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Take a break from the heat

Today the temperature is heading for 35-degrees and it's going to be hot, hot, hot. I was originally a bit stumped for this week's garden feature, but not anymore!

 

Take a break from the sun with a garden set placed next to the pool and shaded by a generous patio umbrella. If you don't have a pool, a tinkling water feature, fountain or small garden pond will work just as well.

Tread carefully on concrete - it can get pretty hot during the day. An outdoor rug of coir, sisal or seagrass will protect your feet from the burning heat.

When choosing a patio umbrella, select one that can be easily moved around to shade you during the day, or have one big enough to cover you no matter what the time of day.

Large trees are wonderful for providing a shady spot. Create a gravel bed and park your garden furniture under the spreading branches to take full advantage of the dappled shade.

There's nothing like a covered verandah or patio for relaxing out of the sun. In a small garden you can easily put up a pergola or gazebo - even a free-standing one - to provide plenty of shade for relaxation and entertaining.

Garden furniture is essential for taking time out in the garden, or for entertaining family and friends, but you don't need to spend a fortune. We've tackled more than a few projects on making garden furniture at a fraction of what it would cost to buy.

See more details here on making your own garden furniture [PDF]

As I often say, there are no rules when it comes to setting out and creating a patio, entertainment area, or quiet spot in the garden. All you need is the perfect garden furniture, a few accessories and soft furnishings in your choice of colour, and your own personality to design a comfortable area that is shady and cool.

And last but not least, don't forget about the children. They need a shady spot just as much as you do. Shade sails can easily be mounted anywhere in a garden, and next to the poolside is probably best for kids who spend the weekend in and out of the pool. Create cool, out of the sun areas where kids can sit and play without worrying about the harmful effects of UV radiation.