Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden nails this genius Scandi trend – and experts say it's easy to recreate at home

Anyone else obsessed with Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden scene?

Nigella Lawson attends a private view of "Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition" at The Design Museum on May 9, 2019
(Image credit: Getty Images)

She might be a genuine genius in the kitchen, but it's Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden that's been busily racking up the likes on Instagram of late.

That's right: the celebrity cook and author – just days after inspiring us with her clever fairy light trick – has been working hard to promote her upcoming Amsterdam Christmas Special with BBC One.

And her latest post, which looks as if it's been plucked straight out of a winter wonderland scene, is another of those truly gorgeous Scandi garden design ideas you will definitely want to steal.

Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden 

In the photo, Nigella can be seen sat on a bench in front of a glowing firepit, with candles and fairylights dotted around her, and plenty of snuggly cushions to sink back into.

The frosted shrubs and trees surrounding her, too, add an extra layer of festive magic to proceedings. And it's 100% breathed new life into our list of cosy garden ideas, if you're wondering...

Now, we know what you're likely thinking: Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden is great and all, but surely it's just too cold to be sitting outdoors at the moment.

As it turns out, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it seems Nigella has – whether knowingly or not – tapped into the Scandi lifestyle trend of friluftsliv.

'The word translates to "life in the free air",' explains garden designer Annika Zetterman. 'The definition is what you make of it, and differs from person to person, with the essential part being in nature practicing any activity that doesn’t involve prestige, comparison or competition.'

Annika Zetterman's headshot
Annika Zetterman

Annika Zetterman is a Swedish garden designer, as well as the author of the book 'New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design'. She is also the founder of Zetterman Garden Design, and regularly gives lectures on garden design in both Sweden and abroad. 

Going on to explain that friluftsliv is an 'amazing way of maintaining and improving your health,' Annika adds that practicing the trend 'gives you a sense of belonging and comfort, knowing what you are surrounded by'.

'It's hygge in the wild,' she says simply. 'And it's a reminder that gardens are great all year – although in a winter garden, remember to always keep warm, and dress for success!'

If Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden has inspired you to create your own place to unwind and escape from everyday life, not to mention marvel at all of the 'frosty branches and ice crystals giving plants a new expression', there are a few things you need to try.

1. Repurpose a shed or greenhouse

A greenhouse lit with candles and set up for a dinner party

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Monty Don is ditching a winter greenhouse essential this year – but that doesn't mean you can't repurpose yours to give you a similar effect to Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden.

'Your greenhouse ideas can allow for decorative seasonal plants,' promises Annika, which means that your 'outdoor escape will have both a visual appearance and scents enhancing the experience'.

You could go one step further, à la Zoe Claymore, who won a gold medal at this year's RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, and transform yours into a dining area. Or, if you don't have space for that, simply somewhere to sit and enjoy a hot drink on a chilly day.

2. Make use of a firepit

Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden makes it abundantly clear that fire pit ideas are a surefire (hey!) route to a warm and snuggly spot.

'Why not create a fun activity in the garden, involving friends and children, such as making DIY Christmas decor from branches and evergreen foliage?' suggests Annika. 

DAWOO Fire Pit | £58.99 on Amazon

DAWOO Fire Pit | £58.99 on Amazon

One of the bestselling fire pits on Amazon, we have this stylish design pegged as one of the best fire pits of the year – not least of all because it moonlights as a BBQ, too.

'You can gather seats around a firepit for a fun and easy BBQ, toasting marshmallows or hot dogs,' she continues. 

'And, if your winter garden contains plenty of snow, a given activity would be making snowmen and snow lanterns!'

Just be sure to invest in some gorgeous soft furnishings, such as blankets, rugs, and cushions, to help keep everyone warm by the fireside.

4. String up some fairylights

A beautifully adorned outdoor table, which has been tablescaped with gem-coloured glassware

(Image credit: Getty)

We love that Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden offers up its own unique twist on some of our favourite garden solar lighting ideas – by twirling fairylights up and around the trunk of a nearby tree.

The warm glow of these lights will help lift the darkness during the bleaker months, not to mention add colour to a winter garden, and they're guaranteed to transform your pretty outdoor space into a warm and welcoming one, too.

5. And don't forget local wildlife

While we can't see all that much of Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden, Annika says that anyone wanting to truly embody the friluftsliv way of life should remember that 'people who understand the environment are likely to protect nature, which increases through spending time outdoors in nature '.

As such, you might want to consider working hard on your wildlife garden ideas, especially during this chilliest time of year.

New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design | £20, Amazon

New Nordic Gardens: Scandinavian Landscape Design | £20, Amazon

Presenting the very best gardens to have been produced in the Scandinavian landscape, this book shows us how best to replicate the Nordic approach to landscape design in our own backyards.

'Allow pollinators and other wildlife to enjoy cosy overwintering sites,' explains Annika. 

'Leave stalks, seed heads, and stems in place until spring and be creative with logs, placed in beautiful piles, which will also add visual interest to your winter garden.'

And, just like that, we have everything we need to make our dream of recreating Nigella Lawson's cosy winter garden a reality. Now all that's left to do is source a chic short-sleeved jumper, à la the mee-crow-wah-vay queen herself, and fire up the hot chocolate station.

After all, it's what Nigella would want for us. There's just nothing quite like wrapping your hands around a mug of something warm and delicious in the chilly great outdoors...

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.