20 ways to lazier days
1 If you opt for an outdoor sofa, make sure it’s one that is tried-and-tested for Aotearoa’s conditions. Better still, choose one with removeable cushions so they can be stored inside. The Rome outdoor collection (above), from BoConcept, is a modular system built on a powdercoated aluminium frame. Back cushions are upholstered in high-performance fabric and fixed to the framework with velcro, while seat cushions feature antislip fabric on the underside. For extra peace of mind, protective seat covers are also available. boconcept.com
2 If you love wood, you won’t mind giving it some TLC. First, never water blast wood as it furs it up, effectively damaging its structure. Instead use a gentle cleaner such as WOCA Exterior
Cleaner. Next, just as you wouldn’t leave home without wearing moisturiser and sunscreen, exterior timber needs protection. WOCA Exterior Oil is waterborne with plant-based ingredients to keep cladding, decks and other timber structures looking beautiful. “It’s penetrating as opposed to a film which just sits on top,” says Darin Kitching from Design Denmark. It’s an easy process – no sanding required. Just clean the surface, apply the oil and, in the right conditions, you’ll only need to repeat the process every four or five years. designdenmark.co.nz
3 This could be the ultimate accessory for the lazy gardener: a robot to mow the lawns for you. The Gardena Robotic Lawnmower (left) will maintain mediumsized lawns, even with complicated layouts, rain or shine – then it will even automatically recharge itself at its recharging station. You can put your feet up without any worries, as it has anti-theft protection plus it’s quiet, zeroemissions and energy-saving. $2499 from gardena.com
4 Moss Bunnies (left), from Freedom, are adorable family pets that don’t require feeding or attention (apart from the occasional pat on the head). freedomfurniture.co.nz
5 Non-slip, non-porous ceramic tiles will give you the highest volume of leisure from an alfresco flooring material. Cliffstone tiles in glazed porcelain (in chalky white, grey or taupe) from Tile Space are an elegant and easycare base for your place. tiles.co.nz.
6 Weren’t born with green fingers? Consider artificial alternatives. Freedom’s monstera and fiddle leaf plants are fashionable for patio spaces – and they survive on good intentions alone. freedomfurniture.co.nz >
7 Lawns are notoriously difficult to establish but the savvy gardener works with nature. A lawn grown from seed that suits the soil and conditions will be the hardiest. Woolgro is made from wool and jute fibre with seed ingrained to protect it from birds. The mat fertilises, stores moisture and suppresses weeds and, as it biodegrades, releases nutrients to feed the lawn. woolgro.co.nz
8 Don’t want to mess about with grass seeds? If you need a lawn and just can’t wait, consider Readylawn. Their team can make recommendations for your specific soil conditions and you could have a lush green lawn installed in just hours. readylawn.co.nz
9 Escea fireplaces were born in the deep south so they’re no-nonsense and practical, but good looking too. The EK Series Outdoor Fireplace Kitchen (top) is equipped with everything you need to achieve a smoky meat-lover’s feast. Then once the flame cooking is done, it’s time to settle in for the evening. Pull the stainless steel lid over the mess, leaving you with a roaring fire to relax in front of. From $7495 plus flue and installation from escea.com.
10 Some hard-wearing outdoor furniture can often look more utilitarian than you’d like. But French Country Collections solves this problem with its Retro outdoor range. Including a love seat, chair and round table (above right) the range is 100 per cent aluminium, perfect for the outdoors, yet has the charming look of weathered wood in Fern Green. Table $639 and chair $350, frenchcountry.co.nz.
11 If you’re still tripping over the garden snake (aka the hose) that lurks around the corner at the back of the house, take action so you never have to gather it up again. Zee hoses (left), made in Belgium, are contemporary and unicolour – the hose, reel and attachments can be black, white, pink or green. An object of beauty that will inspire you to water in fashionable style. outdoorconcepts.co.nz
12 High-quality outdoor solar lighting (rather than the stick-in-the-ground variety), allows you to harness the power of the sun without running cabling – no need for an electrician. La Lampe Paris by Maiori (left) from Dawson & Co, comes in two formats (hanging or standing) that can be moved to suit your needs. $899 from dawsonandco.nz.
13 Who’d have thought a tight bundle of sticks would be one of the most low-maintenance fencing options around? Brustics (above) uses Australian broom in its densely machine-packed brushwood fence panels, which have proved to be superdurable. With no painting or treatment required, and the natural pest-resistance of melaleuca, they’re easy-care too.
As a price guideline, 45mm panels 1.1m wide and 1.8m high are $180 each. brustics.co.nz >
14 For those who love the look of timber, but want to bypass the annual oiling regime, Millboard from Forté flooring (above) could be a revelation. Moulded from real oak boards, it has a unique rubber-like coating that is durable, stainresistant, scratch-resistant and, best of all, non-porous so it won’t harbour moss or algae growth. The Millboard core is made from resin mineral composite (RMC) that doesn’t warp or cup. It is pre-coloured, sealed and UV stable. forteflooring.co.nz
15 If you’re not looking forward to getting stuck into the garden, make it a sweeter experience with several minibreaks. Schedule in a pit stop or two (to daydream, read or have a cuppa) on a seat with a view (or hidden away so the chore police can’t see you). The Whiteleys bench from Harvey Norman is an invitation to idle the time away. $499 from harveynorman.co.nz.
16 Wicker furniture, made from plant material, has a timeless crafted appeal. But if you prefer the look without the effort, use a polycarbon alternative. WovenVeranda’s synthetic all-weather wicker is not water absorbent. It copes with high UV, and has commercialgrade aluminium framing, and stainless steel screws and staples – so no rusting. wovenveranda.co.nz
17 If your idea of enjoying the garden involves more leaning and less cleaning, polypropylene is your friend because its dense structure lends durability in the worst weather. And a chair such as the Danish-designed
Pato Sledge (above) by Fredericia from Design Denmark has modern yet classic lines that look the part both indoors and out. With its fine stainless steel legs, it can easily move from alfresco entertaining to an elegant indoor dinner party (there are upholstery pads to add). Stored indoors, you’ll never have to spend your time scrubbing outdoor furniture again. POA from designdenmark.co.nz.
18 Stihl cordless power tools are lightweight and powerful. But the latest range (left), including a hedgetrimmer, blower and linetrimmer, is for the smaller garden so they’re even more affordable and you can recharge them just like a smartphone. From $295, stihl.co.nz. >
19 Concrete is a durable outdoor hardscape option that will last for generations with very little maintenance. Peter Fell coloured concrete (top) is colourfast, environmentally safe and weather- and UV-stable. The team recommends the use of a Peter Fell biodegradable cleaner and a good stiff broom over harsh water blasting, which is an aggressive solution that can create even more work as it damages the surface, creating nooks and crannies for dirt, lichen, moss and moisture to thrive. peterfell.co.nz
20 A retractable PVC roof gives the goodtime gardener access to the outdoors in any season. Look for one that self-cleans, such as the Oztech system (above). Similar to Teflon, the thermoplastic finish ensures leaves, dirt and debris don’t stick to the surface. Self-lubricating, high-tensile plastics used in the moving parts means there’s no need to oil or service the system. And powder-coated aluminium and stainless steel requires no painting. Just wash the roof down once a year with other joinery and, in the meantime, enjoy the touch-button sense of control. As a price guide, most systems (the average is 20sqm) are installed for about $1000 per sqm, from oztech.co.nz.
THIS PAGE (from top) Rome collection outdoor furniture from BoConcept. Moss bunny from Freedom. Gardena Robotic Lawnmower.
4 THIS PAGE (clockwise from top left) Escea EK Series Outdoor Fireplace Kitchen. French Country Retro collection outdoor furniture. La Lampe Paris from Dawson & Co. Zee hose from Outdoor Concepts. Brustics fencing.
THIS PAGE Millboard composite decking from Forté flooring.OPPOSITE (from top) Pato Sledge chairs from Design Denmark. Shrub shears by Stihl.
THIS PAGE (from top) Garden path featuring Peter Fell coloured concrete colour 677. Oztech PVC roof system.