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Summer Garden Guide

by Christina Blaney

The end of summer is always a lovely time to spend in the garden. All the flowers are in bloom, the nights are drawing in so you can enjoy the sunset in the warm air and there are so many ways you can enhance even a small space to enjoy the outdoors. Here are just a few of the products I enjoy using in the garden at this time of year.

One of the things I enjoy most about the garden in summer is drinking a coffee first thing in the morning with the sun on my face and bare feet on the warming tiles. Then if it’s hot I may enjoy an iced coffee or my new discovery, a shakerato, an Italian invention involving a double espresso being shaken over ice then served in a short glass. I’ve been enjoying a more sustainable coffee pod this summer from Caravan Coffee Roasters who challenged me to switch my usual pods for their Coffee Pods Combo Pack. Containing a selection of their most popular blends as well as their decaf, the pods are delivered in a letterbox friendly way in sustainable packaging, but that’s not the only thing that’s sustainable, the pods themselves are biodegradable and can be put into your compost bin. Their coffee is deliciously dark and aromatic, with full flavoured beans at the centre of their blends and only the highest quality produce going into everything they do. Needless to say I’m now a convert to these much more environmentally friendly pods.

Now my first drink at the end of the week is an obvious one if you know me at all, it’s English Sparkling wine. This one from Gin producer Bullards is made from Seyval Blanc, Auxerrois and Pinot Noir grape varieties, handpicked from their Norfolk vineyard. The Bullards English Sparkling Rosé is beautifully aromatic and its fine bubbles showcase fruity notes of strawberry and raspberry sorbet, with a crisp acidity on the finish. Its salmon colour and fruity flavour makes it a lovely tipple for sipping on the sunbed or the perfect addition to drinks with the girls.

If bubbles aren’t your thing then perhaps an Italian liqueur might wet your whistle? Italicus Rosolio Di Bergamotto Liqueur available from The Bottle Club is one of those luxurious looking bottles that you always want to try but never want to ask the barman. But of course you should try this one, described as ‘an aromatic and lightly spicy liqueur which balances honeyed sweetness with rooty bitterness’. Made of a blend of bergamot peel, Cedro lemons, chamomile, lavender, gentian, yellow roses and Melissa balm it is best enjoyed neat over ice or highly recommended (by me) with some prosecco. Just add a measure to the bottom of a flute and top with your favourite prosecco for a very refreshing and delightfully different drink.

Gone are the days of a wooden picnic bench in the garden, in this day and age it is all too common to find a full dining table and chairs in many back gardens so why not stand out from the crowd with a beautiful set from Kettler. The distinctive Aruba dining range chairs feature an aluminium frame and thick rope back and arms and their substantial design make them very comfortable with deep and wide seating and sumptuous cushions. It is also this design which means they can be left outside all year round and will withstand even the harsh British winter. Pair the chairs with the Aruba Dining Table which has the same sturdy design and big enough to seat up to 6 people to bring a real sense of luxury to your outside space.

One of the ways our Editor likes to decorate her outdoor space at her country home is with a modern outdoor rug, such as this lovely design from The Rug Seller. Impress your friends and family with The Antibes Linear Geometric Indoor Outdoor Rug which creates a stunning focal point with its geometric pattern and blue white colours. These styles of rugs are ideal for patios, dining rooms, kitchens and conservatories so you can make the perfect outdoor/indoor living space with their flatweave design. The range is made with 100% polypropylene yarn which benefits from being super soft, easy to clean, anti shed and very hard-wearing. 

Summer wouldn’t be the same without a few glasses of cider and this year I discovered something new from Biddenden Vineyards. Kent’s original vineyard, Biddenden has been owned and managed by the Barnes family since 1969. Today the vineyard is run by the second & third generations of the family, drawing on many years of experience in winemaking. Although their wine is lovely, I am more interested in their Ice Cider. Made from locally grown apples, Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 is an intense, sweet, complex Ice Cider bursting with aromas from the local variety. During production a process known as cryoconcentration occurs where the water separates from the natural sugars. The sugar liquor drains slowly from the tanks leaving the water behind resulting in a high natural sugar content, concentrated aromas, and the enhancement of acidity and tannins. It’s delicious on its own in place of a dessert wine but is also lovely with a dash of tonic water as a spritz.

Finally something my partner enjoys the most about spending the evening in the garden, fire! My Warm Garden have a vast selection of firepits, chimneas and accessories but I love this rather stylish yet rustic fire bowl. Made using decommissioned gas bottles that are stripped, cleaned and finished with two coats of heat resistant paint- suitable for temperatures in excess of 650 degrees; it is the perfect patio heater for any occasion. The bowl makes it much safer for children who can’t step on or reach into the fire and the raised legs mean you are closer to the warmth when sitting down (or snuggled up!). Ideal for the cold evenings we’ve been having up north and a great way to ensure your garden party lasts that little bit longer.

So however you choose to enjoy your garden this summer, just enjoy it while it lasts! 

Author

  • Born and raised in the picturesque Lake District, Christina Blaney had a truly idyllic childhood. She then transitioned from being a head chef in Manchester to compiling the community pages and features for the Manchester Evening News. She is always ready for an adventure, whether it’s swimming in the Norwegian fjords or singing in the honky tonks in Nashville. Now running her own social media business, she loves nothing more than exploring with her dog Luther or being curled up with a good Netflix documentary.

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