Are you planning an impromptu garden party? Perhaps an intimate wedding reception? Or just figuring out the best place to put your patio?
If you’d like to place a few outdoor chairs, perhaps even a table, on your well-tended lawn, make sure you consider these three things.
1. Protect your garden furniture
Grass, especially in the UK, is damp and holds the rain and dew. You may have invested a tidy sum in your stylish patio furniture so will want to be aware of how this moisture increases the risk of rot, rust, and damage such as splitting. Garden furniture made of wood, natural rattan, or metal (other than aluminium which does not rust) is particularly susceptible. Plus, narrow-legged outdoor furniture will sink into any lawn (however firm it may appear) leaving your table leg languishing in its own muddy waterhole and exacerbating the issue further.
Rubber stops or plastic caps for the feet of tables and chairs are available cheaply online and provide good protection. If you are a dab hand at DIY, painting the feet of wooden furniture with epoxy resin will also create a protective layer. I like using individual paving slabs under the legs of the table or bench to lift them off and out of the wet grass. This isn’t practical for chairs though, which, of course, must be movable.
It has been suggested that using the bottoms of plastic bottles as little shoes for your chair legs will stop them from sinking into the grass whilst still allowing them to slide across it when required. I’m not entirely convinced of the overall aesthetic created, but it is certainly an innovative way to reuse those plastic bottles! Please do send me a picture if you’ve tried this out and it’s worked.
2. Preserve your lovely lawn
Naturally, when you cover your grass and restrict the light it receives, it will slowly die off. Moving the outdoor furniture regularly (at least once a week) will help prevent the tell-tale yellowing patches. There’s not much you can do about the trail of sinkholes from chair legs however – other than choose furniture with a wider base in the first place!
Whether this is a big issue will really depend on how much of your time, care and attention has gone into your grass. If you treat it with a little TLC, ultimately the lawn should be fine, or at least recover quickly.
3. Look after your guests
How ever firm and level you might think your lawn is, when a guest is sitting in a chair on it, they’ll likely feel somewhat at sea. What’s for certain is that it’s difficult to relax when your chair is tilting and you’re on the wonk!
If you’d like (for the most part) to avoid tipping up your guests – or having to wobble them out of a chair that has got itself stuck in the lawn – I’d recommend adding some wide feet to your chairs. There are various options online but I’d recommend going for as sturdy as possible, otherwise the chair leg pushes through the bottom and you are back where you started. You could even slice a few old tennis balls in half to wedge over the end of each leg – it is Wimbledon week after all!
Ultimately, if you are hosting an event, the best solution for guests and to save them from the mud, will be to put down some temporary flooring or decking tiles. Nowadays it’s possible to find options that protect your grass too.
You could do all of the above… OR, and I appreciate that I would say this, you could choose outdoor bean bag furniture instead!
Choose Light Flexible Outdoor Furniture
Whether you’re looking for a lounger or a whole garden sofa, bean bags will not sink into the grass. Plus, they’re so light you can pick them up and chase the sun and conversation around the garden. The fabric doesn’t rot if it gets wet and it's wipe clean. Then, if you stick a few hooks on a wall, you can hang them up by their handles and save your lawn.
They look and feel amazing too, and create a cosy, intimate feel for a garden party. What could be better?
Do let me know in the comments below, or on Instagram, your garden party plans for the summer.