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We’re enjoying a hot and balmy summer this year, and more of us are spending time with family and friends outside.


We’re enjoying a hot and balmy summer this year, and more of us are spending time with family and friends outside. So how can you adapt your outdoor space to create a sociable zone for entertaining? We look at several social garden ideas to help you enhance outside areas around your home, so you can make the most of the summer season.

1. Create the zone
However you intend your outdoor space to be used, make sure you have an ample area for people to move around and sit comfortably. Think of your garden as an outside room. Check which way the sun moves across your garden, and place
garden furniture to face away from the sun. Position an awning, canopy or a stylish ‘sail shade’ to reduce sun glare and protect your guests from summer rain showers.

2. Shaken not stirred
When you’re entertaining outdoors, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend time in your kitchen away from your guests. Building an outside bar is a simple solution, so you can maximise quality time with friends and family. An easy option is to convert part of a shed by creating a fold down hatch, which becomes the bar counter. Small summer houses also make good outdoor bar options. Or upscale some old pallets!

3. Seating for guests
You’ll want to enjoy as much time as possible outside in the summer. The current trend for rattan garden furniture will transform your garden into a chic space for socialising. A gorgeous garden dining set is ideal for al fresco meals and BBQs. Enjoy a good gossip with friends by relaxing on a super-comfy garden sofa set. Add a stylish rattan egg chair as a garden centrepiece for your entertaining zone.

4. Woodsmoke pizza oven
Garden pizza ovens have been popular for some time, but what you might not know is the art of using the woodsmoke for cooking other foods. By using different types of wood in your pizza oven, you can create different smoked flavours for meat and fish. The oven needs to cool and be sealed before it can be used to create smoked treats. Use a hardwood like hickory, maple or oak; soak beforehand to create the smoke.

5. The spirit of India
One of the latest garden trends is to have your very own tandoor in your back garden. This is a type of Indian oven made from clay that uses charcoal, and it’s a great alternative to a BBQ. You can bake naan breads and pizza bases, and slow cook meats and veggies. Rapidly cook different flatbreads by sticking kneaded dough inside the oven walls. This is a healthy outdoor oven, as no cooking oils are required.

6. Movies and music screenings
So you couldn’t get to Glastonbury or another festival this year? Well, if it’s televised then you could always enjoy the action with friends in the comfort of your own garden. Adapt an area where you can watch screenings of live music events, movies, or the latest popular Netflix box set. For handy hints and tips on creating an outdoor cinema space, read our previous blog,
7 Tips to Create Your Own Garden Cinema.

  1. Create a fun and ambient space
    During the day, you could introduce some outdoor games such as Twister, giant Jenga or chess. As the sun goes down, you might want to continue socialising on balmy evenings. A fire pit will add some warmth as the air cools and will create a cosy ambience - use to toast marshmallows for a sweet treat. And when night falls, solar-powered lanterns hung from tree branches or fencing will add a gentle glow.

When you’ve invited people over for summer entertaining, you’ll want to give your garden the ‘wow factor’. Think of creative ways you can enhance any plain outside walls or fencing, as well as tired looking flower beds and planters. For decorative ideas and practical tips on preparing your garden, read our blog 10 Top Tips to Get Your Garden Summer Ready.

Our beautiful garden furniture collection will enhance your outdoor entertaining this summer. Choose from a wide range of garden dining sets and garden sofas. If you need advice, contact our friendly customer service team - use our online web chat tool.

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