Garden Furniture - top tips from forward2me

When we think of summer, we imagine living outdoors, resting in a hammock while gentle fountains trickle and birdsong wafts on the breeze. At forward2me, we'd like to help you live the dream. We can ship garden furniture and even features like fountains to help you achieve the garden of your desire.

Garden furniture doesn't have to be boring. Choose a style that suits your house and existing garden - are you rustic and romantic or chic and contemporary? If you have existing pieces, will you match them or completely contrast? The UK is world-renowned for garden design. There are many suppliers and probably the widest range of garden furniture and accessories to choose from anywhere in the world.

Patio sets - tables, chairs and often a parasol - come in a wide range of styles. Rattan is popular at the moment. Glass and aluminium are durable, Wood is classic - just make sure that it is sourced sustainably. John Lewis do a full range to suit every style and budget including this incredible pod...

You don't have to be restricted to chairs and tables. There are gazebos, pergolas and summer houses to make a real feature. Garden furniture can be practical - doubling as storage, or purely decorative.

A gazebo can be almost any structure that creates a space in the garden - a focal point to sit in or to grow plants over. If you live in a hot climate, gazebos can create shade and throw interesting patterns on the ground.

Pergolas give height and structure, create an entranceway or accent an otherwise dull area. Monet used pergolas and plant frames to give his garden at Giverny unity. They were all the same style and colour. You can link different areas by using the same materials or create zones with different ambiances by using variations of garden furniture or containers.

Fountains and water features are always popular. Solar water features are easy to install and run and as long as the sun shines, work beautifully. Here in sunny Lancashire, they're a bit of a waste of space...Larger features come in all shapes and sizes, even with lights.

If you want something different, check out the reclamation and auction sites. You might find a vintage pergola or some interesting stone sculptures to create a feature. Use our personal shopper service if you have any problems using your international credit card.

One of the latest trends is for fire in the garden. Chimeneas, fire pits, fire bowls and even tables with an integrated fire bowl are available so that you can maximise those summer evenings and keep unwanted insects at bay.

Apart from garden furniture, garden games are very popular too. Traditional boules, giant chess, Jenga and croquet are great fun. For the more active, there are trampolines, swings and playhouses - some of which are attractive enough to be garden features in their own right.

So if your hammock has been nibbled by the mice in the shed, your deckchairs should be thrown overboard and your garden is more shabby than chic, maybe it's time to invest in some new garden furniture. Just remember to use forward2me's UK parcel forwarding service for all your garden furniture and games this summer.