Socialising at home was once an effortlessly comfortable affair. Guests were welcomed, food was shared, and everyone would sit around a single, large table. In the wake of an international health crisis, such enjoyment was hindered. Ever as we are now beginning to leave the restrictions of lockdown behind, there are residual concerns of contagion that are lingering in homeowners minds, preventing them from hosting such intimate dinner parties. However, that is not to say such socialising has disappeared. In fact, it has only moved, from inside people’s properties and into their gardens.
Gardens are able to offer friends and family the space to socialise while keeping an appropriate, comfortable distance. Such gatherings are still taking place around large tables and have all the revelry of an indoor party, but certain accommodations need to be considered first. Namely, preparing for and defending against the weather.
The Indoors Outside
Rain, wind, and cold are common disruptors to outside gatherings, especially within the UK. However, there are many ways to keep the party going. Gazebos, pergolas, and garden shelters are affordable ways to keep guests protected from the natural elements when outdoors. Some homeowners have even embraced the luxury of outbuildings, such as log cabins and summer houses, which can easily be converted into large open-plan structures to accommodate guests comfortably.
While some of these options will only help to keep the rain away, warmth may still be an issue. Not every homeowner wants to make a firepit the centre of their outdoor ceremony since they can be unglamorous when not in use and cause issues with smoke too. Heat lamps are a more appealing and discreet alternative, ensuring that guests are in control of their warmth, helping them to feel cosy. And, if these aren’t enough, a simple and soft blanket can be a well-received decadence.
Making The Most Of Nature
Many residents around the country have experienced isolation for months, keeping themselves indoors, and have understandably become more motivated to enjoy outdoor, natural spaces, much more readily. As such, it seems that fewer homeowners are wanting to host guests indoors, instead choosing to dine and socialise outside, not only because of safety concerns but also because they prefer to be outdoors as much as possible.
Such motivations have led to a substantial demand for properties with outdoor spaces and gardens, raising the value of homes with gardens and increasing the sales of garden furniture and tools. Gardens are also being utilised for much more than landscapes and lawns too, with many homeowners seeking to maximise their return on investment and adopting contemporary trends, such as garden gyms, smallholding, and even keeping animals, such as chickens and bees.
The Future Garden
Whether gardens maintain their popularity as social distancing concerns dissipate is yet to be seen. Until then, however, and amid a buoyant property market, gardens remain an essential asset for new buyers and will likely continue to undergo a radical transformation in design as homeowners make them a point of focus within their property.