Michael Bates of Bates Landscaping believes there are many things we can do to make sure our outdoor area is enjoyed, right through the year. “Fire bowls and fire pits are fantastic because they keep us out in the garden,” he says. “If you light the fire and serve the pre-dinner food, drinks and snacks by the fire, you can keep the fire going through dinner and you’ll be surprised how many people end up going back outside for a quiet chat after dinner,” he adds with a laugh.

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