• Preen your patio

    Now’s the time to give your patio a pucker make-over and to start getting some serious time outdoors. Here are our top tips to help you get the job done and the look you’re after.

    • Get the clutter cleared – it’s easy during the winter and early spring months to neglect the patio and to avoid it rather than think about giving it a tidy up. Very often it can become a bit of a dumping ground for discarded or broken items. So now is the time to take stock and to recycle, re-use or get rid of anything you may have been ‘storing’ on your patio.
    • Give your paving a good clean-up and wash – a stiff bristle brush will do the job in no time. Make sure you check under pots and you remove all debris you find such as soil, old leaves and moss. Not only will this make the place look good but will also prevent the build-up of slippery residue that can cause accidents. You can get specialist paving cleaners from your local garden centre and many deliver. Find your nearest here.
    • If your patio needs more than a good scrub, then it might be worth using a pressure washer and these can be hired if you don’t have one of your own. But don’t overdo this, or use a nozzle that gives a too powerful spray as it can cause damage to some types of paving and lift or crack mortar.
    • If you have decking, it is a good idea to treat it. Once it is cleaned, repair any loose boards and treat with a wood protector to protect it from the elements.
    • Give your furniture a good clean too. Washing down with warm, soapy water and a cloth, followed by hosing off, is fine for plastic furniture, but for wood or metal (aluminium/cast-iron) sets use a soft-bristle brush to give them a brush down before hosing and drying. Then treat any wooden furniture. Again, you can get further advice from your nearest good garden centre for appropriate products to use.
    • Make sure any pots are cleaned up and re-planted, or the plants in them are given a good tidy-up.
    • Invest in some new candles, lanterns, cushions and other outdoor entertaining and dining accessories to spruce up your outdoor space further. Our showerproof cushions can be left out overnight, saving you the trouble of covering them or bringing them in.