Today, gardens must have proper lighting. “I haven’t done a garden in years without lighting,” says Andy Sturgeon, the multi-award winning landscape gardener whose accolades include six gold medals at Chelsea. He says that LEDs used to be rubbish but now, “They work well and look great when combined with natural materials such as stone and timber, rather than chrome or glass.” Every garden can benefit from “a sensitive lighting scheme”, suggests Barry Burrows, MD of Bartholomew Landscaping (bartholomewlandscaping.com), but warns not to fall into the trap of installing floodlights. “The idea is to ensure that the light cast – rather than the lamp itself – is the only visible illumination within the garden, such as ground lighting across a textured surface, trees and pergolas lit from below or a moonlight lamp hung high in a tree,” says Burrows.
Ditch the rattan. What goes outside should look as stylish as what you’d have inside. Go Modern’s collection, for example, courtesy of Belgian-based companies Manutti and Tribù (which specialise in weatherproof, luxury furniture for top hotels and super yachts), has fabrics designed to withstand sunlight, rain, chlorine and mould. Cushions are fast drying and frames have in-built drainage channels. Some models add a touch of bling with remote-controlled LED lighting. “The beauty of these outdoor designs is that they look and feel like indoor furniture with fabrics soft to the touch in a wide variety of contemporary colours including wenge (dark brown), linen and powder blue,” says Go Modern’s Tina Mahony. “Many of our customers have typical London patios or courtyards that they wish to turn into garden rooms, and with the advanced outdoor lighting and heating on the market now, it’s totally achievable.”
Add some contour club chairs, which cost from £1,680, and contour armchairs, from £940, put on a woolly jumper and you’ll never want to go back indoors.