The secret of a well-dressed garden
Rethink your outdoor space with a little help from British interiors brand Neptune and you’ll find that you can create a whole extra room for relaxing and entertaining
We Britons are big believers in making our gardens so much more than a space for relaxing on a sunny day, so let the arrival of summer inspire some original thinking. Approach your garden as an extra room in your home and watch its potential bloom with the roses.
Whether you have a small terrace, a covered deck or a rambling garden, the first step is to throw open the doors that separate inside and out. Think about the things you find essential indoors, as well as the things that bring your rooms to life, and then take some of them outside. No one’s suggesting you take your bed into the garden, but why not make your outdoor furniture as comfortable as the pieces in your living room? Neptune’s new Chatto Lloyd Loom sofa and armchair are designed with soft curves that make them easy to relax in (they’d look just as good indoors, in a conservatory or bedroom, or the armchair can look lovely in a bathroom).
Seating arranged, add a selection of cushions in water-resistant fabrics (Neptune’s come in neutral colours and stripes) or, if the weather’s going to be good, bring out those on your sofa. The deep-green velvets and pretty cabbage-rose prints from its spring collection look beautiful in leafy settings.
Lighting is often neglected in gardens, but consider it carefully and you’ll get much more use out of your space. Neptune’s versatile bronze-finish Dartmouth light can be installed on walls or garden posts and creates a focused pool of light wherever you need it—seating areas, bordering a walkway or even to highlight a favourite area of planting. Complement fixed lighting like this with the more spontaneous. For alfresco supper parties, old favourites such as simple light garlands of bare bulbs threaded along walls or through branches can be effective. Place tealights in Neptune’s Tyburn mirrored or Neve amber glass holders for a warm glow or use its Newington hurricane vase with a Blyton pillar candle as a table centrepiece—if it’s breezy, the vase will protect the flame.
Indoors, mirrors amplify light, so use the same trick in your garden. Why not prop Neptune’s Versailles floor mirror against a wall where it will reflect the
‘Your outdoor space is there to be decorated just like you would your living room
space and help it feel larger? It has an all-glass bevelled frame that will withstand light showers.
Hang smaller mirrors on garden walls or prop them in flowerbeds. For special occasions, bring out a hallway console table and lean a mirror on top, using it as a place to serve drinks.
Mirrors aren’t the only way to dress up your garden. Handpainted silk flowers are surprisingly useful in outdoor table settings. Blending fresh blooms with life-like ones is a popular trick at flower festivals. It instantly creates the impression of a more lush, bountiful garden with no effort at all. Roses and peonies, succulents, herbs and even olive trees are all part of Neptune’s collection, so you can easily change the look of your space. Make it more romantic with flowers, layer it up with greenery for a fresh feel or simply add structure with groups of potted herbs and shrubs.
As with indoor living, a few not-too-difficult touches can transform your garden. If you have a lawn, deck or terrace, try turning it into a picnic beauty spot by bringing a rug outdoors. Neptune’s new flatweave Whytock rug, with its striking geometric print, feels much nicer to sit on than a blanket. Backed in latex and canvas, it’s robust enough for outdoor lounging on dry days. Add throws and cushions to up the comfort factor.
For a real sense of occasion, wheel Neptune’s Manhattan chromeand-glass trolley outdoors for drinks with friends. In a small garden, it could double as a coffee table alongside benches and chairs —just don’t forget to take it back inside once the party’s over.
Your outdoor space is there to be decorated just like you would your living room, grouping objects and thinking about combinations of colour and texture. Neptune’s Hickstead terracotta horse has a lovely patina that’s perfect for outdoors and it’s designed to sit alongside its Rosemary, Bay and Basil terracotta pots.
Or complement areas of planting with Neptune’s Strobus pine cones—use them to add character to empty areas in flowerbeds.
The garden room. It needn’t be an extra building at the end of the garden. Chances are, you already have one—and it’s waiting to be taken advantage of all summer long.
Neptune designs collections for the whole home, indoors and out, and from furniture through to accessories. Explore them online at neptune.com or in any of its extraordinary stores
Above: Ella tumblers, set of six £36; Corinium tray, £69. Right: Chatto sofa, £1,260; Havana Lloyd Loom chairs, £245; Provence dining chair, £120; Harrogate dining table, £940; Imperial nickel pendant, £210
Above: Monaco six-seater table, £765; Provence dining chair, £120; Wardley dining chairs painted in Smoke and Shingle, £270; Hanley candlesticks, from £25; Henley console table, £630; Alderney vase, from £22