Archive of April 2022

The Garden furniture guide


We've finally reached what is arguably one of the best times of the year - Bank Holiday season. Over the coming weeks we've got some lovely extra days to play with, and if the weather is feeling kind, we might be afforded some time in the garden, too.

Whether entertaining or relaxing, having some suitable garden furniture is a must. And, just like plants in your garden, your furniture will need a little TLC from time to time. From cleaning to painting and prepping to making, we take a look at how to get your garden furniture ready for the season ahead.

Cleaning rattan furniture

Rattan furniture is the ever popular choice for many gardeners. It's a wicker-style weave that's durable, stylish and pretty low maintenance. Unlike wicker, which can split and rot when exposed to the elements, rattan garden furniture tends to be made of synthetic materials, making it much more hard-wearing.

It's easy to clean, and doesn't need doing that often - after you take it out from storage and before it goes away again you'll want to give it a clean, plus maybe a couple of times over the season if you notice it looking a little grubby.

To give your rattan a refresh, you don't need any fancy tools. A bucket of warm soapy water, a hard brush and a vacuum cleaner is pretty much the extent of your toolkit.

Give the furniture a vacuum off first to get rid of any petals, leaves or cobwebs. Then, get the soapy water on there and work it into the crevices with the brush,, allowing it to soak in for a few minutes.

Rinse off with the garden hose or a bucket of water, and then leave to dry before popping the cushions back on.

Making pallet furniture

It's a trend that's been around for a long time now, and shows no signs of going anywhere. DIY pallet furniture is a cost effective way to create your own garden furniture, and it gives a rustic look once done.

You can make anything from an individual chair or bench to a corner sofa and coffee table. The choice is yours!

There are lots of video tutorials online showing you how to make specific items, but the key things you'll need, no-matter what piece of furniture you're creating, are: pallets, a sander, screws and a drill, a wood preserver and then a paint if you're looking for your furniture to be a particular colour.

The last couple of years have seen a huge demand for garden furniture, and lack of availability has meant the trend for DIY creations has grown exponentially. Pallet furniture is an excellent option if you need something created quickly, but if you put in the prep and look after it, your furniture could last years.

Restoring wooden furniture

Wooden garden furniture looks great and is generally hardwearing and durable, but it needs some upkeep. Benches, tables and sun loungers are all exposed to the elements, and as we know, the British weather can be unpredictable and unforgiving at times.

The level of restoring you'll need to do will depend on the material of your furniture. Softwood such as pine isn't so hardwearing, whereas hardwood like teak can go for years with little intervention needed.

For pine and other softwood furniture, your main objective will be aesthetic upkeep because it tends to deteriorate quicker. So, sand it down and then add wood stain to keep it looking smart. Use a wood preservative for extra protection - if you soak table or chair legs in it overnight, it will penetrate the wood and soak up through the legs. In the morning, just wipe it off, then leave the furniture to dry before using.

For furniture made of hardwood, it'll go a pretty long time before it needs any TLC, but if it's looking a bit worse for wear then grab some sandpaper and work on getting it back to looking fresh by smoothing any rough patches. Once you're done sanding, apply a teak oil and your furniture will be good as new.

Revitalising plastic furniture

Plastic furniture can start to look dull after a while, but it’s easy to clean and restore. Soda crystals dissolved in hot water will do the job of lifting off stubborn stains - leave them to soak on for a few hours for best results. Or, invest in a pressure washer and blast your furniture to give it a really good, thorough clean.

Removing rust from metal furniture

If you’ve had your mental furniture for a while, then the chances are that after several years of being exposed to the elements, it may have begun to show signs of rust. Moisture and humid weather contribute to the rust, so it’s best to tackle it before the weather gets too warm.

For an easy homemade fix, just get some white vinegar and soak the affected area. Then, wipe down.

If you’re looking to restore the paintwork of your metal furniture, use a wire brush to treat the rust first, then remove any flaky paint before repainting

This month’s task: Building a raised bed


Getting out in the garden doesn’t always have to be about what you sow and grow; building outdoor constructions can also be incredibly rewarding. Your new creation will likely enhance your outside space greatly, whether that’s through providing you a handy space to keep tools, a new area to grow prize veggies or a place where you can shelter from the elements with a cup of tea.

One project that’s definitely worth pencilling in before the weather gets too warm, is building a raised bed. If you can, build it in late winter or early spring. That way you can get plotting and planting straight away and see the benefits of your work for the rest of the year.

What are the benefits of building a raised bed?

There are a lot of reasons why a raised bed might be a great addition to your garden. For starters, if you’ve only got a small garden, the addition of a raised bed gives you a new area of your garden to experiment with growing plants or vegetables that you may not have space for in your regular borders. Raised beds are also handy for anyone who finds bending down to tend to their plants a struggle. Watering your bed is also much quicker and easier than doing the whole garden.

One of the great things about a raised bed, is you can choose the soil you fill it with, which means you might also be able to grow plants you wouldn’t usually have success with in your borders. Adding an ericaceous soil will give you the opportunity to grow acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons, heather or blueberries. Drainage is another benefit of a raised bed - because the bed is above the regular ground level, the soil drains much more easily. It also means the soil warms more quickly - great for getting things growing!

How do you build a raised bed?

There are several ways you can create a raised bed, whether that’s making it from bricks, wood, stone or even paving slabs. However, our preferred method is by using one of our raised bed kits, which contains everything you need to create your own 2.4m raised bed.

Each kit contains premium quality softwood sleepers cut to size, screws, a drill bit and our quality growing media for filling the bed.

Before you start building your raised bed, you’ll need to choose where it’ll go.Choose somewhere that gets a decent amount of daily sunlight, ideally five to six hours. Dig over the area so that it’s level, and remove any weeds, then plot the bed using string.

Our raised bed kits come with assembly instructions so you can ensure you’re fitting the sleepers correctly. Once you’ve put them together, you can add the growing media, and then start planting.

What can I grow in my raised bed?

Raised beds are suitable for growing a wide variety of plants, but are especially popular for growing fruits and vegetables. Soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries do well in raised beds, and most vegetables will also work well.

You could also use your bed to create a cutting garden, growing herbaceous perennial plants and flowers.

Plants that require good drainage, such as alpines will do well in a raised bed, and this may give you the opportunity to grow new plants that hadn't performed well in your regular beds and borders.

If your regular soil makes it tricky to grow certain plants, then creating a raised bed will give you the opportunity to experiment with other soils and grow items you've previously struggled with, such as ericaceous shrubs which typically struggle in alkaline soil.

Where can I buy a raised bed kit?

If you’d like to try creating your own raised bed, you can purchase one of our raised bed kits here.

For more ideas for what to do in your garden this month, see our blog. You can also get lots more tips over on our social media pages, including seeing what our brand ambassador Tom Strowlger (@garden_with_tom) is creating with our Gardenscape product.