We have a summer house in Spain and we've kitted it out with all the latest I love spending as much time as possible outdoors where we live (just outside Barcelona) - we live here in the spring and autumn seasons, away from the cooler climes of my native United Kingdom. In our Spanish property, we have garden - our garden can often resemble what some people have described as an "outdoor living room" with chairs, tables, even a TV and parasol to keep us shaded under the reliable Spanish sun.
Of course, this summer was particularly bad in the UK so we didn't spend much time in the garden when we were back in Blighty. However, the garden furniture stays in our conservatory so we can still enjoy the light evenings with a glass of wine and lots of lovely summer evening ambience there. We have considered staying in Spain through the summer but it just gets TOO hot there during that time. We prefer the cooler temperatures and longer evenings of the UK.
My advice to those with a fairly large garden is to keep it as natural as you can, and maximise the space for lawn and growths. I eschewed the idea of making a patio and instead had a larger lawn area. I bring out my garden furniture onto our lawn when the sun shines - I feel more a part of my garden that way. When the weather's inclement, the furniture returns to our conservatory.
On a good summer's day, I can practically spend the whole time out in the garden.
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