Finn & Elder – the finishing touches

As any garden designer knows, its the finish of the garden, the tiny but imperative details that elevate it from being a garden to being somewhere that is not only somewhere you can show off with pride but the envy of all your guests. Its those same details that are the difference between getting the much coveted best in show or even more so People Choice awards at the Garden Shows.

It’s the lighting, the table ware and the upholstery colours, cushions and throws. Although lighting is important in a garden, to light paths, entrances and driveways, you can go a long way with a grouping of lanterns and candles. I love fairy lights in trees, there is something magical about looking at the trees lit up and Ive gone away mainly from having beds and trees lit up and prefer to have lighting to be much more subtle than that.

Just because you are dining outdoors doesn’t mean you have to use the plastic plates, I love making a bigger deal, using lots of colour. A good friend of mine who is also an interior designer uses coloured place settings and napkins with coloured glasses that look so great in the sunshine. My go to dressing for the garden though is flowers, a really simple vase of flowers goes an awful long way, even the simplest flowers from the garden in a number if small but equally simple vases make all the difference to a table setting. To a coffee table one vase of flowers or even a small succulent in a colourful pot will elevate the look.

The last thing is scent, just like inside, scent lifts the spirits and the senses really start to kick in, most of my memories are forged by scent first and then sight, this is much harder outdoors though as its more difficult to retain a scent. The flowers you choose can help but candles are a great way to do this, my go to scents for outdoors are a wonderful charred lemon scent with a touch of sweetness usually from Jasmine, a mixture of those two candles would be my absolute dream. Like that I’ve been transported to some of my favourites cafes or restaurants in the South of France or Italian riviera, amazing what a good scent can do. To enable the scent to hit you naturally in your garden plant an evergreen Jasmine climber of frame, close to you your seating or dining area or in a spot in the garden that you pass that will you catch and stop you in your tracks every time, it needs to be a spot that gets good sun but that smell…



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