Palma relaxer set
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

Create your Outdoor Office

Create your Outdoor Office

Working from home is looking likely to be a permanent situation for many of us so why not take your office out of doors for the summer, we have lots of tips to help make it more comfortable. It may be worthwhile to install an electric socket outdoors; this needs to be done by a qualified electrician but does mean you don’t have potentially lethal cables trailing over the garden. Not only can an outdoor socket service your tech but can also power lights and a grill, such as the Traeger wood pellet grill which is WiFi enabled, and a small water feature. The sound of running water is calming and also gives off negative ions which contribute to lowering stress levels.

First on the list is a gazebo which can give you some shade and be able to shrug off the odd shower. There are designs which have a polycarbonate roof which is ideal as some of the fabric roofs only give protection from a light shower not a downpour. Some of the gazebos, such as the Runcton from Norfolk Leisure, has a poly roof and curtain sides so ideal if you don’t have hedges, walls or fences to give you some privacy.

Runcton gazebo
The Runcton

A relatively cheap form of screening can be achieved by using the rolls of brushwood, split bamboo and willow, widely available from any garden centre. They will need securing to a frame or a couple of posts. Putting up trellis and growing climbers is also an inexpensive way to screen off an area. Trellis is available attached to planters which don’t need securing to posts, the York planter is 180cm (6’) wide and pressure treated so requires very little maintenance; it can be painted to match the rest of your garden scheme. Growing scented plants, such as lavender, help to de-stress, scented climbers include annual sweet peas, honeysuckle, roses and jasmine. If you really want to push the boat out there are laser cut metal screens available and teak slatted blinds, such as these Woodland Teak screens from Barlow Tyrie.

Barlow Tyrie Woodland Teak screen
Barlow Tyrie Woodland Teak slatted screen
York planter and trellis
York planter and trellis

Now you have your shelter and privacy you need some comfy furniture. It is absolutely essential that the chair and table are the right height for working otherwise you could do irreversible damage to your back. We have a huge selection of dining sets which are not only outdoor office station but also great for entertaining family and friends. All our garden furniture is built to the highest standards and sourced from the most respected manufacturers. It is all virtually maintenance free, just requiring a wash down in spring with a mild solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. The furniture carries a minimum 12 months warranty with a lot of our designs having an extra 12 months; however, if treat in the appropriate manner it should last at least 15 years. The LifestyleGarden Samoa dining set is ideal not only for working and dining but also comfy enough to relax in the evening or allowing you to enjoy your morning coffee.

Lifestyle Garden Samoa dining set
LifestyleGarden Samoa dining set

Finish the outdoor office with a heat source just in case there is a chilly start to the day. It also allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space into the evening, just add some cosy warm throws and fire up the barbecue. Outdoor heat sources vary in price from the basic steel braziers to the chic stylish fireplaces. Fuel is varied from just throwing logs onto the brazier but if you want instant heat and no mess there are the clean minimalist gas fireplaces from Happy Cocooning.

Cool King Porto fire bowl
Cool King Porto fire bowl

Even though you are working in the garden it is still important to take your breaks; click here to read the blog giving you some ideas on some quick tasks in the garden you can carry out on your coffee break.