Monthly Archives: April 2014

Lawn Order: Must-Haves for the Perfect Outdoor Dining Area | Longacres Garden Centre

Garden Table and Chairs

Probably one of our favourite activities come spring and summer is entertaining outside. And it’s one of the easiest things to do since outdoor dining areas can be created nearly anywhere in your garden, lawn, or backyard. You can easily throw a fabulous dinner party where you and your guests can enjoy good food and company on a lovely spring evening or a cool summer night.

To help you, here’s a quick guide on some of the must-have elements in an outdoor garden dining area.

A Place of Comfort and Function

Dining al fresco is one of the things you can indulge in when there is good weather, especially if you have a garden or a patio. A dining table, a couple of benches or chairs are essential in making your outdoor area a true place for entertainment and hosting.

The right furniture makes your garden a great place where you and your loved ones can come together, catch up, socialise, or just enjoy quality time together. Repurposed wood, wicker, and cast aluminium bronze are just some of the popular options. Make sure that you provide comfort by throwing in pillows and cushions. Find one that fits you and your home exterior by browsing our catalogue.

A Place for Warmth

Barbecues, fire pits or maybe even an outdoor fireplace not only sets the ambience, it also give you an “outdoor room” that you can use all year round. These additions are a great way to give your al fresco dining area more purpose.

A Place for Cover

Too much sunshine, wind or rain can sometimes ruin a perfect outdoor party. For these reasons, it would be wise to create a covered space so you can truly enjoy your outdoor area. There are numerous options for you, from retractable awnings, makeshift canopies, to a parasol. They can provide adequate shade to make your dining area just perfect. If you’re a bit creative, you can also play around with some garden elements, such as arches, vines, and trees to make your own shade.

Your options for designing an outdoor dining area is as plenty as the plants and accessories you can use for your garden. The trick is to find pieces that you want and you’re comfortable with, and make them work not just for the garden but also for you.

Spring vegetables – grow your own!

Red Pepper

Well spring has finally arrived, and it’s a key time for many gardeners across the country as its the start of the vegetable growing season. Seeds are being sown, plugs are being potted on and the greenhouse is getting busy full of vegetable plants! Below are a few of the many choices of vegetable plants that we have a Longacres, ready for you to nurture and look after at home!

Sweet Peppers

Sweet peppers are a great addition to any vegetable garden. Easy to grow and look after these vegetable plants will provide you with an abundance of brightly coloured fruits all summer long. Pepper seeds can be tricky to germinate; for those who don’t want the challenge, ‘mini’ six packs containing 3 varieties of sweet pepper are available in store!

Top Tips for Sweet Peppers

  • Keep out of any frost – make sure your plant your peppers after the last frost or grow them on inside on a windowsill or heated greenhouse/conservatory.
  • Make sure the soil is light, nutrient rich and free-draining – Water little and often!
  • Feed plants with a high-potassium fertiliser weekly when fruiting.

Lettuce Varieties

Lettuce plants are one of the easiest and one of the most well known vegetable plants! These versatile plants can be grown fairly easily from seed but can also be bought in 12 packs and planted straight into the ground to save time. Some lettuce plants must be harvested in one go at the end of the season, but there are many varieties now that are known as ‘Cut & Come Again’, where you can harvest what you need, and the plant will continue to produce more foliage!

Top Tips for Lettuces

  • Lettuce plants are considered hardy and so can be planted out now.
  • Protect plants from slugs and snail using copper wire, or organic pellets.
  • Ensure that you leave enough space between your plants so they don’t compete for nutrients, about 30cm apart is ample.


Growing your own onions is really simple and can be done right now! There are two main ways to grow onions from seed, and from onion sets. Onion sets are very simple and excellent value and can be planted in autumn for an early crop or now, for a late season harvest. You can buy onions growing from seed in 12 packs now for easy planting!

Top Tips for Onions

  • Plant in full sun, in a sheltered position.
  • Water your onion sets during dry spells and remove any flowers as soon as they appear.
  • Birds can be a problem and may lift your onions. Place deterrents near the plants to avoid this.

So there you have it – some common vegetable plants that are really easy to grow and look after! It is also of note that they can all be grown in containers on patins or decks if your tight on space. Why not grab yourself some vegetable plants, and see for yourself?

Fingers crossed for a barbecue summer!

Our Weber Barbecue Roadshow is only 6 weeks away and tickets are going fast!

Join Weber’s top barbecue chef on the 15th of May as he presents a unique two hour cookery demonstration. Tickets are only £10 and include refreshments, tasters and a 10% discount off Weber accessories at the end of the course. You can follow this link for more details:

Our seasonal manager John has put together this video of the new Weber shop at Longacres – Rome wasn’t built in a day, but our brand new barbecue shop was!

Weber Barbecues and BBQ Accessories available here:
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