Winter warmers for outdoor spaces
The garden can be a great alternative space to ‘chill out’ with family and friends even during the colder months. So enjoy your garden this winter with these warming tips…
Adding shelter will not only increase intimacy but will, of course, shield you from the elements. A gazebo is a great all-round refuge.
Add some ambiance
If you’re going to sit out in your garden over the winter then you’re going to need some decent lighting. Somehow candlelight instantly warms a space, if not literally then certainly psychologically. Twinkling fairy lights will also enhance the cosy atmosphere by creating strong contrasting shadows and will frame your designated space beautifully. Solar-powered lights are a great idea as they do not need a power source and most come on automatically when it begins to get dark. They come in all shapes and sizes from wall-mounted lights to strings of pretty fairy lights.
Feed a cold
The best part of alfresco entertaining is of course food and what better way to warm the cockles of the heart than by hosting an Alpine-style gathering? Make hot drinks and cook warming stews indoors and serve in mugs outside. Or even better, spark up the BBQ as an extra source of heat.
Wrap it up
Keeping your guests warm is essential if you want to throw a comfortable, winter garden party. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to stay cosy in the garden is to wrap up in blankets or throws. Lie them over your lap, wrap them around your shoulders or cuddle underneath one with your loved ones, and as the night gets colder, keep close toasty hot water bottles to keep extra warm. When not in use, look out for large rain (and snow) proof storage boxes that you can stash cushions and throws in. If you get one sturdy enough, they can make excellent alternative seating option in smaller outdoor spaces too.
Make sure your outdoor furniture is dry and then soften it up with plenty of faux fur throws and wool cushions.
In the summer you might want to lie out in the sunshine on a sun lounger or perch on a cool and airy wooden chair in the heat but in the winter a different type of outdoor seating is called for. Get next-level cosy on a padded outdoor sofa with thick, washable cushions add extra comfort and warmth for those chilly winter evenings.
Or what about the outdoor Phoenix chair which heats up at the touch of a button leaving you warm and cocooned, ready to enjoy the colder days or stay outside longer while the sun goes down. The chairs are beautiful, smooth and heat up like a rock warmed up naturally from the sun. Made from cast stone, they are ergonomically shaped, tactile to the touch and very comfortable to sit in.
Available from www.capital-garden.com
Fire bowls are a popular alternative to chimeneas, providing warmth and ambience for when you want to sit around a nice glowing fire on a chilly evening with friends and family.
The Original Kadai Fire bowls®, made from from recycled oil drums which have been riveted together for strength and durability, originate from a traditional India design, the word Kadai is and Indian word for a Balti shaped cooking pot. Kadai firebowls are great for BBQs and open outdoor fires. They add a warm feel to any BBQ or cool evening, for sitting round the fire. (Available locally from Preston Garden Centre, www.prestongardencentre.co.uk)
Don’t forget to style your outdoor table top just as you would inside with candles, a table cloth, napkins and lots of platters so that your outdoor meal will look extra special.
Surely one of the best times to own a hot tub is in the winter, giving you a chance to escape from the cold weather by sinking into hot, soothing water. This is a great time to get the family or friends into your spa, especially when it’s beautiful and snowy. This can make for a unique and memorable place for a winter gathering and socialising.