The best design products for the garden this season include bargain buys and investment pieces. Among the seats, dining sets, parasols, picnicware, grills, loungers and lights, you’ll find chic barbecues for £20 and deckchairs for £25, as well as the latest must-haves for the back yard, pizza ovens, from about £600.
Outdoor cooking kit has evolved over the past few summers. Though the charcoal or gas grill will always have its fans, there’s been a shift, for foodies, from barbecues to wood-fired ovens, which produce pizzas and casseroles as well as sausages and burgers. WFOs expand our menu options, are less messy and provide a heat source that encourages year-round cookouts. That’s the idea, anyway. Lakeland has launched a handsome black steel number and Morso, makers of the most stylish Scandi wood-burners, unveiled their first outdoor oven this year, the enamelled cast-iron Forno (£1,428; morsoliving.co.uk).
I would rather set fire to garden furniture, and toast marshmallows in the leaping flames, than have to drag it all into the shed at the end of the summer. So I’m not keen on any but the most robust dining sets, of which the reclaimed-teak heavyweights shown on this page, from John Lewis and Garden Trading, are splendid examples. Irrationally, though, I do love a parasol. Superstores offer plenty of serviceable examples for £30 or less, but top of my wish list is the peculiar Bloom, from Sywawa, a three-metre canopy in the form of a flower with fluttering petals (£1,830;gomodern.co.uk). At last, summer is here.