How To Protect Your Garden Furniture From The Elements, Whatever The Weather

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The Great British weather… As unpredictable as a soap opera plotline and twice as dramatic. But lo and behold, the mercury is creeping up, and the sun has decided to grace us with its presence more frequently. It’s that time of year when our gardens become the stage for barbecues, lazy afternoons, and the occasional over-ambitious vomit-drenched garden party (was it the excess of Pimms or the pink chicken? We’ll never know).

Anyway, with the weather finally warming up, it’s also time to think about protecting your beloved garden furniture from the elements – because, in the UK, a sunny morning can often turn into a scene from The Tempest by tea time.

So, how do you keep your garden furniture looking brand new? Here are some tips that will help you protect your outdoor pieces from everything Mother Nature throws at them – be it rain, shine, or the occasional hailstorm in July.

Invest In Quality Covers

The first line of defence for your garden furniture is a good quality cover. Look for garden furniture covers that are made from durable, waterproof materials and make sure they fit snugly over your furniture. This will keep your pieces dry during those surprise downpours. And remember, a flapping cover is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, so ensure they come with ties or Velcro straps to keep them secure when the wind picks up.

Store Cushions Inside

While it might be tempting to leave your cushions out so your garden always looks guest-ready, it’s a sure-fire way to invite mildew and fading. Store your cushions inside when not in use, or invest in a waterproof storage box that can double as a bench. That way, your cushions stay as plump and colourful as a row of prize-winning marrows at the village fete.

Mind The Metal

Metal furniture can survive a downpour, but it’s not invincible. To prevent rust and corrosion, apply a protective layer of car wax or a specialised metal protector once a year. It’s a bit like waxing your car, except you’ll be buffing your bistro set instead of your bonnet.

Treat Wood With TLC

Wooden furniture adds a touch of class to any garden, but it requires a bit of pampering to stay looking its best. Before the season kicks off, give your wooden pieces a good clean and apply a protective oil or stain. This will not only enhance the natural beauty of the wood but also provide a barrier against the sun’s UV rays and damp conditions. Think of it as sunscreen for your sun loungers.

Consider Seasonal Shelter

If you have the space, consider moving furniture into a shed or garage during the off-season. If that’s not an option, then a well-secured tarpaulin can also do the trick. It’s a bit like tucking your furniture into bed for a long winter’s nap.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key. Check for any signs of wear and tear and address them promptly. Tighten any loose screws, sand down any rough spots, and touch up paint if necessary. It’s the little things that make a big difference.

Embrace The Power Of Feet

Elevate your furniture, literally. Most garden furniture comes with some form of feet, but these can often be quite short, leaving the legs susceptible to sitting in damp grass or on wet decking. Consider investing in some risers or stand-offs to lift your furniture a few more inches off the ground. This will improve airflow, reduce rot, and keep your furniture from developing those unsightly, damp sock-like stains on their feet. Plus, it gives your furniture that haughty, ‘I’m too good for puddles’ look.

Go For The Undercoat

Your metal and wooden furniture could do with a bit of undercoating too. Use a primer specifically designed for outdoor use to give your furniture an extra layer of protection against rust, rot, and the ravages of rain and shine. It’s the unsung hero of the furniture protection world, working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep your garden set looking dapper.

Rotate For Even Wear

Sunlight can be as selective as a cat deciding where to nap. It doesn’t hit all parts of your furniture equally, which can lead to uneven fading. To combat this, rotate your furniture periodically to ensure an even tan – or, in this case, an even lack of tan. This is particularly important for soft furnishings, which can fade faster than a British suntan in October. By rotating your cushions and moving your chairs around, you’ll ensure that all sides age gracefully, like a fine English wine or a beloved leather cricket ball.

Be Mindful Of The Lovely, Inquisitive Wildlife

Lastly, remember that your garden is a haven for wildlife, and while it’s lovely to watch birds and squirrels frolic, they can also leave their mark on your furniture. Consider bird deterrents or simply embrace the fact that your garden is a thriving ecosystem – droppings and all.

The Bottom Line

Protecting your garden furniture from the elements is a bit like preparing for a British summer holiday – hope for the best, but plan for the worst. With these tips, your garden furniture will stand the test of time, come rain or shine, and you’ll be ready to host at a moment’s notice – because if there’s one thing we Brits know how to do, it’s to make the most of the sunshine when we get it. Cheers to many splendid afternoons in your well-kept garden oasis!

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