Please note: online orders placed after Thursday 20th December 2018 will be processed from Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

How to make your wooden garden furniture last

Look for pressure-treated wooden garden furniture

We stock pressure-treated garden furniture for a good reason - it lasts longer.  Pressure-treated wood has been dipped in preservative under pressure for increased absorption.  Heat and vacuum are also applied to the wood to get rid of any excess chemical and make the wood safe to handle.

Garden furniture with 15 year guarantee

Forest Garden benches, tables and planters come with a superb 15 year guarantee against rot and decay, but look after your purchase well and you can expect it to last much longer.

The delightfully romantic and pressure-treated wooden two-seater Forest Garden Harvington Love Seat will give you and yours pleasure for years with just a bit of care and attention at the right time of the year. That's important if you're buying it as a gift for a special occasion!

The Forest Garden Harvington Bench is a really appealing classic design.  It has wide comfortable seat slats and very satisfying detailing. The back rest and arm supports have soft slight curves - it's a cut above the standard garden bench and built to last.

For a great practical robust choice garden furniture option look at the Forest Garden Refectory Table & Sleeper Bench Set. It's chunky, contemporary and makes a great outdoor dining feature, Constructed from sleeper-sized single pieces of wood, look after this pressure-treated dining set and it'll easily outlast its 15 year guarantee.

Garden furniture - Turnbull team's tips for making it last

Okay, we've all left our garden furniture out all winter and then cursed when we've had to scrape off all the algae, lichen and bird droppings on the first warm day of spring.  But there is another way!  Give your garden furniture some deserved tlc and make it last longer.

Give it a good clean once a year

Our first tip is to give it a good clean before the winter.  Dirt attracts moisture and moisture is what rots wood.  A quick wash and brush will remove debris, algae and lichens that might have started lodging in joints and lower surfaces.  You can use a pressure washer, too, but be careful to keep the washer head moving at 30 degrees to avoid any roughing up of the grain of the wood.  Both these approaches are preferable to using chemical products which are harsh on your furniture and do have an environmental impact.  There are a couple of organic garden furniture cleaners around if you really need something more than elbow grease.

Move your bench off the grass

If you have to leave your furniture out in the garden (and for many of us there’s no other option) you can do a few useful things: move furniture out of the shade or prune overhanging shrubs and trees to get as much light as possible on it.  Store your furniture tipped up to encourage rainwater runoff.  It will speed drying out on wet days too.  Move it off the grass to a hard surface if you can – this stops moisture seeping into the legs and starting rot.  An old trick is to stand each leg in a washed baked bean can – looks a bit funny but it’s free and does a great job!  Remember to pierce the bottom of the can to stop water collecting in the cans.

Cover and ventilate timber garden furniture

A tarp or heavy duty cover will keep the worst of the elements off your garden furniture. The key thing here is to allow some kind of ventilation so that moisture and condensation aren’t trapped.  There will be dry days in the winter and if you can whip the covers off for a few hours to let your furniture to breathe and dry, it will really help.  Got a greenhouse?  Pop a couple of chairs in the greenhouse if you can – what’s nicer than sitting in the warm and dry browsing a few seed catalogues in peace and quiet?

Keeping timber products looking as good as new

Finally, if you’ve got time, a coat of wood preservative always helps.  Our Forest Garden products don’t need this as every bench, chair and table has an anti-rot guarantee, but even Forest Garden agree that if you want to keep the colour and look of new wood, then an annual treatment is effective.

A word about outdoor cushions

Most of us buy cushions especially for outdoor furniture, and yes, they are tough, but embedded dirt will stick, so it’s worth taking them in for a clean rather than just stacking them in the shed.  A light sponge might be all they need: a quick wipe or low temperature wash is fine.  If they have taken a hit with all those barbecues over the summer, spray with a pre-wash stain remover and rinse before popping them in the washing machine.  Mould looks nasty, so we take a nailbrush and stain remover to any spots.  Line dry your covers and after all that effort, you could try a spray-on water-repellent fabric protector.  You might have bought them as ‘waterproof’ but that does wear off with time.