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

Country Life Every Week - - The Great Escape -

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 nep­ 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

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