This has been the hottest trend this summer as we were treated to glorious weather, day after day of sunny skies and plenty of opportunity to enjoy the garden. And when it comes to garden parties, we brits do it best. Cue bringing out the best china, floral table clothes, napkins and candle sticks. It reminds me of a family celebration, it was my dad’s 60th I think and we booked tickets to an open-air concert at Warwick Castle. It’s quite a to-do with everyone really going to town to picnic on a grand scale. My Mum is a tremendous entertainer and I remember vividly us all tramping from the car park to the event laden with cool boxes, folding chairs and silver candlesticks! While we were all huffing and puffing, I have to say it was worth it. The formally laid spectacle was magical.
So here we are fast approaching November and I’m choosing to post about this trend now. Well bare with me, there is some kind of logic! I’m currently about to embark on a huge transformation of our rather tired and neglected PVC conservatory. I’ve never shown it to anyone as it’s round the back of the house and currently filled with Tom’s tools, tins of unwanted paint, bags of guinea pig hay and Arthurs’s bike. But all of this is moving out in a few weeks and I’ll be reclaiming the room for my own. Conservatories can be magical spaces but it’s all in the styling. I’m going to channel the English country garden trend that I have been spotting all summer long. Think plenty of colour, clashing florals, vintage vases and plants! So as the nights draw in, I’m keeping my eye on the prize and imagining that by the time we have planned and completed our conservatory makeover, sunny days will be back around again!
One of the monikers of English country garden style is layers and layers of pretty things, florals, checks, scalloped edge plates and plenty of frills. This is a dream for maximalists like me as you can bring out all the vases, and all the candle sticks and layer them up down the table. I find charity shops and car boot sales perfect places to source items like this, just choose a loose colour theme and anything goes. You can then add pretty pieces as you find them year after year because this look requires quite a collection! I’m a total sucker for Liberty- my favourite shop in the universe but it’s always a treaty purchase. But here’s the thing with the English style- it mixes high and low, bespoke and high street for an overall effortless effect. You want to avoid it looking too contrived at all costs. I think that’s why a mix match of plates, napkins and placemats always works best- it’s a little eccentric and this is a compliment!
And then there’s rattan. We just can’t get enough of this material right now! I adore these garden chairs that have been painted in this delicious pinky red. It’s not so hard to do with vintage rattan or bamboo chairs if you give them a good brush clean first and then layer up the spray paint. Brushing it on clogs up too much in my experience. Now I’m on the hunt for some for the conservatory makeover. I’m going to bring in the teak garden table for the winter and I think this will provide a lovely rustic backdrop to all the pretty accessories…
Here’s a little round-up of some gorgeous online shopping bits to bring some of the English country garden flavour to your home. Look out for coloured glassware, scalloped edges, frills, florals, checks and you are half way there!
Featured image at top: Liberty
Shopping round up by Luisa Ferdenzi Rouse