While the weather may seem to think otherwise, Summer is well underway, and we’re sure the good weather is just around the corner. So now is the time to start thinking about getting your garden ready for those long, balmy summer evenings. Here at Frank Key, we’ve put together some tips for turning your garden into an outdoor social space for entertaining friends and family.

Laying the groundwork

The first thing to do is to set aside a specific area for entertaining. With the unpredictable British weather, it’s best to choose a surface other than lawn for this, otherwise, you’ll be waiting for the lawn to dry every time you want to have guests over. Decking is a good choice for this as it helps to separate the entertainment area from the rest of the garden and also allows rainwater to dissipate, helping it to dry more quickly. You can also add a gazebo or permanent cover to the decking to help you continue to entertain and enjoy your garden, even when the weather has other ideas.


Making sure you and your guests have somewhere comfortable to sit is vital for getting the most out of your garden. Have a think about what you’re most likely to use the area for. If it’s outdoor dining you’re after, then a table and chairs are essential. However, if you’re more likely to use the area for just relaxing and unwinding with a few friends and some evening drinks, there are a number of comfortable suites available.

You also want to consider the space available as the last thing you want is to end up overcrowding the space and making the area uncomfortable. Measuring the area and drawing up a rough plan is a great way to see how the space will work once the furniture is in place.

Wining and Dining

If you are thinking of using your outdoor space to serve food or drinks, you want to have a think about how you’re cooking and serving the food. If you’re catering for a lot of guests, a larger, gas-powered grill is a must-have. Alternatively, if you’re a traditionalist who entertains less frequently, a charcoal grill will help to create that traditional outdoor dining atmosphere. Again, space is an important consideration as you don’t want your guests to be choked by the smoke from the barbecue.

Additionally, you need to think about how to keep your drinks cool. An outdoor fridge or even bar can really help to create a party atmosphere, however, space and outdoor power are not always available. At the very least, a cooler with ice is essential to keep those drinks chilled for the evening.


If the sun is retreating but the night is still in full swing, you don’t want your guests to start disappearing indoors. There are a number of options available for keeping you and your guests warm even after the sun has gone down. Fire pits can create a cosy atmosphere and provide a great focal point around which you can unwind at the end of the evening. However, if space is an issue, upright gas heaters provide ample heat for your guests.

At Frank Key, we provide everything you need to turn your garden into an ideal space for relaxing alone or entertaining guests. Take a look at our landscaping page to see everything we have on offer.