This month we’ve looked at what is best for both small and city gardens, but what garden furniture is best for a country garden?
The design of much of the pieces in our collection is often seen as the perfect fit for a classic country garden. We’ve taken modern materials and created a classically styled range, combined traditional production techniques to fabricate a collection built for the gardens of today.
We wanted our furniture to hark back to our heritage for traditional craftsmanship but bring it up to date for the demands of the way we live today. Our garden tables and chairs are robust, low maintenance, easy to assemble and designed to stand up to the elements.
What is a country garden?
The country garden is such a difficult thing to define, as a nation, we have such eclectic tastes, and that is reflected in the styles of our homes and gardens.
Our design team have drawn inspiration from the past to produce pieces that complement that wide range of homes and patio styles. They’ll give you the wow factor in terms of look and function but they’ll also fit and flow with the rest of your property.
However, if there’s one area we feel our garden furniture truly shines, it is when it is incorporated into a classic country and/or cottage garden design scheme.
And there’s a reason this style prevails. It doesn’t date. Often what we considered ‘modern’ ten years ago (in terms of furniture) looks passé today. I’m not sure who said it but the saying; “fashions may go out of style but style never goes out of fashion” is as true for garden furniture as it is for clothing.
When many of us think of the quintessential 'English' country garden, our first thought is often a thatched cottage or stately home, but in fact, this type of garden design suits many a type of property and is adaptable to the towns and cities as much as the countryside.
I myself have a mid-terrace Georgian townhouse in the heart of the city, and whilst much of the property has a modern Scandinavian feel inside, the garden borrows heavily from the principles of the country and cottage style.
Unstructured planting is paired with modern/non-traditional plants such as Yuccas, Flux and Agapanthus. We’ve used traditional materials such as stone but mixed it up with some modern touches and weathered vintage detailing. It all comes together to create a small but intimate escape, the tall informal planting scheme makes for a bold statement that helps to create a feeling of space rather than making it feel cramped.
We like that juxtaposition of old and new but the garden definitely has a cottage feel as opposed to the minimal modern ceramic tile and glass designs of some of those around us.
However, we don’t want this article to be about my garden. That was just to illustrate a point. We want this article to be more about the gardens of our customers, those who’ve sent us photos of our furniture for our Do Some Good campaign. That is how we can best show you how and why our garden furniture is a great choice for a country garden?
Our blog features a host of articles that talk about why we think cast aluminium garden furniture is the best, but in terms of what garden furniture is best for a country garden, we think we can best answer by showing you and illustrating our tips and tricks for the perfect country garden.
Is it a cottage garden or a country garden?
To us, they are the same but different if that makes any sense whatsoever. In other words, they are different by design and layout (formal vs informal to put it most simplistically) but planting and (more importantly for us) our garden furniture will work in both.
An English country garden is probably best defined by The Middle Sized Garden in their article English country garden style – what it is and how to achieve it.
They highlight that “wide paths, deep herbaceous borders, structures, pools, rills, structures, terraces and lavishly planted pots” are the order of the day.
However, to do the country garden justice you could argue you need a big spacious plot.
The cottage garden on the other hand is defined on Wikipedia as:
“A distinct style that uses informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, it depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure.”
Why our garden furniture is best for a country garden and cottage garden?
Whilst the cottage and country garden are different types of garden and/or philosophy, the thing they both have in common is that they are traditional and timeless. They don’t follow fashion, and they don’t go out of style.
This is a principle we feel is true of our collection, and no matter if the garden is country formal or cottage informal by design, we know that our furniture is suited to both.
“An English country garden doesn’t follow trends. Anything vaguely modern can look out of place – contemporary furniture for example. Better to have a weathered wooden Lutyens bench or wrought iron or wire furniture than, say, a plastic bistro set.”
Traditionally cottage gardens on the other hand often made use of what was to hand. Pots and planters were fashioned out of old buckets and saucepans. Cottage garden ‘furniture’ would have consisted of old pieces from inside the home that had seen better days and were pulled outside to give them a second life.
Nowadays, it is more about creating the look, more than the necessity of living and growing-your-own, etc. The best cottage-style gardens mix up a variety of wild and traditional flowers to achieve a relaxed, timeless look.
However, it matters not if you go cottage or country, it is the garden furniture that will help you to set the tone and create the feel needed, and we’ll try and explain/illustrate this with a few pointers/fundamentals that work in both settings…
Keep it natural
One of the keys to the classic cottage garden is the creation of a natural, meadow-like look with your planting scheme. Similarly, our garden furniture features organic curves, soft lines, and latticework designs based on the natural form.
The country garden whilst oftentimes more formal in layout, also makes use of natural elements, lots of planting, stone pathways and patios, etc. Anything too modern or 'plastic' looking would jar too much, you need pieces that have the authentic styling of the Lazy Susan range. Pieces that look timeless but are designed to last.
A garden Bench is essential
Another shared aspect of both the cottage and country style is that neither is (in our humble opinion) complete without a garden bench. You need that quiet corner to sit amongst the flowers with a book and a good cup of tea.
A simple design such as ours will give you the perfect look and you can pair it with our garden cushions to provide a little comfort for a lazy sunny afternoon with that good book.
Create a warm welcome
We also always say that no garden is complete without garden furniture (be it a garden bench or other). You can’t fully enjoy your outdoor space without a good place to sit, be that for reading or sitting down to enjoy a bite to eat.
However, the key to any good garden design is balance. You don’t want the furniture to dominate, yes it can be the star, but it also has to be part of the wider scheme. It is a garden, after all, so let the garden (landscaping and hardscaping) work as a whole.
The furniture is an essential element but it should work in harmony with the rest of your outdoor space, pieces that are of a practical design and beautifully crafted but low key and classically styled are the perfect solutions.
Style your garden table
One of the most overlooked aspects of garden design is the accessories. Just like you would dress the table inside your home with maybe a fruit bowl, etc, the same should be true of your garden table. It is the perfect platform for planters or if you wanted to go cottage style, maybe take an old watering can turned into a planter.
Surround your garden furniture with planters
If you have your garden furniture on a paved area then both the cottage and country look can be emphasised by surrounding it with planters. Our general rule is to group them together in groups of 3 for a more formal country style, but for the cottage look, the rules go out the window.
Think upcycled and plant in anything and everything that looks good, from that aforementioned old watering can to old metal buckets, pots, trugs, you name it. Upcycle My Stuff have some great ideas in their post 47 Upcycled Planter Ideas that are Easy to Make.
Add a pergola over your garden table set
At Lazy Susan, the team are all agreed that a timber pergola is not only a great addition to your garden/patio, but it also helps to frame the space and is a great alternative to the (often ugly) other types of garden building.
And whilst the structure itself isn’t obviously country or cottage, plant them up with some beautiful climbers, pair your garden furniture with some outdoor heating and a few outdoor festoon/string lights, and then you’ll have the wow factor!
Go big to entertain friends and family
Whilst we are still very much in the midst of the COVID pandemic, here at Lazy Susan we are quietly optimistic for summer 2022.
Most of us will be hoping to get away for the summer, but we are also looking forward to having friends over and firing up our Cozze Pizza Oven, perfect for some cottage style country cooking (pictured above).
Another common theme of the larger country and cottage gardens is that they’re a space perfect for entertaining when the sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom.
Go for a long rectangular or oval garden table such as our Jennifer or Catherine (both pictured above) and it will make the most of the available space on your patio and ensure that there’s room for people to eat, drink and let the conversation flow.
So those are our tips for creating the cottage or country garden look with our furniture. Hopefully, the photos from our wonderful customers have best illustrated how our collection is a great option for a country garden.
When it comes to choosing garden furniture for a small cottage patio or a large country plot, go for something with a light natural form. It won’t impose on your space and will let the garden as a whole do the talking!
You can view the full Lazy Susan collection in our Shop.