Just when we thought winter would never end spring has just about been and gone. Tulips are being replaced by billowing roses, fragrant lavenders and gorgeous geraniums.
The garden has once again become somewhere to sit back, relax and enjoy. Traditionally, at the end of the day, the gardener will pull out their trusty deckchair from the shed, dust off the cobwebs and find a quite corner to enjoy the borders hoping that the mice had not eaten through the cotton during the winter!
Now of course there is a much wider selection of styles and materials used on outdoor furniture, allowing the furniture to be used all year round, and low maintenance to boot.
One of the biggest developments on outdoor furniture materials over the last few years has been the development of synthetic wicker. This is generally made from polyethylene, an oil based material, pretty much impervious to the elements and hence ideal for outdoor spaces.
However, like many materials, this has developed in widely different qualities and if you are tempted down this route; buyer beware!
When choosing outdoor weave furniture, try and select furniture where the weave is extremely tight and taut, not floppy or loose, otherwise you may find over time the weave will sag in the heat or even crack in the cold.
A good test is if can you stand on the base and jump up and down without it splitting or stretching! Check how straight the weave is and also check underneath the item to see the finishing too.
The wide, flat weave of a few years back is now being replaced by a much finer, stronger and far more elegant fibre.
Taking its influence from the classic Lloyd Loom furniture of the Edwardian era, the fine weave lends itself to shaped or curved chairs and tables, giving outdoor furniture far more classic style.
The Lloyd Loom specialist company Vincent Sheppard now uses the synthetic weave on their outdoor furniture, as well as still making the original, interior Lloyd Loom. With improved technology other new materials are also being used on outdoor lounge furniture.
A notable one is the use of webbing and rope in all-weather fabrics, such as the Conic modular seating range by Cane-line.
The effect is soft, textured furniture which will link your indoor and outdoor spaces harmoniously together.
Once you have decided on your outdoor relaxing seating, think about how you may accessorise it. The trend is now to move towards a relaxed mix and match approach of mixing side tables, textured footstools and easy chairs, rather than complete matching sets.
There are some lovely occasional side tables on the market, where the table top doubles up as a tray, making it easy to bring carry drinks from the kitchen outside to the patio or visa versa.
With a nod to retro revival why not make life even easier for you by having a drinks trolley to hand, and easy way to wheel food and drink out to the patio, there are also some lovely ones on the market such as from the beautiful Roll Bar Trolley by Cane-line.
So keep the deckchair in the shed and lounge around your outdoor space with new materials and accessories.
For more information contact The Worm that Turned, at worm.co.uk or visit their store on Derby Road, Nottingham.
They can help you cherry pick the perfect combination for your outdoor space.