The wonderful summer temperatures on the May bank holiday weekend and the subsequent descent back into the wintry doldrums of mid-May really accentuated the importance of excellent maintenance when it comes to garden furniture sets.

Aesthetics and practicality

Garden furniture sets are obviously intended to contribute to the garden aesthetically and practically. They provide much-needed seating in outdoor spaces allowing households to enjoy their gardens when the weather is good. They facilitate barbecues and social events that take place outdoors and they boost the amount of usable space families, couples and individuals can use for relaxing at home.

Tasteful furniture sets also look fantastic, often contributing a comfortable aesthetic to the garden or bringing a lovely sense of terrace chic to patio spaces or areas of garden decking. However, they are only able to perform as practical pieces and aesthetic elements when they are cared for properly.

Changeable weather

The fact is that the British climate is unpredictable even in summer. You needn’t invoke any theories about extreme global ‘weirding’ in order to back up this claim. You simply need to look at the changeable weather we’ve experienced in all parts of the UK during the late spring and early summer this year.

It seems we are in ‘four seasons in one day’ territory at the moment. The weather can’t make up its mind, and that means you can’t rely on it to stay dry in order to keep your furniture in good nick. You have to put in a little time and effort to make sure your patio sets and garden seating remain positive contributors to the practicality and appearance of your outdoor spaces.

Care tips for garden furniture


Wooden garden furniture may succumb to wet weather by peeling and warping. In order to protect it, the best advice is to treat the wood with a special treatment like teak oil. You can be liberal in your application of this sort of treatment. It will also keep the wood in good condition when it is exposed to strong sunlight. Varnish also provides a durable outer coating.

When it rains, it is often sensible to overturn items of furniture so that they are able to drip dry when the sun comes out rather than letting moisture collect on surfaces.


Metal furniture is more resistant to the weather, but remember that metal parts may rust in the rain and moulds will grow on plastic furniture that is left damp. A good strategy is to have garden furniture covers in your shed or garage so that you can cover items when they are not in use. This way they are protected against sudden showers.


Some garden furniture will stack, in which case you may be able to bring it all inside relatively easily if you have the storage space. Cushions and upholstery ought to be removed and kept indoors whenever they are not in use.

Common sense

Naturally, you don’t want to keep your garden furniture covered at all times because they contribute aesthetically to the garden, so keep an eye on the weather and just be sensible out when you take the covers off. There’s no point in risking it if there is any likelihood of rain.


Another sensible thing to do is to clean the furniture properly. Items of furniture that are exposed to the elements will inevitably get dirty – the birds alone will see to that! For wooden furniture, choose a gentle cleaner that is specifically engineered for wood. Metal and synthetic furniture may withstand all-purpose cleaners.

Remember to use gentle cloths rather than abrasive tools so you don’t do any damage. It may also be worth an additional application of oil or treatment after a particularly rigorous clean.

James Bental spends a lot of time in his garden and loves buying his tools in sales so he gets great value for money – he regularly buys from