“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” - Rudyard Kipling
Whilst it's something we took for granted beforehand, it became very apparent that having a garden or decent sized balcony was a huge privilege throughout the various lockdowns, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020/2021.
Now, it’s not that we’re saying we didn’t enjoy our gardens before 2020, but they certainly became the ‘go-to’ sanctuary for many people in Britain and all around the world. Just stop and think about it for a second, those of us who live in the Western world had almost unlimited freedom to do whatever we liked, providing that our time and finances allowed it. This could be as simple as going to the cinema or out for a meal in a restaurant, or as extravagant as flying over 4,000 miles to St Lucia (from the UK) for a 4-week holiday. Whatever the opportunity, we could potentially take advantage of it. Then in a blink of an eye in March 2020, the world came to a grinding halt, with an array of lockdowns sweeping across Europe and America, putting everyone’s liberties on hold, and preventing many of us leaving our homes for non-essential activities. This was by far the most extreme situation Britain had faced since the Second World War.
At this point, for those of us who had outdoor spaces, they became an integral part of day-to-day life. For some people in the UK, that meant taking advantage of some of the unseasonably warm, but very welcome sunny weather and topping up the tan. For others, it acted as a fitness zone, or even a new project to work on for the months ahead.
Despite the varying reasons, we could all agree on one thing, that our gardens were essential if we were to make it through the mental challenges of the pandemic and lockdown.
Moving on a month or two, the restrictions began to ease, and we found ourselves being able to entertain others outside (albeit with limited numbers of guests and a confusing ‘bubble’ system in place). In this period, the garden’s function started to shift slightly, but remained a key element of our lives, as a meeting place for the vital social activities with friends and families during the height of summer.
With this new-found love for our outdoor spaces being one of the only things keeping us going, we all started to consider how we could improve them. At Alexander Francis, we saw a significant uplift in the demand for outdoor furniture and dining sets.
Alexander Francis Verona Grey Sofa Dining Set with Corner Table
Now, the reasons for the increase in demand for general outdoor furniture was obvious to us at this stage, however, we noticed that people were buying from us because they wanted the highest quality products, and not to just waste money on a cheaper set which lasts until August but collapses into 47 pieces the following April. This appetite for premium garden furniture may have been stimulated by the ever-growing appreciation for their own outdoor haven.
All our furniture is made using the highest quality, sustainable materials such as Burmese Teak and Aluminum for maximum durability. Sure, you could buy a cheap outdoor furniture set, but it won’t be made from high quality materials. Alexander Francis furniture allows you to relax in your garden and close your eyes, making you feel like you’re on a golden sand beach in the Caribbean, without a worry in the world.
Now that we’re in 2023, with Spring on the horizon, we are seeing several repeat customers come back to Alexander Francis to buy additional pieces of furniture, and even additional furniture sets. We expect this trend to continue going forward, with more people in the UK looking for ways to improve their homes.
Since the late 2000s, we’ve all become increasingly used to relying on technology to improve the quality of our lives, whether that’s using the latest smartphone or being able to watch 300 boxsets at the touch of a button. The social aspect has been gradually removed to prioritise everyday convenience, something that we’re all guilty of enjoying.
We at Alexander Francis believe that it’s important to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life, such as the sound of birds singing whilst relaxing on your Milano sun lounger, reading a book, or laughing with friends over a glass of Rosé. Remember, just because it’s easier, it doesn’t mean that it’s better!
Care for your garden this year because it cared for you.