Now that the rain has gone and the sun has reappeared we can look at dining out in your garden. Hot summer days bring out the fragrance of the flowers in your garden, the gentle sweetness of roses and philadelphus, lavender and buddelia. It makes an irresistible backdrop to dining outside, enjoying the fresh air and warmth.

A beautiful patio or decking area complements that experience. It provides a place to sit and relax, enjoying the meal in comfort.

But before you start planning your outdoor dining, check out the space. Is the patio big enough for all your guests?

There is nothing worse than dining outside and finding there is not enough room for everyone you want to invite. A cramped table squashed into a tiny patio or decking creates the wrong impression, and destroys your enjoyment.

Is the area clean and tidy? Are there any broken paving stones, or damaged planks of wood in the decking? Are any steps safe? Do the steps need handrails? Does the appearance of your decking look a bit jaded and tired?
All these factors are often overlooked in the hurry to dine outside, but can make a tremendous difference to the experience.

A quick chat with a hard landscaper can solve the problem. New patios and decking can be installed quite quickly, and often at short notice. You can even arrange to extend existing patios or decking, or add an extra section else where in the garden to take account of special views. A hard landscaper can provide lots of ideas as to how to improve your facilities, the colours that would blend in best or provide a contrast if that is your style preference. They can even add in extra pathways to make your garden more accessible.

While planning your dining outdoors activity, think too about the little extras that can give your garden that extra special touch. Perhaps some lights twinkling in the trees, or winding through the shrubs. Try some pretty night light style candles edging pathways. Burning citronella candles will help keep the flies away, and add to the pleasing fragrance around your dining table.

If you are having a barbeque remember to have some water and sand at hand, ready to put out flames in an emergency. Follow Food Safety Authority guidelines and don’t leave food out in the sun for too long, otherwise bacteria will start to develop. Ideally, food should be left outside for no longer than two hours.

With a little bit of thought, dining outside in the garden can be a fantastic experience taking advantage of the pleasures of your patio or decking.

If you would like to discuss a project please get in touch via email info@cj-landscapes.co.uk or call our office on 01279 418187.