We’re animal mad at Garden Furniture Central (check out the animals starring in our garden furniture photographs) and since it’s National Pet Month (1st April-4th May), we’ve rounded up some of our favourite pet-inspired accessories which will add a bit of animal magic to your patio furniture to boot!
Alfresco dining is sure to involve strawberries at some stage, so if it’s Labradors you like, you could do worse than Fur, Feather and Fin’s glass bowl, engraved with Labs in different poses all round the outside. Just the thing to add a bit of panache to your metal garden table! They also stock Westie oven gloves which might be handy for the barbecue and a full range of doggy breed specific melamine trays on which to serve your human drinks.
There are plenty of lovely dog bowls around and remember your four-legged friend is likely to get just as thirsty as you do when the family is soaking up the sun round the patio table. One of my favourites is Mungo and Maud’s ceramic A Dog’s Dream – Bone which features a charming illustration of a dog – and his bone.
You could always invest in some canine or catty cushions to soften the look of your aluminium outdoor furniture – there have never been so many high street options from the decidedly kitch to quite smart monotone fabrics with stylized daschunds. I’ll confess to a particular fondness for these as the proud owner of two not so smart daschunds myself.
Again, just google cat decorations for the garden to see some truly revoltingly twee offerings but it doesn’t have to be like this. I’ve always loved the rusty red peering cat that I found for a feline fan’s birthday – you can get them at Cox and Cox.
If you want to deter the neighbour’s cat from frequenting your garden to feast on the birds or use the flowerbeds as a litter tray, I suggest you get hold of some quirky cat silhouettes. Coopers of Stortford sell 3 weatherproof metal cat scarers. These black feline outlines, either sitting, scared or stalking have bright marble eyes which scare away real cats and rodents. They come with ground stakes or hanging hooks so that you can position them most effectively for your needs. Their slightly cartoon look makes them a lovely decorative feature and they can be left outside whatever the weather.
What is it about pets and garden ornaments that means the taste police have been sleeping on the job? Who knew you could get novelty animal shaped solar lights for the garden! Truly hideous. But you don’t want those. What you do want are some of the lovely hens and cockerels around – the RSBP sell a striking recycled metal chicken about 40 cm tall and I’ve always loved my little dumpy caramelware hen with a hollow base perfect for keeping the shed key inside. Hibbit sells these in black and white.