A guide to perfect parasol parties

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The Garden Living website is designed to make sure you find top quality products for your garden or patio; each company is a member of LOFA (Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association) so you know you are buying the very best.

The website is split into sections by product – for example, parasols, barbecues, furniture, lighting and heating. A parasol, for sun and rain, can be the colourful hub of a garden furniture setup. Look to LOFA for a range of beautiful parasols; and then look further for accessories to make a style statement for the summer.

Parasol lights

Outdoor lighting is great for all seasons whether you’re looking to extend your time outside very late into the longer evenings of the summer or you’re happy to bear the cold and make the most of the quiet, crisp evenings of spring, autumn and winter. There is a myriad of options for parasol lights. 

Decoratively, fairy lights and chain lights can replicate a small section of bright stars when the cloud cover prevents the admiration of the real thing.

Practically, lights are imperative to utilising your outdoor space when the sun goes in. As parasols are often placed in the centre of a table or overlooking an eating area if you opt for a cantilever extension, being able to see what you’re doing is pretty useful. The construction of a parasol itself lends itself to protecting those underneath from light, so it can render your other garden lighting options obsolete, unless you practically make use of your garden umbrella. Again, there are a variety of options available that range from ‘disco lights’ to directional lights that can allow for an ambient, outdoor party or some peaceful, al fresco dining.

Parasol heaters

Parasol heaters are another applicable parasol accessory that can help you to make the most of the parasol in your garden all year round. These small heaters are directional and centred around the parasol providing welcome warmth.

Often silent, odourless and effective, parasol heaters work along the same lines as parasol lighting by utilising the existing space under a parasol and extending its benefits beyond protection from the weather. 

Parasol speakers

Parasol speakers are ideal parasol accessories for any gathering within the confines of your outdoor space – whether for atmosphere or because you really are in the mood for dancing. In a lot of cases, speakers come as a package with parasol lights. 

Parasol tables

A parasol table offers additional space on a garden dining set for you – a place for candles, drinks or condiments. If you don’t have a full dining table under the umbrella of your parasol, this could be a perfect place to gather at a party. Once again, the parasol in your garden is often the hub of the space – shelter, etc. – so offering a little ‘poser table’ for people to stand and talk without having to hold their drinks or food is very popular.

Parasol cover

Quick, utilitarian and practical, a parasol cover is something everyone should invest in. By definition, a parasol is a more hard-wearing example of an umbrella but a cover will protect it from the elements and prevent the need for frequent cleaning.

Parasol anchor

A parasol anchor, much like a parasol cover, is a small investment to save you from some real heartache. You’ve seen videos of umbrellas flying away; parasol anchors will offer some protection against this. Tying the pegs to the parasol, and anchoring in the ground is a good idea when the wind is picking up and you don’t want to be chasing your garden umbrella down the street.

Parasol base

Often seen as a necessity, the base for your parasol can also offer some optional stylistic choices and additional functionality. Whether you’re looking for a change of material from plastic to powder-coated steel, or plain to patterned, there is a multitude of alternatives available. Do you need wheels to help with manoeuvrability? Would you like to utilise the base space as a planter or fill it with a sedimentary material – sand, pebbles or water are good examples. 

kevin carvill