Home Help: 20 July
Put the soggy season behind you, Hugh St Clair forecasts an Indian summer and has chosen some garden umbrellas to shade you from the sun
Homebase does simpler and cheaper umbrellas. Thanks to adverse weather conditions, the Shanghai Parasol in purple has been reduced in price, so there are some upsides to the appalling weather.
The Garden Furniture Centre has parasols that can be tilted and rotated as the sun moves and ones that can be fixed to a wall (£249.99), so no heavy base is needed. They offer a waterproof cover and also replacement canopies if, like me, you have an umbrella with rotting canvas in the garage.
Barbed in Barnes, London, stocks a parasol with canvas and raffia trim called Frou Frou (£1,900), but also sells Powersol garden umbrellas (£269) for use in the rain. The other day a friend from South Africa rushed inside from the picnic as the heavens opened. 'I can't just sit there as if nothing is happening like you English do, she exclaimed. Perhaps if we had the waterproof Powersol, she would have stayed outside with us.
- Shanghai Parasol, £19.99 (was £49.99), Homebase: 0845-077 8888, www.homebase.co.uk
- Cream Pearl from the Lifestyle Collection, from £240, The Indian Garden Company: 01491-575367, www.indiangardencompany.com
- Riviera, £150, The Indian Garden Company: as before
- Roma cantilever parasol, 3m square, £499.99, The Garden Furniture Centre: 01564-793652, www.gardenfurniturecentre.co.uk
- Paddo, £800, Barbed: 020-8878 1994,www.barbedltd.co.uk
Email your design enquiries to Hugh St Clair at firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily tip from the lady archive
"DEEPLY-ROOTED is the idea that men are indifferent to dress, while the ladies, God bless them, think of nothing else"The Lady, With Prejudice, 8th January, 1942