winter garden

Create a Gorgeous Winter Garden  

Create a Gorgeous Winter Garden

Jo Connolly, from Decorbuddi, reveals how to create an outdoor space for festive entertaining – a perfect winter garden…

Feature image: Grillo

One of the biggest trends resulting from the pandemic is the increase in the amount of time that we are spending in the garden. We have discovered the pleasure of living outdoors, and have a new passion for being connected to nature. 

But what happens as autumn becomes winter, the temperature drops and the nights draw in? Outdoor entertaining isn’t just for summer. Think hot chocolate, marshmallows, movie nights and ski-style dinner parties. From fire pits to striking flower displays, cozy seating to weather-proof shelters, we have inspiration and advice for embracing the colder months and creating a fabulous garden.

Staying Warm in Winter

There are plenty of options for keeping out the chill, from simple bundles of blankets to firepits and patio heaters. If you opt for an open fire, ensure there are no overhanging branches, and that it is placed on non-combustible ground such as concrete and gravel. Fire pits and bowls come in a range of styles and sizes, and can be moved when not in use, as well as being a great place to BBQ or even to warm some mulled wine. Chimineas and braziers have a lovely rustic look and feel. Patio heaters are a cleaner, modern solution to heat generation. Look for an eco-friendly version. Enjoy cooking? Pizza ovens come in a variety of types, including built in, free standing and for table tops. These are not only great for pizzas but also for long slow roasts of any kind.

Creating A Room Outside

Shelter is the first essential for relaxed outdoor entertaining during an English winter. Gazebos and modern garden pods are the perfect choice if you have space for a stand-alone feature. Or turn your garden room home office into a gin bar for the festive season!

Retractable awnings are an easy way to extend your home into the garden, with the flexibility to be hidden away, when not needed. Working on a budget? Existing garden sheds can be given a new lease of life through simple transformations. Add fairy-lights, a rug and cozy seating to elevate a musty shed into the perfect winter den. Whatever your choice, set up an outdoor projector and white screen under your cover to snuggle up and enjoy your own open-air movie nights regardless of the weather.

IMAGES: Blanket and cushion, Beaumonde. Outdoor oven, Beaumonde. Starburst Light, Lights4Fun. Garden Room, Green Retreats. Festoon Lights, Garden Trading. Fire pits, Garden Trading. Fire pit, Firepits UK.
Lounging Under The Stars

When designing your winter garden, choose furniture that suits your style and purpose. Selecting solid furniture with backs and sides helps shield the wind. Seating draped in blankets provides extra comfort and texture. If the outside space is close to your house, opt for furniture that complements your interior. When planning your layout, make sure there’s enough space for ease of movement. Remember that whilst there is a growing variety of weatherproof outdoor furniture available, cushions, covers and garden rugs are often not entirely waterproof, and may need to be stored.  For ultimate outdoor entertaining, consider a home bar and kitchen set-up you can enjoy year-round.

Light it Up

As it gets darker earlier and for longer, introducing lighting can be both useful and atmospheric. Place LED lights along pathways for directional lighting, and to highlight different areas, structural plants, sculptural elements and features within your garden. This will add drama and depth to your space. Hanging fairy-lights on branches and across fences elevates the space and adds a party atmosphere. Battery powered candles are a safe but subtly romantic option for winter dinner dates.

Frosty Flowers

Gardening isn’t only for the spring and summer. Evergreen plants, berries and structural forms all add winter interest, and flowers such as cyclamen, violas, camellias and heuchera introduce vibrancy and colour. Gaultheria, nandina, viburnum and sarcococca have stunning berries, with some blooming in the autumn and winter. The perfect finishing touch for a gorgeous and inviting winter garden.

Jo Connolly is a garden design expertat Decorbuddi