Summer might have got off to a rainy start here in the UK but my garden has never looked better! Each year I choose a different colour scheme for the flowers which keeps the garden feeling new and exciting and creates a beautiful, harmonious effect. This year I have chosen pale mauves, soft pinks, blues and whites which look vibrant and fresh alongside all the different shades of green.
Once your garden is in bloom make the most of your flowers by bringing them into your home! Last month I shared some ideas for smaller floral arrangements that you can easily create for yourself and are the perfect way to enjoy the geraniums, spray roses and abundance of fresh herbs currently in season. For summer parties and outdoor entertaining a small trug like the one pictured below or other small wicker baskets make the perfect container for trailing floral table top arrangements. I always have a few small flower pots planted up for this purpose and simply return them to the garden afterwards. Umbrellas are of course essential for keeping the sun off on warmer days but providing much needed shelter during inevitable summer showers! For parties I often hire in a large umbrella which is a perfect solution for a smaller garden like mine.
Speaking of small things, I love to collect decorative ornaments like bird baths and small sculptures which look charming peeping out between the gaps in plants. The beautiful urn pictured below is an antique – as you can see by its beautifully rustic patina. To me, a classic piece like this always looks better in its natural state – this year I have planted it with mauve petunias and blue lobelia which drape and trail beautifully, creating a gorgeous summer display.
The beginning of July always feels like the right time to give garden furniture a good clean and take stock of what needs replacing. New cushions or a brightly coloured throw are an easy way to give your existing furniture a fresh new look and will mean that you’re ready for when the warmer weather arrives in earnest! For ambient evening lighting glass hurricanes like the one you can just glimpse below look stunning with pillar candles, nestled amongst the plants.
And finally, here is a fun idea to help keep you cool this summer! Slice the top and bottom of a cucumber then with a potato peeler, cut wafer thin slices straight into a smart jug filled with chilled water. Top with ice cubes and serve. For parties, homemade ice lollies are always a welcome surprise – try blending fresh raspberries with mint or a mixture of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice. Then all that will remain is to put your feet up and enjoy this beautiful time of the year!