Choosing your garden furniture
Make sure your garden furniture is not purely ornamental - comfort should be key. Your shoulders and arms are a surprisingly heavy part of your body. Look out for seats with a curved backrest.
When choosing garden furniture, try to match the same scale as your garden and house: a large house, or dramatic tall planting call for a larger seat or dining scheme, whereas a cottage garden or small town terrace would suit a smaller bench.
A bench with an arm has many uses: it can hold a book or a coffee cup - and if getting up from a seat is tricky, it provides a good 'push-up' point.
Beware dining tables with legs in annoying places - well-designed tables avoid placing legs to tangle with those of diners.
Consider what you will be doing with the garden furniture while it is not in use, for example over winter. Do you have room to store it in a shed, or will it be outdoors in all weather? Some garden furniture can be damaged by being left outdoors. Plastic can be damaged by the sun, but can be stacked behind and hidden under a cover. Softwood can get damaged by moisture and will need to be treated. Oak is very resilient to winter weather and does not require much maintenance.
Read our guide to preparing garden furniture for winter
How to place your garden furniture
The right piece of furniture can provide a very good focal point in your garden design. Placing a bench by a tree or having a backdrop of climbing plants or roses can create a dramatic look. Sculptural designs complement trees of any size, while a piece such as the Meander loveseat by Gaze Burvill creates a charming focal point among the foliage in your garden.
Decide what purpose you want your garden furniture to serve. A table and chairs for entertaining will need good access to the kitchen, while a bench or bistro set might be ideal for putting in a secluded corner if you want to use it for reading or reflection.
If you want to place your furniture somewhere it might be vulnerable to theft, for example in front of a town house, then be sure to get discreet leg fixings: they are very easy to fit when the furniture is installed, and make it more difficult for the furniture to be pinched.
For more information, visit www.gazeburvill.com
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