Our favorite Regency drama continues to cast its elegant influence on our gardens, and now glamorous ‘garden parasols’ with fringing and decorative elements are trending. These aren't just your everyday patio umbrella ideas, they add an instant charm and pop of color to any outdoor space.
'After the wash-out of last summer, a long winter, and recent world events, people have been in need of inspiration about celebrating outside again,' says Lucy Ferguson, founder of the East London Parasol Company (opens in new tab).
'The fabulous Bridgerton parties and their parasols are definitely an influence, we’ve seen an increasing demand for pastel shades such as our light blue Hugo design (opens in new tab) and traditional floral patterns.'
Instant garden appeal
'The appeal of a parasol is that it’s the easiest way to set a welcoming scene, you just pop one up and it’s an event,' says Lucy, whose gorgeously patterned parasols are hand-made by artisans and craftspeople in India.
'Parasols bring color, frame a space, break up the eye-line and create an enticing space underneath.' So if you’re looking for patio cover ideas and want an impressive and easy to pop up solution, this traditional option could suit your needs perfectly.
Dani Taylor, creative and product director at Cox & Cox (opens in new tab), says that parasols have become increasingly popular as we continue to blur the lines between the inside of our homes and outdoors: 'Shade is often a crucial factor in making outdoor areas comfortable to spend time in, so naturally, parasols have become increasingly popular.'
If you’re trying to choose the best garden parasol for your outdoor space, consider whether you would like it to complement your interior scheme or create an interesting contrast – especially if you’re planning to use it further away from the house in a secluded corner of the garden.
Advice on choosing a decorative parasol
If you’re new to parasols and don’t know where to start, Lucy’s advice is firstly to measure the space and also work out if you’d like your parasol to fit through a table or to move around seating.
Also, consider the base carefully. 'When choosing a base it’s important to consider the ground surface and how windy your garden is,' says Lucy. 'Always make sure you choose a heavy enough base, and if your garden is windy make sure the base is a wide one.'
'Using parasols on grass can be a bit fraught as it’s uneven so I’d advise using a ground spike to tether a parasol, rather than a base.'
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.
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