Back to Mr Digwell homepage

Buyer's Guides

Choosing Furniture

If you are a fan of outdoor living you will want to turn your garden into an outside room, an extra place to sit, to sleep, to cook and enjoy blue sky above and our favourite plants around us.

Garden furniture is nothing new, so there are plenty of lessons to learn from the past of how to use furniture to it's best.

Something to catch the eye

Did you ever wonder why classical gardens had so many water features, or plinths and statues? Partly they are there to show off, to indicate how rich the garden owners were. But there is another reason - garden design. Where you place an object in the garden can have some important consequences.

A seat is not just something to sit on, it is a focal point - something to look at, something to move towards and where you put it will have an effect on the garden. The magic rule is to think of thirds. A seating position a third up from the house will give an unfinished look to the garden behind, as though there was something to look beyond the furniture.

But a seating area a third of the way from the back of the garden gives an impression of completeness, almost classical dimensions. Add to this a path arching from a third of the way across the patio to the seating area and you have something for your eyes to follow.

Spending a little time and thought on where you are to put your garden furniture can have an enormous effect, and is well worth the effort. And of course, it doesn't have to be a chair or lounger that focuses the eye, why not an arbor?

Mix and Match

Everything has its place. Even plastic garden furniture has its place, for example, and is ideal for inexpensively accommodating a lot of people, but if you have spent all your time, and probably quite a bit of cash, making your garden as perfect as it can be, one of the most important tasks is to match the furniture to the garden, and often to the house too.

A beautifully crafted summer cottage garden would look out of place with polished steel, whereas classical wood would fit in perfectly. This is an important design principle - to match the colour and texture of the major portions of the house to the colours in the garden. Let the house define your planting and layout, and let the garden define the furniture and other ornaments you introduce into it.

A good chat

Every garden excites the senses, the eye, the nose, the wildlife chanting and buzzing, and we create little pockets of paradise to dream away hot sunny afternoons, forgetting that the point of a garden is a place for people. There is something sad about the secret garden where nobody ever goes, but a garden echoing to playful children or great friends chatting on the patio is exactly the definition of a wonderful garden space.

So why not plan for family and friends? At Primrose there are seating arrangements from tree seats to great Italianesque tables for alfresco dining.

Whatever you buy, arrange the furniture to promote a good chat, and if you are all alone - you can chat to your plants instead.

The backdrop

Given enough space in the garden, you can set your furniture off further by what you put around it. From planters to pergolas, the framework for your seating area is an important aspect to consider.

Believe me, a planter full of night scented stocks and a trellis of sweet peas not only make a colourful frame for a patio lounger, it is the perfect place for a warm summer's late afternoon nap - the mingled aromas promote the very best of dreams.

The art setting the ideal furnished space in the garden is to think 'nest'. Make the spot, whether on a patio or somewhere out on the lawn, as inviting as possible and you won't go far wrong.

Low Pressure

Sometimes the summer is dominated by low pressure, bringing in rain every couple of days, and the whole summer is a washout. Thankfully there is always a wide variety of garden furniture covers on the Primrose site - just to make sure everything remains as perfect as possible.

Other Guides:

Water Features

Planters & Containers

Pest Control

Patio Awnings


Garden Furniture