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Cold comfort: Alan Titchmarsh on taking care of the garden furniture during winter

Fashionable, contemporary metal furniture with bare steel or aluminium arms, legs and seats comes into this category. Although the surface has been treated so it won’t rust or go dull, it’s not worth the risk of scratching or denting it. 

Cane or rattan furniture isn’t really meant to be used outside. It’s a natural material best kept for living rooms and conservatories as it turns black and mouldy if it gets damp.

Modern cane furniture is often made from synthetic materials which don’t go mouldy or rot, so it can be left outside. But you still have all the little nooks and crannies where algae grows in damp conditions, so it is tricky to clean.

When it comes to folding seats, sunloungers and steamer chairs, they are best put away. If you don’t have a shed, lightweight furniture can be hung on the garage wall or in the cupboard under the stairs and a small garden store is ideal. 

As for cushions, they must be kept under cover. Wipe them down, sponge off any marks and when dry, store them in plastic in the loft or somewhere they won’t be found by mice or get damp.

Then they’ll be ready to go the minute the sun shines. And it won’t be too long, will it? 

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