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Gardiner Haskins Guide to Garden Furniture

author image Sophie Smith Marketing Assistant
Gardiner Haskins Guide to Garden Furniture image Gardiner Haskins Guide to Garden Furniture image
May 20th, 2022

Summer is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to transform your garden into a relaxing wonderland with our garden furniture guide.

Like designing the interior of your home, it’s essential to put some thought into the outside area as this is where you will be spending valuable time in the warmer months. You want the perfect setting for those long summer evenings with friends and family.

If you aren’t sure where to start then we’ve got you covered with advice as to how to use your outdoor space to its full potential.

How will you use your garden furniture?

Is the garden furniture just for you and your household or do you plan on having friends and family round for big barbeques? This will determine the size you want to purchase.

Is it for relaxing on a summers day or frequently dining at? This helps decide whether a big outdoor dining table is necessary as part of the set. Or whether you want chairs or benches and how comfortable they need to be.


One of the initial things to consider is your budget, think about how much you are willing to spend on your garden furniture. How frequently will you be using it and will it be an investment or will you be changing it up a lot?

Try and get the most for your money. Research various materials and decide what would be the most appropriate for you and your household.

Consider your needs – Space available & sizing

Planning on decking out your garden for summer with beautiful garden furniture? Make sure to consider your needs before jumping excitedly into the wants. How much outdoor space is available and how much of this space do you want to occupy with furniture? This is important to think about as you may need to take measurements to purchase the right size.

Generally, you want to have around two thirds of your patio area without garden furniture to avoid it looking too cluttered. If you’re limited with space, have no fear, there are still options! You can opt for furniture that can be easily stored away or stackable chairs/loungers. You won’t be stuck for choice.

What’s your style?

Take a look around, what type of aesthetic is your home currently radiating? Is the character of your interior something you’d like to extend into the garden? This is a wise idea if you want to create harmony between your indoor and outdoor spaces. To achieve this, try choosing similar colour palettes and materials to what you have inside.

Materials have a considerable impact when it comes to your desired style! For a more modern look, you should go with metal, glass, or acrylic. If you’d prefer something on the traditional side, wood or rattan is the way to go.


What is the right material for you?

There is a wide range of materials to choose from so it can be quite overwhelming to decipher the market! They all have their benefits, so it is ultimately down to your preference.

You’ll need to consider what the weather is usually like where you live, how resistant is the material to rain? How will it react after long periods in the sunlight? You will also need to think about how often or willing you are able to clean and look after your furniture.

How heavy is the furniture? Are you going to want to move it around often or change up your garden furniture annually? These are all things to take into account when deciding on the material.


Rattan is a natural material that comes in different styles, weaves and levels of quality. It is made from rattan vines that a woven together, a process known as wicker. Unfortunately, natural rattan doesn’t last as long outside as other materials so needs to be stored inside and treated. However, synthetic rattan (or resin weave) is far more durable when exposed to the elements and requires far less maintenance. Therefore, you can still bring your dream of comfortable, rattan furniture to life without having to fret about the wear and tear.

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A classic and timeless option for your garden space, keep it the natural beauty that it is! Like rattan, wood is another material that needs some tender loving care. To treat it, you will need to clean it with hot soapy water or hardwood cleaning fluid at the beginning of the season in order to rejuvenate it for summer. Wood also requires sanding and oiling to replace and replenish the wood’s natural oils so it stays in tip top condition for longer.

Despite having to put a bit of work into your wooden garden furniture, it creates an aesthetic that will never go out of date and bring elegance to your outdoor space.


The most popular choice in metal for outside garden furniture is aluminium. It’s lightweight, rust free and budget friendly. It enables you to achieve that contemporary garden feel at a lower cost than other types of metal such as iron and steel.

Furthermore, it doesn’t require much maintenance and is very durable, come rain or snow, whereas steel will rust eventually.

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Glass is one of the least used garden furniture materials. However, if you do decide to go with glass, make sure you opt for tempered glass. This is safer, more durable and can withstand the elements and fluctuations in temperature as it is thicker than regular glass. It’s also a stylish finish for dining tabletops.

Environmental impact

We know it’s tempting to purchase brand new, unused furniture for your garden, however, in an increasingly eco-conscious society more people are going second-hand.

If second-hand isn’t quite for you, then the least we can do is advise you on the most eco-friendly materials for garden furniture. These are aluminium and wood, so if you want to be an eco-warrior, go with one of these.

In fact, one of our garden furniture brands, Alexander Rose, implement best practice environmental policies as part of their manufacturing processes.

“The synthetic rattan and aluminium raw materials used are 100% recyclable, and all the wastage is reused to make components on many of our products.”

Another of our brands, Lifestyle, have a collection called ‘The Samoa Collection’ which has been recognised by the Eden project who are pioneers in sustainability. The collection is “at the cutting edge of sustainable garden furniture manufacturing and is handcrafted using recycled waste products and upcycling them into something truly amazing and beautiful. This collection brings a whole new meaning to the saying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

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Gardiner and Sons Co Ltd registered address Gardiner Haskins, 1 Straight Street, Broad Plain, Bristol, BS2 0FQ, registered in England.
Company registration number: 00039402 VAT no. GB302974367

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