Gone are the days when, at the first sign of summer, you dragged impromptu kitchen chairs out on to the terrace or rescued mildewed deckchairs from the garden shed. It’s not enough to have spent a fortune on B&B Italia in the drawing room; now you have to follow through in the garden. With accessories to match.
Why have a plain old fire in your garden when you could spend three grand on the Zero firepit with logs aesthetically stacked around its circular base? This is how rich people connect with their caveman ancestors – staring into the flames and congratulating themselves on their excellent taste. Visit Encompass garden department.
A vast collection of seats and loungers to suit any style, from a country cottage garden to an urban roof terrace. Plus stylistic oddities such as the Pomme de Jardin, a huge weatherproof-wicker pot-bellied hideaway stuffed with cushions. The top comes off for rare moments of sunshine. Visit Holloways garden furniture.
This one is for people “who enjoy the quiet pleasure of owning pieces offering exceptional comfort, lasting quality and timeless beauty”. Posh people, in other words. Its craftsmen-made oak seats, such as benches which snake round trees, would not look out of place in a National Trust garden. Visit Gaze Burvill.
Hen and Hammock
For free spirits trying to recapture the childhood magic of camping in the garden, this website has everything from hammocks to fire bowls. I love the Outdoor Pine Torch for alfresco dining, which is basically a log sawn to make an outdoor torch, using a technique developed by Swedish soldiers in the Thirty Years War. Warning: country folk may mock. Visit Hen & Hammock.
Sturdy deckchairs (cheap flimsy ones won’t last the summer) in traditional stripes. They do a Wideboy, which they euphemistically claim is for two people. Yeah right, fatty. Visit Southsea Deckchairs.