Best seats for summer sports fans
Our game plan for the garden
Outdoor TV, waterprooftv.co.uk, £2,879.99
For once, amazingly Wimbledon didn't open to rain this year and the fact that both the tennis and the World Cup coincided with a heatwave was a wake-up call to garden-owners who found themselves obliged to stay indoors to follow the action. But thanks to new technology, it needn't be this way and we can prepare for a long, hot summer of al fresco sport and entertainment.
The outdoor TV has arrived, allowing drinks, snacks and dinner can be moved on to the deck on match days when it's warm enough to sit out. The Waterproof TV Company has options that stand on a pole or can be built into a garden wall, starting at £1,599 for a 32in LCD, HD screen, including built-in speakers and a two-year guarantee. Those with four times as much to spend can enjoy a massive 65in screen.
Anyone who is buying an outdoor TV probably already has their garden furniture sorted, but if you need to refresh your tables and chairs, consider all-weather rattan as a waterproof alternative to wood. Rattan is also more elegant than plastic and more comfortable than metal. The Clovelly range from Oka is handsome, if pricey, but one or two of its Boscombe armchairs won't break the bank.
When friends, family and neighbours join the crowd for the game, expand your seating supply with a plastic armchair or dining chair from Dwell, which come in a range of bright colours.
Elegance can also be synonymous with unbreakable when it comes to outdoor crockery and serveware. Orla Kiely, known for her handbags and stationery, has designed a fabulous range of elegant melamine dining ware, including pitchers and beakers for summer drinks.
Gardeco Calenta fire bowl, £189
Even barbecues have embraced high design - Verycook's Plancha Grill - actually a gas-fired flat steel griddle plate - comes clad in 10 bright covers. Included in the range is a steel trolley to hold and conceal the gas canister and a pizza oven which sits on top of the grill; this can also be used to cook a thick rib steak which needs to be simmered after searing on both sides.
When the evening chill invariably descends, coming-inside time can be delayed with the use of a firebowl, such as the Calenta by Gardeco. Like most firebowls, it is is complete with a barbecue grill and spark guard - perfect for toasting marshmallows while you keep those tootsies warm as you cheer on the team.
One more accessory to consider adding to the stash of outdoor equipment is a heap of blankets for guests to drape over their shoulders as the summer sport and garden party season draws to an end in late September.