As has become very clear over the last year, spending a lot of time shut inside your home can be somewhat frustrating. While there was a surprising amount of positivity about the early lockdown times, and many of the complaints that did arise lacked some perspective, it’s also fair to say that humankind was never really all that comfortable with spending too long in one contained space – we can all get a little bit stir crazy every once in a while.
That said, if you’re still working from home – or if you never stopped doing that – then there is limited opportunity to get out there and, as the popular saying goes, touch some grass. It’s fine in summer, when you can usually take some of your work out into the garden and soak up some sun while getting things done. What about the rest of the year, though? How do you go about creating a space where you can be outdoors for more than just a few weeks of uninterrupted sunshine?
Find a source of outdoor heating
One of the major trends of the last few years has been the outdoor fire pit – a hub that can go in your garden, where you can stand around warming yourself and maybe even roast a few marshmallows. Nice as they are, fire pits aren’t generally great for the planet. All that smoke has to go somewhere, and it will usually release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It’s usually best to source some outdoor patio heaters, which can be better for the environment (and don’t become useless the moment it rains).
Shelter from the storm (among other things)
At any time of year, and in any weather conditions, it’s useful to have a covered area in your garden. This holds true for so many reasons: you’re working from home in July and want to keep the glare off your laptop; you’re enjoying the warm weather, but want to avoid too much UV; or you’re enjoying a pleasant spell in the garden and it starts to rain. This is where outdoor umbrellas are such a valuable part of the process. They’re a parasol (when there’s a sol to be para), an umbrella, and if you choose right, a stylish bit of garden decor in and of themselves.
Pick weather-resistant furniture
Garden furniture is always nice to have – it offers the chance to sit in the outdoors and enjoy some fresh air while not compromising on comfort. However, unless you’re living somewhere where the weather is the same all year, it presents some challenges. A plush outdoor sofa may be great in summer, but the moment you get some heavy rain, it’s going to be ruined. Durable, all-weather furniture in materials like coated steel and hardy woods like teak will serve you as well in January as it does in July – although it’s probably still a good idea to keep it covered when there’s rain, as moisture can lead to mould and moss.
Your outdoor space can be a fine place to spend some time at any stage of the year – as long as you make the right prepping decisions to ensure it’s kept in good order and take steps to control the elements.