A pretty, brightly coloured parasol is a good way to brighten up your garden should you have failed to coax many flowers into bloom. The gorgeous, vivid parasols above are from Hedgerow Studio in California. They are pricey, starting at $1399, but you get to choose your own combination of pattern and colour and can add lights too. Below is a sweet chinese umbrella, just £4.50 from The Chinese Shop and beneath that a lace umbrella from lace-parasols.com. These umbrellas come in vintage cream, black, lilac and mint as well as the scarlet shown here.  Brilliant for keeping the sun off as well as indulging your Room With A View fantasies. Prices vary but are around the $40 mark.

These outrageously colourful Indian cotton garden umbrellas are from a great range by 1770.co.uk. They are 6 feet in diameter and cost a reasonable £150. They are also available in a smaller handheld size.