We missed summer last year and for most of the previous year so this year I had a lot of hope running on it. We have had a variety of weather - hot, rainy, hot again and so on. Enjoying the outdoors is all part of what we do here for those precious few months that we can, and having a nice space in which to enjoy the summer months is paramount. Outdoor decorating has really evolved from the days of my youth. No more the portable round grill with briquettes and a couple of folding web chairs sitting in the back yard. We now have rooms created within our outdoor spaces with areas for relaxing, sunning, dining and so forth.
Covered areas to keep out the strong rays are a must as is good seating. Some of the more elaborate gardens sport "cooking areas", water features and fire features.