Top Tips For A Plastic-Free Picnic

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the launch day events for Plastic-Free St Albans is a Plastic-Free Picnic at Highfield Park. This is also an awesome way to celebrate Earth Day too. So whether you are planning a picnic for this reason, or having one on any other day, here are my top tips for a plastic-free picnic…

Top Tips For A Plastic-Free Picnic

Shopping

Firstly, choose items that are sold loose or in recyclable packaging. Avoid plastic packaging as much as you can! It is hard to do, which is why there are several campaigns focused on holding shops and supermarkets more accountable for this too. If you are feeling abit rebellious, you could unpackage everything after you pay, before you leave and give the rubbish back to them… maybe it will help them to take the hint!

Better yet, head on down to your local eco store, if you have one, with your refill jars and avoid the supermarkets with all their unnecessary packaging full stop!

(Oh, and wherever you shop, don’t forget to take your reusable bags, obviously….)

Plastic Free St Albans eco friendly reusable bag organic cotton sustainable bag

Packing Your Picnic

Transporting

Use an old style wicker basket to carry your picnic! Or choose from one of the many reusable bag options available. This one is easy; just don’t use a plastic bag! Moving on…

Containers

Tuppaware containers are ok as they aren’t single- use plastic. However, there are even better alternatives! Stainless steel containers are more environmentally- friendly and will most likely last you longer too.

Keeping it Fresh

Rather than cling film, use sandwich bags or reusable wax wraps. These keep food fresh very effectively and are much kinder to the environment.

Reusable sandwich bag

Plates, Bowls and Cutlery

Taking your own cutlery that you use at home is a good choice. You don’t actually need different cutlery just because you are eating outdoors! But if you do prefer to use something else, invest in a reusable bamboo cutlery set if possible.

For disposable cutlery options, as well as bowls and plates too, choose eco- friendly items such as from The Blue Speck. They are 100% biodegradable and sourced directly from plants.

Drinks

Take a flask along with a reusable cup for hot drinks. For cold drinks, take along a reusable drinks bottle. If you need a straw, invest in a reusable one made from metal or bamboo, or buy disposable alternatives to plastic, such as paper straws.

Reusable eco friendly cup

Other Useful Info

Low Tox Box also has a fab zero waste starter kit. It contains several reusable bags, spork, cup and straw for £30 plus P&P. They also plant a tree for every box sold and send a certificate too.

Enjoy your plastic- free picnic!

Click here for more zero waste tips

Shower Or Bath? The Big Bathroom Debate!

Which do you prefer? Shower or bath? Or does it depend on your mood? And/ or maybe the amount of time you have?

Shower Or Bath? The Big Bathroom Debate! title on faded water background image

Personally I love showers! They are quick, easy and refreshing. I don’t have enough time for a long soak in the bath. But to be perfectly honest, even pre Squiggle when I did have far more spare time, I still rarely picked baths; I would almost always opt for the shower instead. I think I just get bored too easily! I would rather spend whatever precious few moments I manage to grab relaxing and pampering myself in other ways.

So therefore, in my opinion, showers are ideal; they use less water, save time and just seem more convenient. Plus I love the smell of the fresh water as it pours down from the shower head and I enjoy the feel of the ‘waterfall’ on my skin. It is both relaxing and refreshing at the same time. I even meditate in there sometimes, it is the perfect place for visualisation!

Here are my reasons why I think showers are better:

• Saves time

• Costs less money

• More environmentally friendly/ less water usage

• Convenient

• I can’t hear the chaos going on in the rest of the house with the shower on!

• I am marginally less likely to be disturbed in the short amount of time it takes to shower!!!

• Sensory experience

Shower image

On the other hand, Squiggle’s dad prefers baths. He sees a shower as a necessity to be clean, smell good (or less bad – his words!) and often to wake himself up, whereas a bath is more of a luxury; somewhere to relax and shut off from the world. His top tip is to add bath salts or magnesium flakes.

He also wrote this tongue in cheek (I think anyway?!) list on why he thinks baths are better:

• Bath salts

• Bath bombs

• Bath paints (I’ll leave this open for debate as to whether he actually means for himself or for kids!)

• Face packs

• Bubbles

• Snacks and drinks

• Reading, music, tv

• Selfies

• Talking to people; either through the door, in the room or on the phone

• Seeing how long you can hold your breath under water

A bubbly bath

Hmmm, some of those can be done in the shower too though! And some are better out of the bath in my opinion! (Wet ipad anyone?)

Anyway, moving on…

As for Squiggle? Well, she prefers showers but she does also like to sit down too! So as I mentioned before, walk-in showers with seating would be perfect for her! But as we don’t have one of those at home, she simply uses our over-bath shower and just sits under the running water in an empty bath! Does anyone else do this? Or just her?!

Walk in shower with seating

Since the results are somewhat therefore tied within our small family of 3, I took to twitter to solve the debate! So which is more popular; bath or shower? The results are in! Drum roll please…

Showers are the clear winner with a whopping 88% of votes, in what was quite possibly the most pointless family debate we have ever had! But still fun… and dare I admit, actually quite interesting!

What do you prefer – baths or showers? Tell me in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

My Dream Bathroom

Have you ever been wandering around somewhere like the Ideal Home Exhibition, or visited someone else’s home even, and started thinking about what your ideal bathroom would be like? Well, that’s me right now! This is how I would describe my dream bathroom…

A photo of a spacious bright bathroom with walk in shower. Title My Dream Bathroom written above.

A Decent Size

Ok, it doesn’t need to be huge. But I would like it to have a space to sit and to actually be able to move around, as well as some bathroom storage. One of our previous homes had the tiniest bathroom you have ever seen. I honestly didn’t think that I would mind too much – until we actually moved in and I realised how annoying it really was!

Storage

I mentioned this already. But storage is a must! Our current bathroom lacks any shelves or cabinets, which means that the windowsill and bath end up looking cluttered, plus our medicines are therefore in a kitchen cupboard downstairs instead. I hate not being organised! However, I will even go as far as to specify that what I really mean is practical storage – not the kind where you bang your head getting out of the bath or trip over it everytime you walk in… been there and done that way too many times!

Walk-in Shower

I love walk-in showers. When we went to Vegas several years back, our suite had the biggest walk- in shower ever; it was amazing! Honestly, I could have spent all day in there. Squiggle loved it too; she took her bath toys in and pretty much treated it much like her own personal splash park! She prefers showers, as do I, but she also really likes to sit down under the water as well – so a seat in the shower would be ideal for her.

A photo of a walk- in shower

Privacy

My dream bathroom would have privacy. In particular, it would have a working lock. I get that the child safe locks on family bathrooms are really good for some scenarios. But do you know how easy those things are to just bust straight open without even realising the door was ever actually locked?! Ask Squiggle, she will tell you… since she has enough experience of doing that to me! And no one banging on the door either. Ok, I know…too far fetched… but I did say this was a dream bathroom!

Underfloor Heating

I would love for my bathroom to have underfloor heating. It is relatively cheap to heat and it feels so cosy! Enough said.

Eco- Friendly

Last but not least, my dream bathroom would be eco- friendly! So in addition to the underfloor heating, I would like there to be plenty of natural light and energy efficient lighting for when it is needed. But also, the biggest environmental consideration with bathrooms, is of course water usage. So anything that helps conserve water would be a must for my dream bathroom to be truly complete!

What would your dream bathroom look like? Tell me in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

The Importance of Self- Care: Why the Bathroom is One of the Most Important Rooms in Our Home

As a parent, especially as a carer too, it can be difficult to find time to relax. Yet self-care is essential. And that is why, for me, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in our home. Like for many people, it is a place of sanctuary; whether that is simply a chance to quickly grab two minutes to take a refeshing shower, to enjoy a long hot soak in the bath, or give yourself some much needed pampering time. Here are some fab reasons to retreat to the bathroom…

It has a lock!

For many family homes, this may be the only room in the house where you can literally lock yourself away and get away from it all, while still being in the comfort of your own home. The psychological impact of knowing nobody can barge in any second is actually just as significant as the lock itself. It means guaranteed space to yourself until you choose to leave!

Sense of privacy

Aside from the locked door, it is often more accepted and expected that people in the bathroom should be left alone. Granted, this isn’t always the case, but there is perhaps slightly more chance compared to other rooms… in theory at least! This means you can take some time-out in relative peace. (Hopefully!)

Water is relaxing

Taking a shower or soaking in the bath is a good way to unwind. The water soothes and helps to de-stress both your body and mind.

We all need a little pampering

Whether it is a luxurious bath filled with oils or salts, a gorgeous face mask, or simply doing a quick wax, it feels good to look after yourself. So treat yourself to some lovely pampering then leave the bathroom feeling rejuvinated, ready to take on the world!

A lady pampering herself in the bath

So how to make the most of this ‘bathroom time’ then? Well here are some top tips to make the most of your bathroom…

Set the mood

Dim the lights, add one of your favourite scents and turn on some music. Even if it is just a two minute sanity-saving trip to the bathroom, you could blast out one of your favourite tunes while you escape to let off some steam!

A lovely bathroom with typical bathroom features including a comfy stool

Make yourself comfortable

Consider having somewhere to sit (other than the obvious!) in the bathroom if you plan to be in there for some pampering time, as it isn’t exactly much fun being perched on the edge of the bath for long. A small bathroom bench, or even chair if your bathroom is big enough, would be perfect.

If you prefer showers, you could even consider getting a shower seat if you feel more comfortable sat down. Also, walk-in showers are essential to self- care for those with mobility issues.

A shower cubicle with seat

Don’t forget supplies

Grab yourself some snacks, and pour yourself a drink. Perhaps even take in a book or magazine. And of course don’t forget whatever bathroom goodies you intend to pamper yourself with too!

So there you have it! My essential guide to making the most of your bathroom for self- care, and why you should definitely consider the bathroom to be of the most important rooms in your home!

What are your best self- care tips? And why do you love your bathroom? Let me know in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Easy Ways to Cut the Amount of Energy You Use Each Month

Whether you want to do it for the good of the planet or the good of your bank balance, taking steps to spend less on energy is definitely worthwhile. It’s also a lot easier to do than many people think. We’re all guilty of wasting energy and using more than we need to. That’s just the way it is, but that doesn’t mean your habits can’t change. It’s more than possible to make changes to how you consume energy, and we’re about to prove that right now…

Easy Ways to Cut the Amount of Energy You Use Each Month title with image of house made of leaves

Go LED

LED light bulbs are so much more energy efficient than the vast majority of other bulbs out there. If you’re still using old halogen bulbs, that’s something that’s really got to change. They use a lot of energy, and all of that’s being wasted when you could so easily switch to LEDs without any drawbacks of negatives involved at all. Every light in your home should be an LED.

Shut Your Doors and Close Your Curtains

Heating is a major way in which people waste energy in the home. If you only focus on heating the rooms that you’re using, you will save so much money and energy during the winter months. And you can do that even better by closing the curtains to stop heat escaping and also shutting doors so that the heat doesn’t escape into the rest of your home.

When Dealing With Frozen Foods, Use the Microwave Less

This is a very simple but effective trick. When you have frozen foods that you need to defrost before you can cook, simply remember to take them out of the freezer and sit them out on the countertop about 8 to 12 hours before you plan on using that food for preparation. It’s so much more energy efficient than defrosting in the microwave because it doesn’t use any energy at all.

Install More Energy Efficient Windows

Your windows will have a big impact on how much energy you use on heating your home. By improving the quality of your windows, you will be able to get away with spending less on energy each and every month. Find a company that can offer you replacement double glazing as soon as possible and start reaping the rewards of these changes. They’ll pay for themselves in no time.

A photo of windows

Wash in Colder Water

Washing your clothes is obviously another necessity, and that’s why many people think that there is no way for them to save energy in this area. That’s simply not true though. By washing your clothes in colder water, you will achieve the same results in most instances, and you will use a lot less energy.

Everyone can use less energy each and every month if they’re willing to put in the work to make it happen. You don’t need to spend money on energy that really isn’t needed. As the tips and ideas here prove, there are alternatives to energy inefficiency. Why not start making these changes right away?

*This is a collaborative post.

Organic Vegetable Gardening Made Simple

If you’re one of the growing numbers of people who are becoming more and more concerned about the use of pesticides in the food chain, and you’re thinking of feeding your own family by growing your own healthy organic vegetables, here are some tips that will make the whole process much simpler for you…

 Organic Vegetable Gardening Made Simple title on faded background image

Get Yourself in a Greenhouse

If you get yourself one of the greenhouses from https://www.swgreenhouses.co.uk/greenhouses-for-sale.html, you will be able to grow a wider range of vegetables for a long period of time. You may even be able to grow some of your favourite fruits and veggies out of season.

Prepare the Soil Carefully

If you want your vegetables to grow and thrive, then you need to ensure that your soil is rich in organic nutrients. That means, before you even think about planting anything, you should ensure that you have worked plenty of organically created compost into the soil. If you do nothing else, then do this because it will ensure not only a bumper crop but a tastier one too.

Delicious looking cabbages growing in the soil

Choose Foods That Will Thrive Where You Live

It’s an obvious one, but there is little point in choosing to plant vegetables that are unlikely to thrive in the kind of weather conditions you’re dealing with. If you’re unsure which veggies are likely to thrive in your garden space, ask an expert at your local garden centre, read a book like the one at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allotment-Almanac or talk to local gardeners in your area. They will typically know what’s best for you, and most will be only too happy to share their knowledge.

A bumper crop of fruit

Heirloom Veggies are Best

There are lots of things that get better with age – like fine wines and vegetables. No, I’m not talking mouldy old vegetables; but seeds! Heirloom seeds are seeds collected from older varieties of produce, and they are almost always cheaper and more flavoursome, not to mention nutritious, than modern versions. They can sometimes be difficult to find, but it’s worth the effort trying to source them.

Flowers are a Veggie Garden’s Best Friends

You might be wondering why you would want to take up precious organic veggie growing space with flowers, apart from the fact they’re pretty that is, but the fact is that flowers will attract bees and bees will pollinate your veggies, so that you don’t have to do quite so much of the work yourself manually. Plant them around the borders, and you will soon see lots of little pollinators coming to pay a visit.

Worms are Fantastic

When it comes to organic gardening, you should absolutely be creating your own compost, and you know what makes really good compost and garden mulch? Worms. Invest in a wormery, and you’ll never want for high-quality compost again. Seriously, they make way better compost than you’d get just by collecting your scraps in a bin.

Check Seeds are certified Organic

Not all seeds are organic, so when it comes to buying the stock you plan to grow in your garden and greenhouse, you should always seek to verify that your seeds are indeed organic. If you don’t do this, then your veggies simply won’t be organic, despite your best efforts, so it is important to do the checks.

A raised planting bed

Raised Beds Extend the Season

If you plant your veggies in raised beds, using the richest soil you can find, you can probably extend the season of your produces, sometimes quite dramatically. It’s also much easier to weed veggies in boxes because they aren’t as close to the ground. Of course, you need to make sure that any beds you use are made from natural untreated wood, or there could be some chemical leakage into the soil.

Alternatively, you might want to think about growing things vertically using cages or trellis, which means you have more space to increase your yields and better circulation that can help to prevent blight and other diseases.

Plant Companions

Nature is smart, and it creates plants that thrive well together. By identifying these companions and planting them close together, you can cut down on the amount of insects who attempt to lunch on your veggies, grow more volume and cut down on the risk of disease, to name but a few benefits. So do your homework, work out which veggies are best friends and plant them accordingly.

Time to get your wellies on and get gardening! What are you growing this year?

*This is a collaborative post.

Living Greener In Your House

Living a little greener throughout our lives is something we think is hard to achieve. Companies like to croon all the time about how energy efficient they are, and yet when you have all that money behind you it seems so easy to keep that up! However, a huge lifestyle change doesn’t have to be in swing here, and some simple changes are just as effective as taking to a cabin in the woods. We already know a child friendly home with a bit of flair is possible, but what about living as green as possible whilst still being comfortable?

A vase of flowers on a wooden table in a large bright room.

Check Your Appliances

Checking your appliances means going around your house in the last five minutes at the end of the day and making sure everything is turned off and unplugged. It’s something simple and yet so effective, and you’re not going to be donating valuable hours to it. You see, even when something is plugged in and switched off, there’s a very good chance it’s still using power, considering how popular the standby function is these days.

At the same time, make sure everything you use has a good energy rating. When something is in the A band for electrical use, you’re not going to be wasting any energy simply as a byproduct of chilling your food in the fridge for example. And that also ends up saving you some pennies, which all add up at the end of the month.

Start Recycling Everything

Of course, not every material out there is yet capable of being recycled. But recycling as much of your waste than ever before means you’re going to be doing a great bit for the planet.

Sort through your clutter! If something is using the space you need to live harmoniously, it’s definitely going to need passing on. Make some effort on reducing your carbon footprint; don’t throw away anything that could be avoided. Make sure any electronic waste you have laying around, either on the side tables or in the attic, are being disposed of or sold off. Those old laptops are never going to see the working world again anyway! Sometimes you can make some cash, sometimes you just have to part with an object responsibly.

Open Up Your Curtains

If you have curtains, make sure they’re open for as long as they can be during the day, and then close them at night. Keeping a room warm is a lot easier when you’re using the insulating material over the windows to full effect after all. You won’t have to turn on the heating so much when you’ve got your curtains on a tight schedule, and it just takes a bit of arm work to pull them open and closed when the time comes to it.

There’s a lot of little changes you can make to your daily routine to make sure your house is as green as possible. Try to incorporate these moves as soon as you can to save you time and money.

*This is a collaborative post.

Freshen Up Your Home For Spring – The Easy Way 

Could that be a hint of spring in the breeze? After a winter that’s felt like it would never end, we’re all keenly awaiting the lighter evenings, less glacial temperatures and perky blooms emerging brought on by Spring. It’s no wonder that we often think of freshening up our homes at the same time. So what’s the best way to transform your home into a light, breezy haven for the season of fresh starts?

Freshen Up Your Home For Spring- The Easy Way title with picture of a tidy well designed living room

Rearrange Your Layout

As we emerge from our cosy hibernation lairs, it’s a great time to revisit the layout of each room and check that the set up and furniture are still fit for purpose. Think about the ideal purpose of your home. Do you need to create an area to study or for a home office out of that wasted corner? Would you like to make your home more welcoming for guests by adding corner sofas and modular seating? Make sure that your home is supporting the kind of life and activities you do now.

 

Bring in some Green

Adding a fresh burst of greenery with some potted plants or a terrarium. Bringing some of the outdoors in helps to add breeziness and a feeling of freshness, while sculptural pots and planters add a splash of colour and style.

Swap To Lighter Fabrics

If you’ve been dressing your home in faux fur rugs, knitted throws and velvet curtains for winter, being the feeling of spring in by swapping to airier textures such as linen or alpaca. Adding a jolt of patterned with a new area rug or some fresh blinds will also liven up a neutral decor.

Repaint Sills, Skirtings and Doors

Freshening up the paintwork details in your home is quite simple but can really lift a space and make it feel new. A simple, hardwearing white gloss along mouldings and baseboards will make your wall colour look fresh and your house well cared for. If you fancy a new approach, painting the outer edge of interior doors in an eye catching shade like bright orange or deep blue can add a lot of dimension to a decorating scheme.

Sort Your Storage

If the light of spring has made you look around and see piles of clutter, it’s a great time to streamline and make a pile to donate or recycle. For what’s left, look into some new storage options. Could you add built in shelves to a disused alcove or maybe get some bright fabric storage boxes to tidy away DVDs and magazines? Getting more organised always makes you feel refreshed and ready for the season ahead.

Light The Way

If you don’t have tonnes of budget, a relatively small way to make a big impact is by replacing your light fittings. Tired old pendant lights can be replaced with modern options featuring accents of copper or cream enamel. Light fittings are usually quite easy to change around and have the power to transform a space, especially if you opt for statement pieces that have a real impact.

*This is collaborative post.

The 3 Must-Haves for Any Vegetable Garden

Growing your own veg is such a privilege and if you have the garden space, you should definitely make use of it. However, you do need to be careful about how you prioritize your space to get the most out of the land and bring in a good haul come the harvest.

There are some great advantages you can gain from adding green tools like rainwater harvesting to your garden, but if you are just looking for the basics, here are the things you will need.

The 3 Must-Haves for Any Vegetable Garden title with a picture of delicious fresh vegetables in a basket.

A Greenhouse

Having a greenhouse is ideal for any gardener but it is a must for a serious fruit and vegetable grower. Choose one of a good size that will hold lots of tender plants such as courgettes and tomatoes as well as seedlings that need to be kept warm until they are ready to be planted out. Have a look at https://www.greenhousestores.co.uk/ for some ideas of what you could get.

With your greenhouse set up, you will be able to multiply your output easily as critters are kept away from your more tempting plants and youngsters are kept away from the frost. Your greenhouse will also come in handy over the winter when less hardy plants need a little bit more warmth.

A Compost Heap (or Two)

To grow great crops you need great soil. To have great soil, you need compost. Compost is simply a large pile of rotting materials including things like old leaves from the garden, kitchen food waste and green matter such as grass clippings. While you can certainly buy decent compost and fertiliser at your local garden centre, it seems wasteful to get rid of all the natural goodness coming from your own garden.

Making a good compost heap is very simple. All you need to do is set aside a space like a compost bin and then add in all the organic materials. Turn the heap over using a garden fork every so often to ix the ingredients as they degrade. This will also increase the amount of oxygen in the heap, fuelling the whole process.

Worms will do most of the work for you with your compost heap so make sure that if you find any around the garden, you introduce them and let them settle in. If you want to, you can also buy worms over the internet and add them to your heap.

A Plan

You might not think it, but planning a year ahead is vital for making the most of your vegetable garden and increasing your crops. From making sure that your rotate crops to give the soil a chance to recover to planting seeds at the right time so that they are ready for planting out, having a vegetable garden planner is vital.

With a bit of planning, a sensible use of space and a healthy compost heap, you and your vegetables will be as happy as Larry under the summer sun. Though you can never guarantee the best crop, with a little bit of help, you can get a little closer to perfection.

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

How to Style Your Garden Furniture for Seasonal Changes

Garden furniture deserves some thought and yet, we so often simply opt for what we see as a ‘bargain’. But it can be so much more than this, which is why you need this guide to making seasonal changes with your garden furniture!

A picture of garden furniture and decor.

It’s a long-standing joke in many gardening circles that we spend hundreds of a garden bench never to sit on it. The same goes for some of the more expensive pieces of garden furniture we opt for. We spend so much time keeping them covered and free from the effects of the weather that we rarely take the chance to use them.

But times are changing and with new technologies and manufacturing techniques, garden furniture is now truly all-weather. And so you can have the rattan cube garden furniture out in the garden to enjoy, whether it is bright sunshine or a cool spring evening.

Fabrics
As seasons change, we round up the garden furniture and hide it away, unsure whether the autumn rains will see it melt. But it won’t because there is a new fabric on the block that is making a huge difference.

A material used and developed for yachts is now used in garden furniture for soft furnishings. Fantastic at being able to withstand all kinds of weather, the only real enemy of sail fabric is the sun, more so when the fabric is crumpled, with rain and damp not allowed to evaporate. A wash down with warm soapy water and allow to dry – choose a breezy, warm day – and it’ll look as good as new.

Protective covers are an ideal investment, especially those that fit over the furniture exactly as this increases their protective abilities. But again, before you cover it for the winter months, make sure that the furniture is dry.

Design
Whether you hold summer garden parties for friends, family and neighbours or you consider your garden your own private sanctuary, there is no excuse not to style your garden – and that includes choosing the design of your garden furniture. When summer is in full swing, you will nothing more than a jug of your favourite summer cocktail and maybe the odd scatter cushion or two or your all-weather garden sofa. Come late summer or even early spring, add style and aplomb, as well as a hint of practicality with a few pretty and warm throws.

Warmth
An eco- friendly shortwave infrared electric outdoor heater is an ideal choice to warm your garden so that you can enjoy your garden longer into the evenings. Patio heaters are another option and a common sight in outdoor cafes and pubs. However, if you are concerned about environmental impact, you might need to take a look as to whether a patio heater, fuelled by canned gas, is the best option for you. Expensive to run, they are an investment that many, however, choose to make.

Materials
Waterproof fabrics make life so much easier when it comes to garden furniture but as well as the soft furnishings, you need to make sure you have the best in structural materials of outdoor chairs, tables and sofas.
There are only two real contenders:

Rattan
A natural material, most rattan is sourced and imported from sustainable sources. A thorny plant that grows fast and strikingly tall, its long fronds are allowed to dry naturally in the sun. They are then weaved together around a frame, made from wood or bamboo, or something a metal structure, to create fantastic stylish pieces for the garden.

Hardwood
There is no compensation for investing in hardwood tables and chairs as dining sets for the great outdoors. Cheaper imitations are made from softwood, the grain of which is much bigger and looser. This means that you can literally leave a dent in it with your thumbnail, the texture is so soft and malleable.

But, there is one issue with both: they don’t like the cold. Both materials come from hot climates and thus, water finding its way into the structure, which then freezes on a cold day or night is not good for structural integrity. Keep both covered if the winter months are icy or frosty.

Seasonal changes impact on your garden furniture but, choose the right material and take a little care over it every now and then, and you will have garden furniture that allows you to continue to enjoy your garden.

Rattan Direct understand that the garden is not just for summer and so, these fantastic seasonal changes are available from their online store. Connect with them on Twitter to remain ahead of the game @RattanDirectLtd

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.