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How to enjoy your outdoor living space

After a long day at the office, is there anything better than unwinding in the comfort of your home? If the sun’s shining, rather than going out and spending half your wages to have fun, you can stay in and lounge peacefully in your very own outdoor area.

Whether you’ve got a trendy balcony in a high-rise city apartment or a lush garden in the suburbs, there are lots of things you can do to make the most of your summer evenings in. Check out our top 10 below and prepare for some memorable moments in the sunshine.

1) Enjoy the pleasures of simple barbecue food

Enjoy the BBQ

Enjoy the BBQ

Sometimes, basking in the sun with some good food is all you need to create the perfect night in. Barbecue is the ideal choice. Why? Well, you get to cook in the sunshine and they’re delightfully simple to do –cook up a few charcoaled sausages and burgers, make a crispy salad, and get in some great condiments and you’re set.

2) Jug of Pimms

This brand of fruit cups, also considered a liqueur, has been a popular and refreshing choice for the more refined drinker for almost 200 years. Sharing a jug with friends is a great way to relax as the sunsets.If you need the perfect Pimms’ recipe, you’ll find it here.

3) Mozzie candles

Nightlight Candles

Nightlight Candles

Not only will mozzie candles add to the ambience of your outdoor living area, but also their scent will keep mosquitoes at bay – a problem that has been growing in the UK over the last few years.

4) Get cushions

Deep, comfortable cushions will keep you and any guests happy and content long into the evening. It’s a good investment if you want to make your garden a welcoming and cosy living space. Remember to consider the style of your cushions to ensure they fit in with your décor, and choose a material that’s easily washable – you’re outside after all. At our sister brand Cargo you’ll find a wide range of styles and materials, at least one of them is bound to match your outdoor living space.

Comfy Cushions

Comfy Cushions

5) Summer garden tunes

When enjoying your own company, music in the garden or conservatory can be a much more indulgent affair, as you can simply choose whatever you feel like listening to. But if you have guests, more thought and consideration should be put into your selection. Music becomes part of the ambience, so if you want everyone to relax, some chilled out tunes are probably wise. If it’s a Friday evening and you’re more in the party mood, go for something upbeat to liven up the atmosphere and encourage everyone to let their hair down. Just be mindful of your neighbours, as they might not appreciate you having the music on too loud, especially later on in the evening.

6) Dress comfortably

If you’ve been in a stuffy suit all day; get it off and into something more comfortable. Shorts/skirt and at-shirt are a good shout, or something a bit dressier if you’ve guests and you want to create a more party environment. Just remember to keep a warm blanket close by, as you never know when the British weather may change!

7) Keep drinks within easy reach

When laying in the scorching sun you always want an ice-cold beverage by your side. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in an ice cooler to minimise those trips to your kitchen fridge! This one here is big enough to fit in a whole picnic and has 4 cup holders too.

8) Parasols

Following on from our last point about keeping your drinks cold, keeping them in the shadow of a stylish parasol is also mighty useful. A parasol will offer shade that can help keep your food fresh for longer and save your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. A must if you intend to spend lots of time in your outdoor living space!

9) Garden games

Play Cards

Play Cards

Garden games can be the perfect way to pass the time in the sunshine. Got kids? Consider a crazy golf set, as taking it in turns putting balls through zany obstacles can be a lot of fun. Prefer to use brainpower? Sit down to a game of dominoes. Want an icebreaker? Pull out a pack of cards or a classic board game that everyone can get around the garden table and enjoy. Monopoly is one of our faves,just remember it can go on forever!

10) Need a fan?

If the weather gets too hot, make sure you and any guests remain cool and comfortable with a fan. Keep it somewhere practical where most people are going to congregate without running the risk of it getting in the way. If the temperature drops later into the evening, make sure you’ve a few spare throws for your seats and blankets for your guests.

Got any tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments box below for your chance to win a special summer garden pamper worth £25!

arrow82 Responses

  1. 10 mos, 2 wks ago

    1. Don’t forget your family / friends.
    2. Leave your mobile at home.
    3. Listen to the nature instead of music.

    Thank God for a new day :)

  2. 10 mos, 2 wks ago

    1, always make a jug of sangria ( everybody enjoys )
    2, play some chill out tunes lightly in the background
    3, always cater for any kids you might have a round, if they get involved with things or have their own games to play they wont get as tired and irrated and annoy others ;-)
    4, pepapre your own little fire pit for when the sun goes down, that way your guests will still feel comfortable and the enjoyment can go on !
    5, always try to think of your neighbours, keep the noise down to a reasonable level, you just never know how they will retaliate at a later date

  3. hannah welsh
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    I love a chimnea to get bring that Mediterraenean feel into the garden! I also love some outdoor bunting to make an ordinary night feel that little bit more special!

  4. Mary Baldwin
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    Don’t forget the citronella candles, particularly once the sun sets so you can enjoy the day into the evening without the midges and mosquitos enjoying you.

  5. Melanie Gardiner
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    If you have the space you can while away the hours chilling with some music in a hammock.

  6. Lynn Gibbind
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    Create a shady area for pets, to make sure they stay cool. Remember they can get sunburnt too on ears and tummys. Dogs love ice cubes for a cooling refreshing treat.

  7. Jan McGregor
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    You’ve already covered most of my tips! Can’t beat Pimms and lemonade. I like to have a patio heater handy for when it gets cooler so we can stay out for longer in the evening.

  8. Laura Marshall
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    Fantastic, feeling so overwhelmed with my garden and what to do with it at the minute. Would be a fantastic prize to help with some inspiration!

  9. Laura Marshall
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    Forgot my Tip, Milk & Epsom Salt are both great fertilisers – Who Knew!

  10. Katherine L
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    Keep light fleece blankets handy for those chilly moments. Also, keep you clocks far far away so you can really escape and relax!

  11. Kenneth Shipway
    10 mos, 2 wks ago

    Ensure you have a theme to the evening that will attract people and help make it a fun night.

  12. Lynsey Ward
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Good friends, outdoor games to entertain the children so the patents can relax, good tunes, great BBQ food and some pims. Looking forward to summer now

  13. 10 mos, 1 wk ago

    I like the quiet life. So, on a sunny afternoon, I like playing the piano , painting, and drink tea with the family on the balcony.

  14. jacq Fleming
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Encourage a little “wild space” in your garden to greatly benefit flora and fauna

  15. Caroline H
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    A collection of lanterns creates a great atmosphere once the sun goes down.

  16. 10 mos, 1 wk ago

    We had some unwelcome furry visitors so all our decking had to be Ripped up, My husband is laying a new patio and i am looking forward to sitting out in the summer and lighting the bbq. I am getting t light holders and putting candles everywhere to light up the garden on dark warm evenings, I could do with a bit of help as its like starting again!!

  17. Danielle Graves
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Invite your neighbours round – instead of alienating them by playing music, having a BBQ invite them round and get them to join in the fun

  18. Ashleigh Allan
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Make sure to have all family and friends!

  19. Shirley Giles
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Plants pots of fragrant plants and herbs for everyone to enjoy

  20. Suzy
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    For complete relaxation and escapism add a water feature. There are many different fountains to choose from including solar powered, for those that don’t have an electric point outdoors and smaller battery operated fountains that can be used both indoors and out. Be sure to look for one that also features lights which will create the perfect ambience as day turns to night.

  21. Nicola Biven
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Some outdoor twinkle lights look lovely on the bushes at night !

  22. Victoria
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Always, always have plenty of food and drink. Don’t be stingy!

  23. Amy Beckett
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Garlic and Chilli Prawn Skewers make a BBQ perfec

  24. Kirsten Barthy
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    1) bring out a summer read and just imagine you are on holidays
    2) have a game of croquet with friends and family
    3) leave the phone indoors
    4) invite the neighbours over and make new friends

  25. Jessica Wilde
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    It’s never as warm as you hope it will be… So… make sure you have some blankets at the ready. Buy them in bright colours, so they feel perfect for chilly summer evenings, rather than a winter’s evening by the fire!

  26. emma
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Glass of rose and a good book..perfect summer evening!

  27. angela sandhu
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Make an area just for chilling out

  28. Barbara Handley
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Check the weather forecast as sunny days can change into bad weather quite quickly.

  29. 10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Boil your BBQ meat ahead of time so you don’t make your guests ill or spend hours cooking as all you will have to do is apply sauce and a quick grilling and you are ready to serve.

  30. Jo W
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Putting up fairy/garden rope lights is a must and dotting solar lights around the garden sets the perfect ambience for a chilled out balmy summers evening

  31. Claire Bodin
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    I just loving being in the garden as much as possible i do whatever jobs I can outside then relax while hubby cooks BBQ with a glass of wine

  32. Jen Schofield
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Get a seating area and a BBQ – great for entertaining friends and really enjoying your outdoor space

  33. liz denial
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    have an awning fitted to your house so you can sit out on a warm evening even if it’s raining. The garden smells divine when it’s raining

  34. Karen Barrett
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    I love to watch the bats in my garden at dusk whilst partaking a glass of wine. I now have a bat detector, so from the frequency I can identify the bat. Who need games and conversation! :o)

  35. Liz Briggs
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Garden Bench with storage – hides everything away. A neat garden is the same as a neat house makes you feel calmer :)

  36. Sally Lea
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Always start your barbecue well before you want to eat! Nothing is worse than being starving in the pitch dark waiting for things to cook.

  37. Victoria N
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Have rugs and picnic blankets for when it gets chilly. And always buy more alcohol than you think you will need!

  38. Jane W
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Tealights in glass jars are a great way to add atmosphere – then just sit back and relax!!!

  39. Keshia Esgate
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Get a fire pit going and toast marshmallows on sticks :)

  40. Kirsty Mills
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Make sure you wear Sunscreen.

  41. sam horseman
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Vintage miners lights look really great and are available cheaply in antique stores and ebay – they are very cheap to run and will allow your garden party to carry on into the night :)

  42. lynn mitchell
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    make sure you have the sting relief spray on hand for wasp stings

  43. Angela Glynn
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    If you don’t have a fire pit or chiminea have a few throws on your patio chairs that you and your guests can snuggle into so that you can stay out and enjoy the stars.

  44. Elizabeth Harbron
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Eat breakfast on the patio in the sunshine in your pyjamas. Sets you up for the day perfectly!

  45. Lorraine Tinsley
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Giant beans bags are really comfy and you can get ones that are wipe clean.

  46. David Reeves
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Get a 3m by 3m gazebo and bolt securely it to the patio. Add some white lights around the upper frame and a candle-type light suspended from the apex.

  47. Donna Hornsby
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Glass of wine and a good book, fabulous… oh and the kids paddling pool for dipping your feet in to cool off if it gets a little too balmy of an evening ;-)

  48. bhavesh mistry
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Use tea bags to bump up your compost heap!

  49. Andi Gurney
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    I agree with the Jug of Pimms with family and friends and a game of Croquet

  50. Joan Marshall
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Comfortable chairs and cushions and good food are all you need to make a summers evening in the garden as good as any on holiday.

  51. melissa manning
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    I work in a children’s residential home so this Summer we’re planning a lot of evenings in the garden – to keep young children entertained why not plan a scavenger hunt with clues and prizes hidden around the garden!

  52. Trudi Walsh
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Great tips!

    Have plenty of food & drink, better to have to much than to little!

  53. Emma Nixon
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    Make the most of your summer garden, sit out and enjoy. Have a BBq with family and enjoy the view.

  54. Gilla01
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    You need shade and comfort, so don’t forget a pergola or parasol and comfortable seating. Some form of fly deterrent – citrussy candles? – is necessary as well.

  55. Emma Baker
    10 mos, 1 wk ago

    listening to chill out pop music gets you in the perfect creative mood for gardening and improving the wildlife prospect in the garden

  56. Vicky P
    10 mos ago

    Don’t forget sun cream, it’s very easy to burn and not realise it!

  57. sue hodges
    10 mos ago

    make the most of being in the garden and surround the entertaining area with pots of flowering plants. advantage of using pots is that they can be moved through the seasons as different flowers open. Or have herbs nearby to use on the barbecue and obviously need some mint for the pimms!

  58. Rebecca Kingston
    10 mos ago

    Surround yourself with family and friends and leave the tech at bay, its about enjoying the garden and your company :)

  59. Helen Allan
    10 mos ago

    There’s no reason you can’t make yourself as comfortable outdoors as you are indoors. Play some music, enjoy sitting on cusions, have a ready supply of food and drink and enjoy the sunshine.

  60. Richard Turner
    10 mos ago

    when planning a barbecue check the whether forecast to ensure there wont be rain !

  61. Lyn Bosomworth
    10 mos ago

    A collection of lanterns and garden candles and/or solar table fairy lights draped around the fence creates a great atmosphere once the sun goes down.

  62. 10 mos ago

    Just to say that on looking through your website I came across your blog, and we were so inspired (and hopeful of a hot summer!) that I went and ordered the St. Tropez garden set. When we get chance we will be sitting outside running our business, thinking of what a great choice we made. Thanks Tracy x

  63. Lindy Hine
    10 mos ago

    Some pretty solar lights look lovely in the garden and you can create your own little haven.

  64. Georgia McAllister
    10 mos ago

    I give my kids a bucket of water and some brushes so they can ‘paint’ the shed for me, it keeps them occupied for ages. I supervise of course, from my sun lounger.

  65. Helen Atkins
    10 mos ago

    Turn the phone off, invite neighbors so you don’t get complaints, plenty of BBQ food, light music and games for the kids.

  66. Jane Middleton
    10 mos ago

    get a garden bench to sit on in the sun

  67. Kristy Brown
    10 mos ago

    Don’t forget to use solar lights to let your guests know where your patio/decking/lawn end – there is nothing worse than a broken bone in the night after a BBQ

  68. Catherine Gregory
    10 mos ago

    Lots of cool drinks with plenty of ice to keep cool in the sun and sun lotion so you can stay outside longer

  69. Danika Lloyd
    10 mos ago

    1. Have cloches to cover food
    2. Don’t forget to wear a hat if you’re out all day

  70. Rebecca Lis
    10 mos ago

    Don’t forget pets need a quiet shaded areas too

  71. Emily Jayne Phipps
    10 mos ago

    Solar Lanterns, Plastic crockery (in case of damage), BBQ as soon as the weather is hinting at warm enough!!!! Breakfast BBQs are great too! Don’t neglect them!! :D and you’re never to old for a paddling pool!

  72. Emily Jayne Phipps
    10 mos ago

    This really just made me giggle!

  73. wendy jamieson-price
    10 mos ago

    when planting out your runner beans underplant with sweet peas they look fantastic and you will then have a food and floral crop great in a small garden too

  74. Ali Thorpe
    10 mos ago

    Place a bench or arbour in a corner which isn’t overlooked and doesn’t face neighbors for a truly relaxing spot!

  75. Jill Cordner
    10 mos ago

    Get my mum to do it, she’s loves gardening x

  76. Denise S
    10 mos ago

    get solar lamps and candles and a supply of fleece blankets to allow people to sit outside for longer in the evenings

  77. 10 mos ago

    Get a gazebo. Then you can enjoy the outdoors even if it’s raining.

  78. Adam Sharples
    10 mos ago

    Music, beer, barbeque, chairs and sun – all you need for a nice evening.

  79. Emma scarth
    10 mos ago

    Invite the neighbours + good food + lots of chilled drinks + games for the kids = memorable moments (or not so memorable if the drinks are good!)

  80. Siobhan Scott
    9 mos, 3 wks ago

    If you cant afford an ice cooler fill up a plastic bin with ice and pop your bottles and cans in the ice to keep them cool

  81. Lynn Gibbins
    9 mos, 1 wk ago

    Sprinkle the bbq coals with herbs. This gives off a lovely aroma and keeps the insects away.

  82. 8 mos, 4 wks ago

    Love this blog, particularly the candles. Im looking forward to seeing what you come up with over summer.

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