If you are going to take your garden seriously, there are a few 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 sketch it. Then you need 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 cables and water pipes that you might need. Put up your shed and greenhouse, if required then you can start planting and start to select your garden furniture.
The purpose of this article is to help you select your garden furniture. There is so much choice of garden furniture that it can be quite difficult to make up your mind. Do you go for hardwood, softwood, metal or plastic?
Which color and which style?
Some of your choice will be restricted, if you are on a budget, but in truth, over the long term of twenty or thirty years, hardwood is the cheapest option and plastic the most expensive. Over the short term, two to five years, the opposite is true.
Whether you want armchairs or recliners is certainly up to you and so outside the scope of this article, 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 alright 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 bit careful with softwood and metal.
In a way, it is a good idea to approach 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 overall 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 trouble with waiting for Spring is that that is when garden furniture is at its most costly.
Ask yourself what you anticipate doing in the area where you are planning putting your furniture. Are you and the family just going to flop 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 should be large enough for the number you expect and the furniture should be strong enough so that it will not give way under some of the heavier 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 couple of hot summers and cold winters. You can prolong the life of your plastic garden furniture by storing it in a shed when not in use. Metal garden furniture might require anti-rust treatment from time to time and if the seat is made of fabric, 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 often and you should check for signs of rot or splitting, which can still come about 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 colors; softwood can be painted or stained any color you like and hardwood comes 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 posterior after a couple hours, so buy a few cushions that match the color and style of your garden furniture as well. These can be stored inside when not in use or they will become incredibly dirty and if they get wet it can take days for them to dry, during which time they may begin to rot and smell. Removable cushion covers are a good idea.