Determined to dine al fresco • Featuring Homesense

I have longed for this time of year, the month where we first laid eyes on the garden and I spied a few sprigs of wisteria in bloom climbing over the old crumbly walls above the back windows. As soon as I walked along the bumpy path from the back gate I could envisage how we would live here, that the garden would steal the show.

4 years almost to the day and everything has burst back into life, my wisteria hysteria is as strong as ever and slowly I can feel we are putting our stamp on the garden as much as we are the house. Just in time for the bank holiday fun this weekend!

It’s easier to make quicker changes inside isn’t it? A coat of paint, a new carpet, not structural changes but aesthetic changes can transform a room.

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But a garden is harder. We are so lucky that the shrub beds are already full to the brim, a testament to 30 years of hard graft with a gardening glove. The patio itself is part of a bigger longer term plan so for now the circular shaped lawn looks back on the rickety pergola with an unruly kiwi plant that takes over each year (sadly no actual kiwis) and the open space in front of the double doors.

We have brought in little touches like new outside lights and finally replaced our heavy timber round table and chairs, that had lasted so well for over ten years but gave up the ghost in the move. The back windows were replaced last year and painted in a pale warm grey and as much as I love the simplicity of a neutral scheme for me it lacked some serious colour and fun.

I wish I was content with a palette of calming whites and greys but I just adore seeing a pop of pink or blue peeking out of the rattan chairs and when I spied all the gorgeous greens in Homesense - well - sold to the lady’s patio in need of some late spring cheer!

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Now I’ve been a Homesense fan for almost the 10 years it has been in existence after discovering it was part of the TK Maxx family. When we lived in Weston Super-Mare I probably “popped” in almost every week when I scooted to join the motorway, to see what new lines had been added that week.

Exciting news for all those living in Weston Super-Mare, a new Homesense opened yesterday within the existing TK Maxx store in the North Worle Shopping Centre, be sure to check it out! 

Taunton is now my closest store (but check for your nearest here as they have over 50 stores across the country ) and has two floors of shelves bursting with seasonal and all year round homeware. Homesense is my go to store for unusual finds. I can only imagine that being part of their buying team must be a dream job!

I still get lovely people asking where I found the boy’s hanging metal plane that hangs between their beds and I am so glad I didn't leave it on the shelf when I was ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’. If you see it and love it, buy it as what you see is what is available. There aren't hundreds of each products tucked in the stock room and that’s what makes it even more attractive for me. You won't end up with the same print or cushion as everyone else in the area! The offer of products with savings of up to 60% off RRP is an added bonus too.

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I walked into the store and it was like an explosion of colour, print and pattern. The tropics had truly come to Taunton and with the incredible spell of exotic temperatures we have all been blessed with and the promise of more sun this long weekend it is the perfect time to start eating outdoors again and make the most of the garden, the park or the beach. 

I have been lusting after the round towels forever and love that they double, or rather triple up, as a picnic blanket and wrap for when the sun goes down but no one is ready to go inside. (£14.99 if you fancy one too.) 

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If you plan on visiting a Homesense store ahead of the bank holiday weekend then you will be spoilt for choice. Whether you love palm print, rainbow colours, simple muted neutrals or Moroccan inspired patterns, there is something to suit all tastes. I love how you can mix and match styles and I decided go bold or go home! Hints of gold and greens that tie in with our cutlery - everyone needs a caddy in their life. I stuff mine with bottles of sauce, pepper, salt and carry the cutlery to the table in one of the sections. I had a good trawl through the clearance section and there were a few in other designs but I loved the slightly tarnished finish on this one. I went in with BBQ tools in mind but I came out with banana leaf print cushions for £12.99, tablecloths (at £12.99 for a huge 264cm long tropical print wonder I had to get a pair!) and marshmallows to roast for dessert. 

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Always, always go for the big green trolley when you walk in, that’s my tip!

We are all set up for summer and the bank holiday now and if it rains well, who cares, we can use the tablecloth as a picnic blanket and move the party indoors!

Get yourself down to your local store this weekend for a good nosey, but be warned you'll want it all! 

In collaboration with Homesense.