Pinterest

Seating

When it comes to a party to you can never have too much seating, more often than not there’s just not enough.

Nilufer Danis’s ‘Our First Home, Our First Garden’ was a 2012 gold medal winner of the Low Cost High Impact Garden category at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. It is the perfect example of a small garden that’s both plentiful with plants and designed with a party in mind.  Raised beds provide the perfect ledge for perching party goers around the wood burner.

Low walls around areas of a garden, such as the patio, work really well for impromptu seating solutions as well as for creating zones within the garden. Combine these structural elements with garden furniture and soft furnishings and you have the finishing touches for your party pad.

If you’re looking for a tradesman to make over your garden and get the party started we can help. We have tradesmen in your local area who are interested in helping you with your jobs. Simply post your job for free on RatedPeople.com to connect with up to 3 tradesmen. 

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