Many people spends hours working on their garden; planting, pruning and mowing to ensure that their little piece of the country is a joy to behold. When the first signs of spring burst forth, allowing us to at last start using the space again, we are delighted.

The summer may be unreliable, but knowing that you can step outside and enjoy breakfast or dinner al fresco, hold garden parties, play with the children or simply sun worship is unequalled.

Yet autumn comes around and suddenly the garden is out of bounds, has no specific purpose and is barely ventured into. It’s such a shame to waste this vital space. Plus it means come April time, there will be a lot of gardening to do!

However, there are ways you can use your garden in the cooler months.

Installing anti-slip decking will mean that even during the damper months, your outdoor flooring will remain safe for the entire family to walk on. This comprises a screw-down textured covering – typically glass reinforced plastic – that not only enhances the look but prevents slips, while extending the life of your decking.

Stringing up outdoor fairy lights will make the garden look so pretty and enticing. It might be cold, but a prettily-lit garden will ooze romance and is the ideal place to go for a snuggled-up hot chocolate with the other half. They can also turn the garden into an extension of house if you were to throw a party.

Another great innovation is the outdoor heater. These come in a variety of styles, from the huge metal contraptions utilised in pub gardens, to attractive clay chimineas. You’ll be able to stay outdoors for longer into the year and maybe even toast some marshmallows on it!

Those who are truly committed to recognising the garden as an extra room might like to buy a shed or cabin in which to work, exercise, relax or use as a playroom. A reinforced, weather-proof structure can be used throughout the year and depending on size, doesn’t require any planning permission.