Inside outside: Bring your indoors outdoors on sunny days
As a nation we have not exactly been blessed with good weather, but I think we are real troopers and are great at braving the bitter sandwich-snatching wind everyone is usually studiously ignoring at barbecues.
But there are always those few weeks of glorious sun - we never really know when they are coming, but we tend to get them every year at some stage - and I we should all be prepared to take full advantage of these precious times with our garden essentials at the ready.
Here are some garden goodies so you don't miss out when the good weather is (finally) here.
Create this little oasis on your balcony or decking area and get a taste of the tropics in your own home.
Buy it: Various prices, H&M, hm.com
If you really want to make a statement, and have oodles of cash, this is the outdoor sofa for you! You couldn't help but feel bright and summery just looking at this beautiful piece with specially commisioned Missoni designer fabric, no less. It should be noted that the price goes down considerably with different fabrics, but go big or go home I say.
Buy it: Escapade sofas designed by Zeno Nugari, ¤4,320, available to order at Roche Bobois, Beacon South Quarter, Dublin 18, roche-bobois.com
No hassle tassle
Paper garlands are having a major, and well deserved, I might say, comeback at the moment. These gorgeous tassled beauties add fun and colour to any space - just don't leave them out in the rain!
Buy it: Tassle garland, €3, Tiger stores
Invite a little bit of zen into your outdoor space - surround this Buddha with some outdoor candles and natural large leaf greenery for a fuss-free way to get your chi flowing and your balcony or garden looking serene. Namaste.
Buy it: €39.95, Harvey Norman
Fun in the sun
There is nothing more lovely on a hot summery day than a good old-fashioned picnic. Team that with a parasol that wouldn't look out of place in a Margarita, and you've got the perfect surroundings for your fab day in the sun.
Buy it: Parasol, left, €175; heart-shaped picnic basket, right, €60, both Marks & Spencer
Light up my life
Outdoor lights are a must for any decking or garden area; so, white or multicoloured? It's up to you. Coloured are more fun and will bring out the colour in your flowers, but if your shrubs are more green, then white would suit best.
Buy it: €8.95, dotcomgiftshop.com
Badge of honour
Do you love a good garden party or do you have an outdoor event coming up and would like some entertainment other than face painting for kids, and that adults would get a kick out of? Enter Niall De Buitléar, who runs badgemaking.ie and hosts events and workshops where participants design and make their own badges. Badge-making is a cute craft activity that can be customised to suit your theme. There are a few different options but my favourite is the pressed flower badges - such a nice idea for a wedding - where the guests choose from an array of colourful pressed flowers and arrange them nicely on the badge plate. Then Niall shows them how to immortalise their work in a take-home pin (pictured below). He says: "It allows people to be creative and I always get a smile when people see the end-result and are delighted to have a little memento of the day." Good, clean fun!
See badgemaking.ie for more details.