Getting the garden ready for summer

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

Easter is out of the way, the eggs are all pretty much demolished and it seems like everyone is on a diet again.

That can only mean one thing - summer is fast approaching.

I always feel as if once Easter is over summer comes hurtling towards us. Suddenly the shops are filled with gardening equipment and holiday clothes and the pavements are filled with joggers determined to get ‘bikini ready’.

Regular readers of my column will know I’ve just booked a holiday by myself. The one perk of that is there is no one to take any pictures of me so there is no need for my usual spring health panic.

I’m fat but there will be no photographic evidence this year. That selfie stick I got at Christmas can just stay at home.

But I did still buy into the summer marketing ploy and the Easter weekend saw me on the hunt for that nice weather panic buy staple - garden furniture.

Homebase in Linlithgow was closing down so, being a keen bargain hunter, I headed there to see what I could find.

The shop was pandemonium. The first rays of sunshine force everyone into their gardens and on to their past-it’s-best furniture.

There were some excellent buys though, with parasols, tables and chairs all very reasonably priced.

My garden furniture was in desperate need of replacing.

While 1970s striped deckchairs might be considered ‘retro cool’ the possibility of them collapsing was now very real. And with my decision to stuff the summer diet, the chances are it would be me folded into the thing.

My very houseproud neighbours - the ones that got their driveway monoblocked and their garden professionally landscaped - have beautiful wooden furniture and a huge parasol so I was keen to recreate the look.

Okay, I was keen to copy their style.

I picked up almost the exact same set - and at half price - which is now taking pride of place in my garden.

But now I’m all the more aware that my garden isn’t quite as preened and polished as next door.

Perhaps I’ll need to keep my eye out for any landscape gardeners holding a closing down sale too so I can ‘recreate’ another of their looks.