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Prepping your garden for BBQ season

When the sun is shining, there’s nothing better than firing up the BBQ, popping open the lid on a chilled one and appreciating all that alfresco dining has to offer. Our gardens really come into their own during the summer months and often become the heart of the home.

With summer just around the corner, now is the time to give your garden space a little TLC so that you’re BBQ-ready. We’ve got some great tips and ideas on how to create the perfect BBQ garden. From bespoke garden furniture and homemade garden bars to grow-your-own fruit and veg patches and low maintenance artificial grass, there are so many quick, easy and inexpensive ways to achieve a show-stopping summer garden.

Somewhere to sit

When it comes to serving up those juicy burgers, sharing out the potato salad and tucking into your lovingly prepared BBQ feast, you’re going to want to provide your family and guests with a spacious and comfortable spot to sit.

garden table made from sleepers

The classic picnic bench

The picnic bench is a classic, timeless addition to any garden space. As a compact, all-in-one table and seating piece, they work well in smaller gardens. Picnic benches don’t require too much maintenance and when taken care of, last for years to come. Brighten up your garden with a colourful lift by giving your bench, or benches a splash of paint. And, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, royal blue, grey, white and sage green are all colours that are bang on trend for 2021.

DIY garden furniture

You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy a brand-new furniture set. Why not build your own custom-designed outdoor furniture? A DIY garden furniture project is a superb way of getting outdoors, spending time in your garden and absorbing some vitamin D.

The beauty of building your own garden furniture is that you can create something completely bespoke to your garden’s shape and size, without having to pay bespoke prices. And, you can guarantee that your furniture will be completely unique to any of your friends’ or families’.

Outdoor sleeper dining table

Building a rustic-looking table and bench seating made from sleepers is completely achievable for even the most novice of DIYers. Imagine being able to serve up your BBQ favourites and passing the sauces around one big banquette style table.

Sleepers offer superior length so ideally lend themselves to creating longer pieces of furniture. So, if entertaining large numbers is your thing, or if you have a big family to feed then a homemade sleeper table would be a perfect addition to your garden.

If it’s a spot of rustic charm but a slightly more intimate alfresco dining experience you’re after, you can mimic this effect whilst creating a smaller outdoor table. Simply cut sleepers to shorter lengths and build the table to seat two or four. Treat the sleepers to achieve the desired wood effect or opt for the planned effect for a smoother finish.

Bench seating

sleeper bench

Sleepers can be used to the same effect to create a cosy and comfortable bench seating area. When stacked horizontally, you can create a beautiful, bespoke corner piece or u-shaped unit that’s perfectly positioned around a roaring fire pit or handmade sleeper coffee table.

Alternatively, you can cut the sleeper to shorter lengths and turn vertically to create a stunning circular or curved seating area. Or, instead of using sleepers, you could build your own seating frame using pieces of joinery timber. Then, box in the frame using decking boards. Again, you’ve got great flexibility in the size and shape that you choose to create.

Indoors – outdoors

The indoor-outdoor trend is in for 2021. It’s all about bringing soft furnishings and accessories into the garden, reflecting indoor living but within outdoor spaces. It’s really easy to achieve this look.

Simply cover your new furniture with bold and bright scatter cushions for extra comfort, bring out the blankets for when the temperature drops or even and even use outdoor rugs to create the ultimate cosy seating area.

outdoor garden seating with cushions

Tee lights, festoon lighting, and fairy lights are also great additions and provide ambient lighting once the sun has gone down. And, if you want a little extra warmth and a fire pit is just a tad too risky with pets and children, you could opt for a patio heater or chimney.

Find the perfect spot

BBQs offer the ideal opportunity to get outdoors, soak up some rays and relax on sunny summer days. When designing the perfect BBQ garden, you’re going to want to think about the best place to position your outdoor seating.

Of course, this will all depend on personal preference; are you looking for a spot that is exposed to the sun throughout the day, or would prefer a little more shade in the afternoon? Also, consider your garden’s layout and features. You may wish to avoid positioning your outdoor dining table underneath a tree that frequently drops foliage or debris.

Create a decked area

Why not build a decked area and create a designated spot for your outdoor dining table or seating area? However big or small, decking adds an instant feel of luxury to any garden space. A basic, ground-level deck is relatively quick and easy to build and can be constructed to work around the shape and size of your garden.

decking in garden

If your garden is sloped and you’re struggling to achieve a flat surface for outdoor tables and chairs, a raised deck offers the ideal solution for making use of all areas of the garden. This also offers a fantastic opportunity to amply depth and integrate texture into the landscape design.

Decking boards are available in a wide range of styles, textures and colours. Some of the most popular choices for 2021 include classic Treated Softwood, Western Red Cedar, Balau and artificial timber alternatives.

Something to eat

Everyone’s got their own way of doing a barbie. If you’re a real foodie, the BBQ season offers an exciting opportunity to experiment with new flavours, recipes and cooking techniques. Whilst meat and fish are commonly staple pieces of a BBQ feast, there’s so much that veggies and fruits can bring to the BBQ table.

BBQ veggies

Vegetables can be an excellent choice for sides and meat alternatives BBQ dishes. Butternut squash, courgettes and sweetcorn taste amazing when grilled with a splash of olive oil and few homegrown herbs.

Tomatoes, fresh peas and spring onions can be mixed together to create a beautifully light and crisp summer salad, and if you’ve got room for dessert, handpicked berries make the perfect addition to summer classics such as fruit salads, cheesecakes and homemade ice lollies.

Fancy yourself as a bit of a cocktail connoisseur? Why not add a few homemade cocktails and mocktails to the BBQ mix. You can grow fresh mint, strawberries, raspberries and even cucumbers, pears and rosemary- all of which are common cocktail ingredients. And if gin is your thing, why not experiment with making your own gin by growing a selection of botanicals?

garden cocktails

You can grow your own fruits and vegetables from your very own back garden. There’s something quite wonderful about picking fresh fruits and vegetables that you’ve lovingly grown yourself and adding to your BBQ spread. You’ll achieve more freshness and flavour than you would if you opted for shop-bought options and there’s less food waste as you can pick ingredients as you need them.

Growing your own produce is great for getting outdoors and spending time in the fresh air. And, if you’ve got a young family, kids love to get involved in planting, watering and picking homegrown favourites.

Build raised beds using sleepers

In order to grow your own fruits and vegetables, you’ll need to create, prep and maintain your growing beds. Raised beds offer the ideal growing environment for a range of seasonal favourites. Besides their functional use, they look great in gardens big and small. They can be painted, or left au-natural and can be built to a size and shape of your choosing.

raised beds with sleepers

All you’ll need to construct the perfect raised beds are sleepers. These can be cut to size and stacked to the desired height and positioned around the edge of your garden. Alternatively, you could create singular pop-up beds dotted around your garden. Then you’ll need to fill with soil before planting your seeds.

Something easy to maintain

If you’ve got a lawn, getting the grass prepped and looking in tip-top condition ahead of BBQ season can often be a timely process. A well-maintained lawn makes all the difference to the look and feel of the garden. When guests first arrive, the lawn is often one of the first things that they draw their eyes to, so if your lawn currently looks like it’s seen better days, it’s time to up your game and give your lawn a little love.

Throughout the winter months, the lawn often becomes neglected. And if you’ve got a young family or pets, quite often the lawn has become churned up and uneven, so it takes a little more than a simple once over with the lawnmower to bring it back to life.

Opt for a hassle-free alternative

artificial grass with deck

If, like many, you don’t have a lot of time on your hands or the inclination to spend lengthy periods of time achieving the perfect lawn, why not opt for artificial grass?

You’ll never have to mow the lawn again. Kids and dogs can run around until their heart’s content without creating a muddy mess, and the lawn looks bright and vibrant all year round.

When laid correctly and well maintained, artificial grass lasts for years. Artificial grass required very little maintenance – a simple sweep or rake to remove debris and a hose down from time to time will suffice. It’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for a hassle-free, natural-looking alternative.

Somewhere to stay warm

We’ve got to be realistic. The Great British summer weather can be unpredictable. Whilst sunny days bring warmth and sunshine, by night time, the temperature can drop. If you plan on taking your BBQ parties well into the evening, be sure to think about how you can keep guests warm and comfortable once the sun has gone down.

Stay toasty around the firepit

A fire pit is a timeless classic. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and run. You just need to source some firewood to feed the fire. Sit around the fire and natter the evening away whilst being heated by the warmth of the fire. And, if you have children, supervised marshmallows toasting is fun for all the family.

Store away firewood


Firewood needs to be stored in a dry spot. Wet or moist timber won’t burn. The last thing you’ll want is to crank up the fire pit or chimney and find out that your logs or kindling won’t burn. A log store does exactly what it says on the tin – it offers the perfect place to keep firewood and kindling tidied away, ready for use. They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes and can double up as a storage spot for garden tools and equipment.

Something to drink

wine on table

Because of the events of 2020, we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home over the past year. As pubs and restaurants shut, many had a go at recreating their own mini-bars and pub set-ups within their garden space. We’ve seen some pretty impressive designs and some ingenious hacks for building fully functional garden bars.

With BBQ season upon us, a garden bar is a brilliant way to convert your garden into the optimum entertainment space. And your garden bar doesn’t need to take up half of your garden. Even the smallest of gardens can accommodate a smart and stylish spot to serve up and store all of your favourite drinks.

Create your own garden bar

There are several ways to achieve the pub-style set-up in the comfort of your own home. Some creative DIYers have converted sheds into bespoke bars fully equipped with a serving hatch, bar stools, and even fridge unit to keep drinks cool on summer days.

Others have used sleepers and cuts of structural timber to create the bar shape and then fixed sheet material to create the bar top. You could also use cladding material or decking boards to give your bar a professional-looking finish. Complete the look with outdoor lighting, plants and a range of accessories.

Somewhere to store your BBQ

When the BBQ season draws to a close, you’re going to want to store your BBQ away somewhere dry and secure. Whilst BBQ covers work to do the job of keeping the rain away, if you want your BBQ to last longer and remain rust-free during the winter months, you need to store it away appropriately.

pent shed

Opt for a garden shed

Garden sheds are a brilliant way of obtaining additional storage space. During the winter months, a shed offers the ideal storage spot for BBQs, garden furniture, tools and children’s outdoor play equipment. They are available in a range of shapes and sizes and can be locked for additional security.

Get BBQ season-ready with Equestrian Fencing

If you’re looking for quality timber materials for your next garden project, we’ve got you covered. Shop online from a wide range of quality timber materials including decking, cladding and structure timber.

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