Summer might be almost over, but there’s still time to enjoy how eating al-fresco can elevate the everyday. We believe fabulous flowers are a key part of a perfect tablescape, and nobody understands the relationship between furniture and flowers better than Garden Trading – so we asked them a few burning questions about that very topic.
1. In what ways can floral arrangements help create an inviting and elegant ambience for outdoor dining spaces?
If you’re dining outdoors and decorating your space with floral sprays, there’s plenty to choose from to display them with our range of wreaths and lovingly crafted decorative vases. Petite and dainty in design, you can spread your arrangements further using Teardrop Flower Vases, which are perfect for presenting seasonal single stems. Simply add botanical freshness in vases dotted along the centre of your table, extending the prettiness.
2. How do the colours and fragrances of flowers and candles impact outdoor dining?
It’s the little touches that add a touch of nature to your table and make all the difference to the look and feel of your outdoor space. If you’re adding impact and visual interest with blooms, select something to suit the look you’re going for; if it’s decadent, think vibrant florals in rich jewel tones – or, for a pared back, elegant and natural look, choose soft and calming colourways. Then opt for an aroma that isn’t too potent. Nothing overpowering with a woody, floral or spicy scent should be positioned in or near an outdoor dining area as it detracts from food and can even act as a deterrent; instead, select natural, inviting aromas in citrus or herbaceous hues – such as Bergamot or Rosemary – that are subtle and freshen up your space without overdoing it. If flies are being particularly tiresome, pop citronella candles into lanterns. With their crisp lemon, grassy scent they’ll offer all the benefits of a natural insect repellent and double up as decorative features.
3. What one piece of garden furniture is an absolute must as we draw out of summer and into autumn?
Versatile weatherproof furniture is key to giving your outdoor space enduring appeal beyond the warmest months. These designs are crafted to survive conditions outside year-round, but are also suitably stylish for use indoors, making them a great investment. If we’re choosing just the one(!), we’d recommend embracing the essence of Scandinavian design with our Hampstead Corner Sofa, a careful combination of functionality and elegance. Designed to seamlessly fit into expansive open patios, serene decking areas, or the warmth of a conservatory, this sofa is not only a showstopper but is made to weather the elements. Top tip: when you’re ramping up the comfort factor with these transitional pieces, choose furniture bearing a similar colour palette to your home’s décor, that way they seamlessly link your living areas – indoors and out.
4. What’s your favourite late summer salad recipe?
We love a crowd-pleaser that promises to tantalise everyone’s tastebuds. Planning a mouthwatering picnic on the move or going to a gathering where everyone brings a dish? Super simple to prepare, our summer salad is also easily transported. Serve it with a selection of melt-in-your-mouth meats, a cheeseboard, and a fresh chunk of sourdough.
5. What are the best ways to bring nature inside the home?
Cultivate happiness with houseplants and flowers! Not only are they good for our health, they’re also scientifically proven to enhance our wellbeing – plus they really have the power to transform the look and feel of your living space! With Garden Trading’s extensive collection of wreaths, vases, plant pots and stands, it’s easy to bring life and colour to your dwelling with botanicals. Revitalise living spaces by mixing textures, colour palettes, sizes and leaf shapes which together make a connection with the natural world outside and create a calm, soothing atmosphere. Limited floor space? Create a vertical garden or hang cascading house plants from the ceiling. It’ll make a stunning display.
So, there you have it. Vases, variety, scents, salads – and the perfect furniture for your al fresco dining. Fancy more tips on living your best flower life? Check out our conversations with Little Greene, This Works and Nonna Tonda – and discover how flowers inspire paint shades, help with mindfulness and are the perfect accompaniment to arrabiata.