How to turn your garden into an extension of your Gloucestershire home

With the sun making a gradual reappearance, it’s nearly time to get out in the garden again – and SoGlos caught up with Trioscape Garden Centre to discover how to turn your outdoor space into a natural extension of your home.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
Whether you have a small outside space or a bigger plot, Trioscape Garden Centre tells SoGlos how to make the most of your outdoor area this spring 2022.
Whether you have a small outside space or a bigger plot, Trioscape Garden Centre tells SoGlos how to make the most of your outdoor area this spring 2022.

With longer days, lighter nights and temperatures gradually on the rise, we can’t wait to get back out into our gardens after a cold, wet and windy winter.

To help make the most of your outdoor space, SoGlos caught up with Trioscape Garden Centre to find out how to make your garden feel like a natural extension of your home.

About the expert – Chris Burgess from Trioscape Garden Centre

Chris Burgess is the general manager of Trioscape Garden Centre – a thriving, independent garden centre located in Newent in the Forest of Dean, which stocks a vast selection of plants, flowers and horticultural accessories – not to mention garden furniture including outdoor dining sets, parasols and outdoor textiles.

The botanical business also has an on-site restaurant serving home-cooked food and cakes, offering the perfect pitstop for a hearty-breakfast, light lunch or sumptuous afternoon tea to enjoy after shopping.

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With summer approaching and outdoor space still being really important to homeowners after two years of lockdowns, what’s the first thing people can do to make good use of their outdoor space?

Get out there! It feels like we have had such a long winter and now is the time to get out there and get the garden ready for spring! Brush up those leaves; prune back wind damaged trees and shrubs; clean paths, paving, patios and steps with a pressure washer or chemical cleaner.

Plan ahead – March is the time for early seed sowing. Be organised and plan what you will be planting and where.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to create an extension to their living space? For example, if they wanted to make an outdoor lounge?

Think outside the box – no extension is the same, so make yours stand out from the crowd and give it the wow factor! Maybe add some quirky details to the design that sets yours aside from the typical extension – whether it is the shape or a hidden glazing panel where the new meets the old.

Remember to keep pushing the boundaries – be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons!

How can people turn their humble garden shed or sunroom into a usable space like a workshop, studio, or home office?

From experience, I would say the secret to shed making is taking time out to make a bolthole away from the rest of the house that everyone can enjoy.

Transforming your garden shed into a usable space need not cost a fortune. Artificial grass is an easy, effective way to cover walls and creates a great backdrop for Zoom calls, filming and more. Insulation is key – a simple way is to use sheets of foil bubble insulation which is available in most DIY stores and staple to the shed frame.

It’s about rolling up your sleeves, doing it all yourself and creating something you are proud of.

When it comes to alfresco cooking and dining, what are the key pieces people should consider investing in?

As the popularity of alfresco dining continues to rise, people are looking for unique ways to utilise their outdoor space. One trend that has grown in popularity is the outdoor pizza oven. Pizza ovens can be fuelled by gas, charcoal or logs.

Using an Ooni pizza oven – available at Trioscape – the cooking time is only 60 seconds. This quick turnaround makes it ideal for larger parties, and each pizza when cooking in bulk is a fraction of the price of a take-away one.

Temperatures can reach up to 500°C which is hotter than most kitchen ovens. These kinds of high temperatures are needed to create the authentic bubbly, light, doughy base seen in pizzerias. The compact nature of the Ooni pizza ovens also means they can be stored when not in use or taken to another house.

With the weather in Gloucestershire being changeable at best during the summer, what can people do to keep their garden furniture looking great year after year? And should you bring it indoors when the weather turns bad?

Patio furniture is made from different materials, all of which are durable and resistant to either heat or cold. You can leave patio furniture outside in the winter, but it is important to properly protect and seal your patio furniture when left outside in winter months.

Most wooden furniture made for outdoors is treated to withstand extreme weather. That doesn’t mean, though, that it won’t wear as time passes. You would need to re-paint, re-treat, or re-stain your wooden furniture as time goes.

One of the biggest problems with metal patio furniture is that it can get rusty and corrode. So, make sure that your metal furniture is treated before you decide if you want to leave it out during the winter.

It is safe to leave high-quality rattan furniture and woven patio furniture out for the winter, too. Bramblecrest woven furniture, which we sell at Trioscape, is resistant to frost and UV light and can be left outside throughout the season.

To clean glass or ceramic tabletops, I recommend any proprietary household glass or multi-surface cleaner along with a soft sponge. I would suggest cleaning furniture with a non-abrasive sponge and lukewarm, detergent-free soapy water. Rinse with fresh water and allow to dry prior to covering or storing indoors.

For anyone that doesn’t have a garden, what are some easy ways to bring the outside in?

The most common way of including nature in our home’s décor is with indoor plants. Place these everywhere you can, including the bathroom. Make it look and feel like a spa. Maidenhair Fern thrive in humid environments and are perfect for this purpose.

Create a ‘green wall’ – vertical gardens are an awesome feature for any home, but as an even more impressive feature you can include one inside your home. Let nature take over and turn your living room into a refreshing paradise.

Use rattan furniture, too. Rattan furniture is associated with the outdoors, if you use it inside your house, you’ll be able to create a cosy little corner that takes you back to the beautiful getaways in the middle of nature you love so much.

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